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Finnair A340 attempts takeoff from taxiway

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Finnair A340 attempts takeoff from taxiway

Old 1st Dec 2010, 15:19
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Finnair A340 attempts takeoff from taxiway

Accident Investigation Board Finland - Entry page

"Serious incident occurred at Hong Kong international airport when an Airbus A340 aircraft operated by Finnair Plc on a scheduled flight from Hong Kong to Helsinki initiated takeoff from a taxiway which was located next to and parallel to the runway in use. The air traffic control noticed the occurrence and ordered the pilots to abort the takeoff."

Incredible.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:09
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Angel Finnair A340 Hkg.

Well spotted by the tower, this could have been a real problem considering the A/C would have been loaded to the gills with fuel and considered a "HEAVY". Find this difficult to understand what the guys in the cockpit were thinking. Sounds like sombody is going to be in serious trouble considering the heavy hitters who are going to conduct the investigation. However I wish the cockpit crew the best in this unfortunate incident, good luck.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:12
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How many times before someone has the bright idea of colouring the taxiways with red asphalt?

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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:14
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I don't think there is any excuse that would justify an error of that magnitude.

Passengers have a right to expect high levels of professionalism from the front - and that's why we had taxi charts for each airport . This could so easily have had fatal consequences.

BTW, yes I've operated into there - but we did have 3 sets of eyes in those days.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:40
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This incident if, of course, serious but frankly I am surprised it doesn't happen more often. Airports seem to be becoming much more complex with a plethora of signs, taxiway designations and routing, designated holding points etc and, generally, more pressure on crews in terms of slot time, exhausting schedules and having to "expedite".

I don't think there is any excuse that would justify an error of that magnitude.
Dengue_Dude, that's very easy to say. Of course, it shouldn't happen but we have to recognise that human beings are capable of error and that they are part of the "system". As you adriotly point out we used to have 3 (and sometimes 4 or even 5 in my young day) pairs of eyes and ears watching what was going on. I wonder how many incidents in the "olden days" were prevented by a sharp Second Officer in the jumpseat speaking up? - I know as I was one of them and did so on a couple of occasions.

We should not be premature to "blame" the crew. No crew sets off to work with the intention of making a major blunder - will be interesting to see how all the holes in the cheese lined up on this one.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 17:16
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"Well spotted by the tower, this could have been a real problem considering the A/C would have been loaded to the gills with fuel and considered a "HEAVY" "

Are the taxiways not as long as the runways in Hong Kong?
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 17:31
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Our RAAS shoutes "on Taxiway,on taxyway" should you try to... if not on a runway and above 40 kts...

see here:
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 17:48
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Finnish media now report the Finnair head office spokesman saying there were indeed three pilots in the cockpit "and they all agreed the aircraft was where it was supposed to be" when they were accelerating down the taxiway... so much for the three sets of eyeballs
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 18:30
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In Russia they ask you if your gear is down and locked.. Why not start asking if the runway is identified or have an electronic sign with random letters you have to read back to the tower located next to the thresh hold:-) Sound dumb? then so is the blue, orange and green line at Munich airport. I like the earlier post of having taxiways in different colour or just have small speed bumps on taxiways so a take off would be obvious. There is no excuse for this except that its human error and we are humans, so it does, can and will happen.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 19:31
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have the localizer "on" on the runways

have the aircraft's nav radios on the assigned takeoff runway...tuned and identified (at the gate if you can).

make sure needle is centered before starting takeoff roll.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 20:01
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Oh here we go again with the " You can't possibly blame the crew yet as you don't know the facts" ish arguments.

Fact: Irrefutably the aircraft commenced its take off run on the taxiway (I've taxied down them, I do KNOW what they're like).

Apparently there was a 3rd set of eyes on the flightdeck too.

Yes modern airports are more complex than they used to be, so even more reason to concentrate - that's why airline front ends usually get paid the big bucks.

I reiterate that the punters have the right to expect high levels of professionalism from the crew. This couldn't have happened here because of the fact above. Whatever happened to the old adage 'don't assume - check'.

I flew from 1973 to 2009, no crew I was on did anything like this. We've even taxied around crappy airports in Africa in the middle of the night, with controllers that barely spoke the language - and we still didn't do this.

10/10 for the Chep Lap Kok tower/local.

