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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

Old 21st Dec 2016, 23:44
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Bloggs,

I guess it must be different today. LAX was my base. In my last two years (88-90) I flew the L1011 to HNL. We were always at MGTOW. Clean climb was around 275 KIAS. We didn't request it, we advised them we were accelerating to 275.

And, in all the types I flew at TWA 280 was turbulence penetration speed below the Mach cross-over altitude. If we were really getting bounced around we would advise them we were doing 280 below 10,000 for turbulence. Never got any static from ATC on that one either. Obviously, we had to hang stuff out and slow down at some point, but usually that was down low enough that the crummy air had diminished.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 01:45
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Originally Posted by Huck
When training for my IFR ticket thirty years ago, I was in Van Nuys, California (just on the other side of those hills) when a Cessna with student and instructor on board was vectored into a mountain when on approach to Burbank...
In an odd coincidence, some 30 years ago when I was just learning to fly out of El Monte (I lived in Pasadena) a controller vectored us into a mountain. The instructor declined, I had maybe 5 hours at the time.

Finally got my ticket when we moved to SBP, much less stressful.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 05:42
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Originally Posted by Silver Pegasus
So close...
The FlightRadar24 .kml file in the link I posted above has a point plotted at 09:25:10 UTC at an altitude of 6275 feet less than a mile from an antenna on aterpster's terrain chart that shows the antenna top at 6634 feet.

The FR24 positions seem to be very close to the runway on the takeoff roll.

FlightAware has a similar point in its data at 09:25:07 UTC showing an altitude of 6200 (apparently rounded to nearest 100 feet) that also plots very near the antenna farm on Mount Wilson.

EVA Air (BR) #15 ? 15-Dec-2016 ? KLAX - TPE / RCTP ? FlightAware

The EGWPS would have been screaming OBSTACLE, OBSTACLE PULL UP! and/or TERRAIN, TERRAIN PULL UP! with some hard to ignore visual cues on the PFD on the planes I've flown. I realize there are many modes, revisions and database options but I can't see how any EGWPS in a Triple would not see those hills rapidly rising.

Originally Posted by aterpster
Three Lima Charlie: I believe they were given the Ventura Seven, which is a radar vector SID.
Yep, and the filed flight plan started out VTU7 RZS so that seems reasonable.

Last edited by Airbubba; 22nd Dec 2016 at 18:10.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 06:42
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Some thoughts,

It appears that ATC is approving high speed(above 250K below 10,000 feet) climbs in the US when they are not allowed to do so. As someone mentioned, if if greater than 250 knots below 10, 000 feet is needed for safety reasons, it is already approved by the regulations.

If given a vector that is more than a 180 degree turn, confirm the direction on the readback(or reedback as the LAX ATIS always says).

If terrain is high, consider delaying the higher speed climb until clear of terrain for various reasons.

If significant terrain is around, have the terrain display function selected as a backup to a potential unsafe vector toward terrain.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 07:46
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To my US friends :
What I hear here only confirms my earlier thoughts about FAA and ICAO differences based on the old " "we do things differently in the US because we have most of the aircraft flying in the world" That was true until 20 years ago, now Asia is catching up , and you get more and more non-US airlines coming into your airspace. Have to get used to it , the Chinese also are going to outnumber you in number of aircraft in a few decades.
Even with Trump around, it is just plain demographic arithmetic.( and Boeing/Airbus order books)
You need common rules to fly together and I bet you FAA rules it won't be.

Time for the US to learn and apply ICAO phraseology I would say .An better make a plan do this smoothly now instead of in a hurry after 400 bodies on the ground somewhere.

On the 250 Kts below 10.000 , this is not to bother pilots nor a " power" thing for ATC . It is there for 2 things :1) giving time to spot and avoid VFRs (and give a chance to VFR to spot you) and 2) survive a hit from a bird in the windscreen ( Civil aircraft certification limit) This is a rule, written down in AIPs. So individual controllers have to apply and you have to follow , or make a request to differ.
And the outcome of that request will depend on what the local authority (e.g. FAA) wrote in the ATC Ops manual that controllers have to follow.

