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Tarom B737 hit a car on the runway at TO

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Tarom B737 hit a car on the runway at TO

Old 31st Dec 2007, 09:53
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There were two guys near the car and they runaway when they heard the noise of the engines. They were doing some work at that time and they said they could only enter the runway with the approval from the ATC.
Obviously there was some miscommunication in between. They said that the car had been twice on the runway on that day in coordination with the ATC.
Luckly, no one was hurt.
I would say that things are pretty safe in Romanian aviation, cos as part as the UE now they had to improve everything in order to comply with the UE standards.
It was a silly mistake (it looks like somebody forgot to pass the information on) that could have been a big disaster.
There are a lot of photos with the plane after the evacuation on this link. Just scroll down, sorry the article is in romanian.
http://www.evz.ro/article.php?artid=335930


PS: Both the flight crew and the cabin crew did a great job I would say. a/c was evacuated in 60 sec.
The visibility was 200m on that day according to the pilot.

Last edited by skytrax; 31st Dec 2007 at 10:08.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:04
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Actually looking at the rear axle in those pictures, I think this wasn't a car, but a truck!

Very lucky outcome, thank God no one was hurt.Sends a shiver down my spine.

GS

Last edited by German Sheperd; 31st Dec 2007 at 10:23.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:11
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Nice video, but shouldn't all electronics be switched off?

Same for the SAA wing and truck strike.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 10:18
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What ever happened to robust Low Visibility Procedures? If you do not have Surface Movement Radar to facilitate them, then just robust procedures to remove the risk to aircraft movements will suffice. I know I've written and operated LVPs without SMR for many years.

It appears that Otopeni did not have the required robust LVPs, and therein probably does not have a Safety Management System to underpin operation of the airport. About time for ICAO & IATA Audit Teams to pay a visit to ascertain the extent of Romanian compliance with the Standards of Annex 14, or a return visits to check on what they missed!

In the mean time what are the operating airlines going to do during low vis' conditions, keep on operating? Assuming that they also operate with an SMS, have any withdrawn flights during LVPs, I suspect not.

If anyone from the Civil Aeronautical Authority, Romania or OTP Airport Operating Authority read this, PM me, I'll share with you all I know about Low Visibility Operations. Additionally any operating airline or company is also welcome to do so.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 15:27
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...and again, if the deceleration is of such a nature that it turns a small DV-camera into a flying missile, with the potential to cause more harm than a modest bump on the head, it just might be the least of your problems...
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:08
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flying missiles in the event of a sudden deceleration
Not to mention that the first thing many passengers do after sitting down is to take their shoes off and open the paper, as though the aircraft cabin was their living room, (an attitude which is comfirmed when one leaves the aircraft and sees what a state it's been left in). Getting on board with flip-flops is the same thing.

Responsibility for self-protection doesn't begin with the safety briefing and/or reading the safety card. It begins with a little situational awareness for oneself and taking the necessary precautions. Whether airlines encourage such blas attitudes in an attempt to keep fear low is another thread.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:28
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Sadly similar incidents occur much closer to home but mangers and others who should know better, take the same view as AltFlaps. The result, incident hushed up or disciplinary action taken. The consequence, it will happen again because nobody has the opportunity to learn from the event.

Suggestion, AltFlaps and his/her ilk should be fired!!

H49
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:43
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Shore Guy,
Interesting article, but not too relevant here I would suggest.
That system is primarily aimed at runway incursions, and at getting the info to the aircraft pronto.
In this case we don't know whether Bucharest even has a basic ASDE.
Also the vehicle was stationary which makes it easy to overlook.
Finally, would somebody even be watching an ADSE scope at that moment?
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 19:00
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Finally, would somebody even be watching an ADSE scope at that moment?
With a modern system, they wouldn't need to be. The current systems employed at, say, Gatwick automatically detect all targets within the Localizer Sensitive Area. If there develops a closing speed between any of these targets greater than 40kts, an alarm is sounded.

So, a truck 2km from an aircraft accelerating through 40 kts will give a warning to the Tower controller, giving time for a 'stop, stop, stop' or equivalent message to be given.

However, the answer really does lie, as other psoters have said, in a proper Safety Management System, with ATC being a part of that loop.

