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Etihad A330 straddles runway edge lights in low vis takeoff at AUH

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Etihad A330 straddles runway edge lights in low vis takeoff at AUH

Old 30th Jan 2012, 11:13
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Etihad A330 straddles runway edge lights in low vis takeoff at AUH

Just before midnight Z in Abu Dhabi on 29th Jan EY45 an Etihad flight to Dublin lined up on R/W 31L. Low vis procedures were in force with RVRs of 150 meters to 200 meters. The crew mistook the runway edge lights for the runway centreline lights and straddled them.

The flight aborted takeoff with a burst nose wheel. It had damaged 11 runway edge lights. The tug had difficulty finding the aircraft and said the visibility was about 20 meters. The aircraft was eventually towed back on to stand. The ground vehicle said there was considerable debris and broken glass on the runway. The runway was swept.

ATC would not allow any aircraft to take off as the runway lighting was damaged. Requests to take off from the opposite direction or intersections were denied.

ATC said that the other runway 31R could be used for takeoff but only if RVR's were above 550 meters. This did not happen until well after sunrise.
The incident in effect stopped all aircraft movements for 4 hours leading to numerous cancelled flights.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 11:26
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They obviously used the ILS to check they were lined up on the centerline!
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 11:35
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Easy to do?

Hmm... Blue edge green centreline ... Guess its easy to be critical, but yes , the LS button might have helped a bit...
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 11:54
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Hmm... Blue edge green centreline ... not on the actual runway though!
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 12:37
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Blue edge
on the runway?

Quite difficult to be critical

Not the first time that the colors are mixed up.
BTW what is the spacing of the edge lights at AUH? I guess the standard 30m, then 11 lights would be 330m; must have been some bumpy takeoff roll before they knew they were on the edge...
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 13:53
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Edge lights 60m (standard) centerline 15m...
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 14:27
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For those who wonder how this sort of incident can happen: When you can only see say 4 lights in poor vis it is easy to think they are the centreline ones especially if you can see no other lights to your left or right. The centreline and edge lights are the same colour.

Having ILS and or PVD selected confirms the aircraft is in the middle of the runway. You need to know if the airfield has centreline lights or not.

Last edited by suninmyeyes; 30th Jan 2012 at 14:45.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 14:30
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Maybe, and I'm just spitballin' here, we ought to not go when the viz is 150 M.

My company allows it too....
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 14:43
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Can't you find a pix of the computerised yoghurt pot 330 instead of the mighty 777?
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 17:38
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Can anyone confirm that another aircraft prior to this one, entered and lined up 31L and then had to ask tower to turn on the center line lights, because the center line lights were off????

If this were true, it could have implications too!
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 18:10
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I don't know about the previous aircraft but apparently the Etihad said that when the red stop bars went out and he was cleared on to the runway some of the runway lights went out.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 18:13
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Well, if they took off with reduced RWY lights at 150m RVR they are in a world of poo.
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 21:39
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If the taxi lights are as per EU then the CTR Taxi lights as you enter the rwy are green/amber. They lead you into the critical area and onto the rwy CTR line. If the rwy is also a landing rwy would not the full LVO carpet lighting be on, or is that off for takeoffs? A rwy is 45-60m wide. The RVR is >125m. Why should you not be able to see both sets of edge lights?
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Old 30th Jan 2012, 21:40
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The tug had difficulty finding the aircraft and said the visibility was about 20 meters.
Really?
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 07:26
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The day before I had to stop a few times when taxying because the taxiway centre and edge lights went out,the other company aircraft behind me experienced the same thing. Believe it was switching thing as we were "following the greens". We were operating to CAT IIIB, the challenge was finding our way about on the ground and this was home base.
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 11:17
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Quote:
The tug had difficulty finding the aircraft and said the visibility was about 20 meters.
Really?
I guess if that's what the Tug driver said, it must be so.

Where do you people come from.
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 11:45
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RVR is not visibility!
With an RVR of (reportedly) between 150 and 200m, the "road" visibility is usually less then 50m.
You really don't want to get in your car with that RVR's; 20m is probably not far off.
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 12:34
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There are big issues wth the lighting in AUH. The taxi lights from the holding piont that lead to the centreline lights were inop for a previous depature and another aircraft had to ask for the centreline lights to be turned on.
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Old 31st Jan 2012, 14:30
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Actually, I feel more comfortable in an aircraft in those conditions rather than on the road. When you see a vehicle with hazard lights on(barely) in this region, you don't know if he's stopped on the shoulder or barreling down the road, or shoulder, at 140 KPH.
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