The PC brigade can now have a go at me, but frankly, I don't give a ****. The only possible understandable mitigation would be LVPs which can be incredibly fraught, but that obviously wasn't the case since ATC gave the call.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 20:15
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2 questions.

Has the runway got white edge and centreline lights and were they on?

Has the taxiway got green centreline lights with blue edge lights at corners and were they on?

Sir George Cayley
 
Old 1st Dec 2010, 20:29
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TWY vs RWY

How many times before someone has the bright idea of colouring the taxiways with red asphalt?
How many times you need to study the difference between the RWY and TWY edge lights or lamps ?
I am sure that "FireflyBob", even if alone in cockpit (2 eyes only) in the middle of the day should easily spot the difference.

The aircraft heavy or not does not matter, if TWY was the same length as RWY, as they usually are, the ONLY problem would be if other aircraft was using the same TWY...

PS
I guess this incident might have to do something with sushi and ooooo'sake
 
Old 1st Dec 2010, 20:30
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Indeed.
Historically this is one of the recurrent incidents, often several per year.
From memory and picking at a few official reports the common themes seems to be poor signage, poor or missing lighting and work in progress.
Add an unfamiliar and complex airport at night and you have a powerful recipe for loss of situational awareness.
There is seldom a simple cause, just the proverbial holes in the swiss cheese lining up again. The official report will, as usual, make interesting reading.

The man who never made a mistrake never made anything.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 20:30
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We might actually be in the presence of a bonefide skygod in Mr Dude. All those years flying and never made a mistake that could have led to the aircraft being endangered? Now that would be some claim and worthy of the above title. Perhaps, sir, you should read the report on the DAL crew who landed on the taxiway at their home base, Atlanta, last year. You might have roundly questioned their 'professionalism' as you say, but perhaps even you might even accept that there was a lot more to that incident (and likely this one) than lack of professionalism...
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 23:12
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TDK mk2 -
We might actually be in the presence of a bonefide skygod in Mr Dude. All those years flying and never made a mistake that could have led to the aircraft being endangered?
I venture to say that 999 out of 1000 pilots [ myself included ! ] could easily make the same claim. Perhaps even a greater percentage. Otherwise flying would REALLY be unsafe.

Edit: I only put in 30 years flying these things.

Last edited by DC-ATE; 1st Dec 2010 at 23:47.
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 23:56
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Dengue Dude

1977. KLM Chief Pilot launches on the Runway as Pan Am taxis opposing, same asphalt. Lots of experience, lots of ego, lots of FO fear. If anyone learns, how soon they forget, eh?
 
Old 2nd Dec 2010, 00:15
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I am no PPL holder or can call me a pilot in any case (other than on my iPhone and rc helis, ha ha) - but I work in Medicine. Before we even attempt to do a procedure as simple as a contrast injection or a thyroid biopsy we have to do what is called a timeout - verify patients name, the procedure and the side. This has to be signed by the MD (me) and a witness and is a legal document. So, if we attempt to do the left nephrectomy of Ms Smitt we verify the side, procedure and the patient, so that Ms Smith and we have a chance to actually leave her with her kidney and better remove the appendix...

Now, YOU guys have 100+ pax behind you and are still able to take of from a taxiway (at least attempt to), fully loaded with fuel on a many ton multimillion dollar piece of equipmeni. Why is there no checklist point included into the pre takeoff CL verifying the actual runway? Last point - verify runway heading as given by clearance. It seems to me that these incidences are way too often to be just happening occasionally - and some are deadly. I remember a couple, adding to the DAL in Atlanta I believe there was a Continental in NWR landing on a taxiway...

Last edited by grimmrad; 2nd Dec 2010 at 01:00.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 00:25
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Link Would appear they are not the first... including "locals", so instead of jumping to criticise, there appears to be something there making this rather "possible"

NoD
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 00:40
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Grimmrad

In all airlines there are procedures in place that would have the crew verify the runway/runway intersection, the performance has been calculated for that intersection etc. I believe a lot of threat and error management techniques in medicine were originally derived from aviation systems.

The problem happens when distraction or complacency interfere with the threat and error management model it leads to an incident. Much like in medicine where they still have cases of removing the wrong part. Aviation still has cases of taking off on the wrong runway.
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