ATC is not there to " make " or " wave " rules . it is there to apply them for the safety of everyone around , not only one aircraft. . As to the machos " My Ship" I do what I want , I pay you ..etc.." yes..good old discussions for the bar in front of 2 beers. Reality is very different . You know that.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 12:10
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I have listened to the ATC tape several times and I think this entire incident was caused by EVA015. At about 1:16 they read back 'left heading 180'. Now somebody* got their left and right mixed up, but the 180 degrees direction is pretty clear, and yet they turned north. From then on, despite repeated instructions by ATC, EVA015 does virtually the opposite of what is asked, bringing it into conflict with Air Canada 788. This takes up valuable time while the controller tries to resolve that problem. The EVA015 radio pilot sounds more and more stressed and you can hear someone else in the cockpit shouting at him.

I think that the ATC instruction to turn 'southbound' is also pretty clear, given that EVA015 had ignored or failed to act on all the headings given since they initially turned the wrong way from 090, and were actually heading northbound. I am sure the controller was trying to give EVA015 some situational awareness here.

(Did EVA015 initially turn left onto 018 degrees, instead of 180 degrees, so thought they were following the instructions?)

A couple of points about the RT comms. I don't think the controller was at fault, but she was taking up time by giving frequency changes (to others) twice, e.g: "one one nine decimal nine five, nineteen ninety five", which is unnecessary and a bad habit. Also use of non standard phrases can be misunderstood. 'Nineteen ninety five' for example might not mean anything to a level four English speaker, who may be able to use standard RT phraseology to fly a plane, but might not be able to speak or understand conversational English, so this is another bad habit to avoid.

Secondly, although it did not cause a direct problem here - and they were not at fault at all - you can clearly tell that Air Canada 788 has not got a windshield on his microphone, so all his transmissions are distorted. Such poor quality transmissions do not help general understanding and SA. Also, unprotected mics will fill up with spit etc, so the noise cancelling function will stop working and then comms will become more and more difficult, but you - the speaker - will not realise why ATC cannot understand you properly.



*The EVA015 radio guy later seemed confused again: "left....right", and English is clearly not his first language.

Last edited by Uplinker; 22nd Dec 2016 at 13:50.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 14:24
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I’m guessing there was likely around 330-350 passengers onthis B777 300ER flight. As I listened to the ATC instructions (posted ATCaudio) and EVA15 crew responses and considering the flight path and altitude inheading into high terrain and even a potential conflict with ACA788, I thankedGod that somehow this snarl of poor interaction turned out OK for all of them. This couldeasily have turned out very bad.
Despite the back and forth snarled up communication going onbetween the ATC controller and EVA15, surely the EGPWS in that cockpit was screamingwarnings of closure on the high terrain, and assuming the FO’s-if the PNF- ND wason terrain mode (as would be normal) the impending CFIT issue should have beenclearly visible as well, requiring (their own) immediate evasive action asnecessary. IMO the ATC controller instructions were certainly not the most stellarperformance as well, and with unusual variance from more normal instruction protocol.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 15:47
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ATC Watcher:

On the 250 Kts below 10.000 , this is not to bother pilots nor a " power" thing for ATC . It is there for 2 things :1) giving time to spot and avoid VFRs (and give a chance to VFR to spot you) and 2) survive a hit from a bird in the windscreen ( Civil aircraft certification limit) This is a rule, written down in AIPs.
However, 250 below 10,000 wasn't always a rule. I can only speak to the U.S. When I went with TWA in January, 1964, their was no speed limit below 10,000 except within the old Airport Traffic Area (generally within 5 miles of the airport below 2,000 (or perhaps 3,000) agl).

The TWA/UAL mid-air over New York in December, 1960 finally worked through the regulatory system and sometime in 1964 or perhaps 1965 the rule was changed to 250 below 10,000 and within 30 miles of the destination airport.

Then in 1967 a TWA DC-9-10 was flying from KPIT to KCMH at 8,000. At more than 30 miles from CMH he was doing something near barber-pole. He overtook a Beech Baron and all aboard perished. That accident resulted in 250 below 10,000 in all U.S. domestic airspace.

The 1960 mid-air over NYC was in IMC, so it was not a see-and-avoid issue, rather more for more time to correct errors by pilots or ATC in terminal airspace.

The 1967 mid-air was about see-and-avoid.