In the UK, all vehicles entering the runway have a dedicated person on board communicating with ATC ON THE SAME FREQUENCY as the aircraft, so that they will hear the a/c being given lineup and takeoff clearance. I know this doesn't happen in many other countries, including what we'd describe as 'first world'. ATC also employ a 'runway blocker' strip, to inhibit them from giving any runway clearances, takeoff or landing, to any aircraft with any other obstructions on the runway.

Fair play to the engineers for legging it. If they'd tried to move the vehicle, I doubt thet'd have done so in time with the couple of seconds warning they'd have had.

TheOddOne

Last edited by TheOddOne; 31st Dec 2007 at 19:23.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 19:22
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We have just recently had installed at the major international airport where I am a tower controller, current generation ground radar, and I can assure you it doesn't always "pick up" vehicles.
Bedder believeit,

No, I can't quite. Surely all your vehicles are fitted with transponders so that you're not dependent upon the primary return? Not only will the transponder always give you a target, but you'll also have the callsign of the vehicle on the screen.

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Old 31st Dec 2007, 20:32
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Originally Posted by TheOddOne
No, I can't quite. Surely all your vehicles are fitted with transponders so that you're not dependent upon the primary return? Not only will the transponder always give you a target, but you'll also have the callsign of the vehicle on the screen.
Dream on!!!!

And even when there are such technological wonders there are many technical gremlins that conspire to limit the confidence that one can have in the picture.

And, anyway, if you want to detect incursions onto a runway, you surely are not going to rely on the intruder to be good enough to switch an the tx'der and operate it properly - you need primary for that particular function.
 
Old 31st Dec 2007, 21:21
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That's fairly simple to solve:

1) Transponder comes ON whenever the motor is started.

2) Transponder can only be switched OFF by a key held in the manager's control.

Thus, short of a battery failure, or intentional fraud, the xpdr should operate any time the vehicle leaves the garage.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 21:41
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you surely are not going to rely on the intruder to be good enough to switch an the tx'der and operate it properly
No, of course not - it should be hard-wired into the vehicle and no user intervention is required. The latest A-SMGCS systems all make provision for this facility. A number of European airports have taken this on board.

The vehicle callsign belongs to the vehicle, not the person driving it, 'Ops 1, Fire 4, Works 3' etc etc. and will be permanently broadcast by the transponder fitted to the vehicle. Vehicles approved for operation on the Manoeuvring Area have their callsign placarded inside the vehicle, just as an aircraft has it's registration placed on the instrument panel.

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Old 31st Dec 2007, 22:27
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Originally Posted by barit1
That's fairly simple to solve:

1) Transponder comes ON whenever the motor is started.

2) Transponder can only be switched OFF by a key held in the manager's control.

Thus, short of a battery failure, or intentional fraud, the xpdr should operate any time the vehicle leaves the garage.
True - a solution that should overcome a good many of the potential problems. But, sadly, not all of them. There may well be situations where it will be better to get the driver to switch off the tx'der, but it that is not possible.......

And, of course, there's always the possibility that you will want the tx'der 'squawking' (or whatever) even if the motor is not running. The difficulty is, the more rigid (some might say foolproof) you make the system, the less able it is to cope with non-standard situations. Better that the system allows adaptations - up to a point - and that users have robust procedures and are appropriately trained and skilled to use the equipment etc.

Originally Posted by TheOddOne
No, of course not - it should be hard-wired into the vehicle and no user intervention is required. The latest A-SMGCS systems all make provision for this facility. A number of European airports have taken this on board.

The vehicle callsign belongs to the vehicle, not the person driving it, 'Ops 1, Fire 4, Works 3' etc etc. and will be permanently broadcast by the transponder fitted to the vehicle. Vehicles approved for operation on the Manoeuvring Area have their callsign placarded inside the vehicle, just as an aircraft has it's registration placed on the instrument panel.
Hard-wired and no user intervention does create an inflexible system again. I think it's more correct to say that current A-SMGCS are able to display targets that are suitably equipped (hard-wiring etc. is not really an A-SMGCS function) - or have I missed your point? You are quite correct that a good number of European airports claim to have implemented level I, and sometimes level II, A-SMGCS but in reality all have some weaknesses (albeit, in some cases, the equipment works as designed but either does not provide the information needed by users or does not do so in a timely enough fashion).

