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Near midair over SFO

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Near midair over SFO

Old 10th Apr 2010, 01:13
  #181 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: US
Posts: 497
I am not a controller but if he had said unable he would have been doing a 360 to the right. He calmly said he could pass behind the 777 and had him in sight. Situation handled. For some reason the RA caught the 777 by surprise even though their TCAS would have clearly shown the Cessna before the RA and they were advised of the traffic. Looking out the window is a good procedure in any airplane. Was anybody in the 777 doing that when they got surprised by the RA? Did they respond as they were trained during the RA? Minimum corrections are sometimes all that is required.
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 02:00
  #182 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sonoma, CA, USA
Age: 76
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If you've ever flown that route, you'd know that everyone had plenty of time to react and comply with instructions.

This is getting a bit silly. No one died. No flaming wreckage fell on 101.

I think we're getting the second or third wave of readers.

Start from the beginning, listen to the tape, read the transcript.
Robert Campbell is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2010, 03:16
  #183 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: alameda
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I honestly don't know how the news media got a hold of this story. visual seperation was provided in accordance with regulations.

the only question about the voice being male or female was trying to figure out who the captain was, so let's not make anything of that.

I have a feeling some of us have been in much worse positions and are wondering why we didn't make the national news. 3 controllers were de certified on the spot for screwing up something I was involved with...and this didn't make the funny papers.

AS for seeing only the bottom of the Cessna...big deal...that's the way banking works. I've flown my jet into DCA and at one point, someone said you could only see the top of my plane...that's the way planes turn.

The lessons that should be learned are:

1. always look out the window for traffic...regardless of weather or clearance...and I mean it.

2. Take a look at departure route on TCAS for possible traffic...and if you see something that doesn't make sense...ask ATC.

3. Realize that everyone has a stake in good visibility...put your lights on full bright (with rare exceptions) so you can be seen.

4. remember that TCAS only works when both planes have transponders that are on!

5. When the weather is the nicest, the chance of collision just might be the greatest. People don't go for ''bay tours'' when the weather stinks.
protectthehornet is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2010, 03:25
  #184 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Oakland CA USA
Posts: 90
I am not a controller but if he had said unable he would have been doing a 360 to the right.
If the Cessna was parallel to 101 it would have been on a course of about 175 deg true; United was climbing on course 298 deg. How close can the Cessna be to the 777s track and still have room to start a right 360 without making things worse?
If you've ever flown that route, you'd know that everyone had plenty of time to react and comply with instructions.
To know that we have to know just where the Cessna was at a given time in the transcript. If I fly the route once or twice I will suddenly be able to intuit that? To what accuracy?

I finally looked at the map. It turns out Hwy 101 crosses the runway extended centerline 3900 ft from the departure end of 28L; FWIW, the terrain reaches 650 ft or so 3.7 nm from the end of the runway.
Tim Zukas is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2010, 03:57
  #185 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seat 0A
Posts: 8,016
Lookout/See-and-Avoid in a jet: you guys are relying a whole lot on the Big Sky theory.

Some of the First Officers I fly with never look outside
I can't understand why. That old rustbucket you fly probably hasn't even got a clock in it! Maybe they are fascinated by all the round dials.
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 04:21
  #186 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sonoma, CA, USA
Age: 76
Posts: 143


We usually use magnetic courses and headings up in the sky. It saves time.

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Old 10th Apr 2010, 07:17
  #187 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,043
Two observations:

Putting on my PP hat - I consider the airspace off the ends of active runways to be the property of the heavy metal, and try for an over-the-top transition (preferably at 90 degrees to the active) if I can't be 5 miles away at 1000' AGL. That's how I've handled JSJ, COS, MEM, IND, and the old Stapleton, either as a published route or by request (mine or the controllers).

Not criticizing the Cessna pilot - if (s)he had a clearance, (s)he had a clearance. But I try to avoid putting my small plane in the same airspace densely populated with the big noisy ones.

I'm also happy to level off at 1000'-1500' AGL and scoot out of the way if followed by a turbine on departure whenever circumstances permit. It's my posterior they are overtaking.

Just a note that since SFO is a United hub, the odds are good that any incident there will involve a United crew, regardless of their quality. That's how statistics work.
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