The point about callsigns belonging to the vehicle rather than the driver is a bit of a generalisation. Whilst it is good practise, it's not always the case. It can be particularly problematic when the callsign used relates to the function being undertaken, for example 'Checker' or 'Seagull'. Once again, it is a little inflexible if a vehicle goes u/s or is off the run for maintenance - does that mean that the function that the vehicle is normally used must cease? Just think about hazards associated with the callsign being used by the vehicle driver being different to that shown on the A-SMGCS.... None of these problems are insurmountable but the less flexible the system is, the bigger the headaches dealing with the non-standard or unexpected situations.

One last thought. The idea of the vehicle callsign being 'permanently broadcast' I think assumes that the system is mode S based and that the ID is derived from the 'Flight ID' field of the message - not all A-SMGCS use this data to establish the label ID.

Whilst this represents some significant thread drift - for which I apologise to those who are displeased by it - I think it is highly relevant to any discussion about runway inccidents.
 
Old 31st Dec 2007, 23:30
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At the risk of being shouted at!

Whilst the validation required for airfield use will no doubt be a problem

There are a lot of commercially available GPS based tracker systems out there (we're getting them fitted at work) they give real time location of vehicle, can be either user controlled or not and the data output is not dependant on the vehicle - the ident is configured by the recieving system.
Most transport companies use them and a lot of the utilities - worth a thought
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 01:04
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Too(sic) TheOddOne: No, not all of the vehicles that regularly access our runways have transponders, and often, those that do, work/display intermittently. I know it's still in the development stage, however, over 900 aircraft a day using the runways is hardly "development stage". As I see it, electronic and technical advances are only as good as the people operating them. Since widespread TCAS was introduced, have we had a situation in aviation of NO mid airs? Answer "no"; since we had GPWS/EGPWS introduced, have we had a situation of NO CFIT? Answer "no". It seems that technological advances merely help us to keep up with ever increasing traffic levels and complexity. The danger is always just lurking around the corner. I'm not suggesting for one moment that we say "stop!", things will keep on "advancing", but the human part of the chain remains critical. A disadvantage of "relying" too much on technology, is that it's easy to be lulled into complacency. I notice that with our new A/ SMGCS, that with auto tag, it is harder to keep a mental picture of traffic disposition than with our old system, where we needed to tag aircraft up manually. This is fine as long as everything is working 100%, but our achievement rate is well below that. But then the old manual tagging of aircraft/tows etc was time consuming and inefficient! Ce'st la guerre!

PS, Re your "blocker strip", that's been around for yonks and I guess will be there for some time to come. Simple, but only useful if used with total consistency. HNY
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 01:45
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Perhaps this would prevent this type of accident...

http://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=7327
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 08:57
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Probably not possible at a major airport but when I learned to fly in the 1960s an experienced aviator once told me that prior to taking off from a runway in low viz it was a good idea to taxi the length of the runway prior to take off to ensure the runway was clear.

This advice still holds true for minor and/or uncontrolled runways at some aerodromes!
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 11:14
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Sounds great , but.........

- Is never going to happen on big, busy airports.
- It doesn't give any assurance that somebody (or thing) will not enter the runway after you have passed.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 11:42
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punkalouver, I have never understood why some people continue to believe that installing radar and other surveillance systems will prevent runway incursions and accidents. At best they are tools that support those involved in airport operations. At the very simplest of levels, as ChristiaanJ pointed out, a pure surveillance system can only be of value if someone who is able to do something to resolve the situation (in the often limited time available) is watching the display at the moment that an error becomes apparent. In practice, the operator with access to such a display is only likely to look at it if he or she is unsure about the location of traffic or to confirm that a clearance is being followed etc. - so when there is nothing to suggest that anything is wrong there is usually no-one looking at the display.

In terms of A-SMGCS, much work is going on into generating alerts to controllers (and, ultimately, to pilots ond vehicle drivers) when an unsafe situation occurs. Unfortunately it is not easy for the equipment to discriminate between situations in which an alert should be generated and a normal, operationally acceptable, and very similar traffic situation. As a result, even the best of these systems still generate a significant number of false alerts - this has the effect of reducing the value of valid alerts. We have similar experience with systems designed to prevent CFIT where both airborne and ground-bases systems have been undermined by the prevalence of false alerts reluting in accidents.

Although there may well be technical 'solutions' to runway incursion/ accident situations, none will, of themselves, prevent incidents and accidents - at best they will improve situational awareness and provide continual monitoring for abnormal situations (something that we humans are not good at). We still need to have well crafted and robust procedures.....that are followed.
 

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