Windshield limits were never a consideration in any of this rule-making, at least so far as I recall. There were a whole lot of high-speed operations below 10,000 from the advent of civil jet transports in 1958 until the present rule came about in 1968 (as I recall) from the 1967 mid-air.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 16:15
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
A couple of points about the RT comms. I don't think the controller was at fault, but she was taking up time by giving frequency changes (to others) twice, e.g: "one one nine decimal nine five, nineteen ninety five", which is unnecessary and a bad habit. Also use of non standard phrases can be misunderstood. 'Nineteen ninety five' for example might not mean anything to a level four English speaker, who may be able to use standard RT phraseology to fly a plane, but might not be able to speak or understand conversational English, so this is another bad habit to avoid.
Yep, that 'nineteen ninety-five' double readback stuff seems to taught in civilian flight training these days and is thought to provide extra redundancy to the communication. And sound cool. But, it sounds like CB radio jargon outside the U.S. and some folks never catch on to that ICAO R/T dialect.

'Delta One Six Six, line up and wait runway zero two center'

'One Sixty Six on the hold'

And it gets worse with Chinese metric RVSM...
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 16:34
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aterpster :
Thanks for the historical. . Learn something today! .

On the windshield /bird strike certification I remember during my training of a requirement that said aircraft windshields needed to be able to withstand a strike with a bird of a certain mass atthe maximum approach speed.because 99% of birds are found below 10.000 ft. and a very high percentage ( something in the region of 80-85% ) of actual bird strikes occur in departure and approaches phases.
I seem to remember both criteria were taken together to make a single rule below FL100. of a standard max speed acceptable for jets of the time i.e 250 Kts .
There was a proviso that certain aircraft types (i.e. military) could be exempted. That was long time ago. Maybe someone with better memory or wanting to dig into old books or internet can confirm or correct.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 16:39
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
The EGWPS would have been screaming OBSTACLE, OBSTACLE PULL UP! and/or TERRAIN, TERRAIN PULL UP! with some hard to ignore visual cues on the PFD on the planes I've flown. I realize there are many modes, revisions and database options but I can't see how any EGWPS in a Triple would not see those hills rapidly rising.
I think so, too.

For a flight tracking project, I've learned how to position a camera point of view very precisely in the 3D virtual globe of Google Maps. Using the BR15 ADS-B data on FR24, I can put a camera (or cockpit) position in the Google virtual reality and simulate a cockpit view (yes, simulating! Neglecting bank angle, time of day and weather, of course).

One data point before closest approach to Mt. Wilson would look like this:
https://www.google.de/maps/@34.21431.../data=!3m1!1e3,
using the position from the FR24 KML file, an interpolated track(turning!) of 67° (mean value between 59° and 75°) and an altitude AGL of 666 meters (FR 24 calibrated altitude 5625ft (1714m) minus Google Ground Elev of 1048 meters))

Closest point of approach, 306 meters above the ridge, now clear of the ridge.
https://www.google.de/maps/@34.21948.../data=!3m1!1e3

And a little bit earlier, over Altadena, at 4805', just starting the right turn (track 028° at that time).
https://www.google.de/maps/@34.18647.../data=!3m1!1e3

Use a modern, WebGL enabled browser to open the links (probably won't work on mobile devices).

EoD

p.s.
If you want to play with URL parameters ...
666a is camera elevation, 666 meters AGL
67h is viewing direction 67° (true)
89t is tilt angle (89=horizontal, 0=straight down/map view)
20y is camera opening angle, fixed
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 16:52
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ATC Watcher:

Indeed, the windscreens were tested by Boeing for some size bird (can't recall the size) at 250 knots. They used some type of cannon.

We were taught that value before the 250 below 10,000 everywhere came into the regs.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 17:02
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Airbubba:

The EGWPS would have been screaming OBSTACLE, OBSTACLE PULL UP! and/or TERRAIN, TERRAIN PULL UP! with some hard to ignore visual cues on the PFD on the planes I've flown. I realize there are many modes, revisions and database options but I can't see how any EGWPS in a Triple would not see those hills rapidly rising.
I don't know about the current EGPWS database, but when I was on a committee working RNP AR issues circa 2004-07, "peaks and obstacles" was a Honeywell option for the EGPWS. "Peaks" provided better point terrain resolutions and "Obstacles" provided tall buildings and antennas. If "peaks and obstacles" is still a database option, then EVA may not have had the Mt. Wilson antenna farm.

BTW, how do I get that Goggle Earth track file? I am not conversant with how to obtain the file.

I "flew" my Garmin trainer at 6,500 parallel to Mt. Wilson approximating the EVA track. The trainer has Garmin's actual database. It also has synthetic vision. All of the towers lit up like Christmas time, but the terrain did not. So, perhaps if EVA was level and flying parallel to Mt. Wilson there may have not been an EGPWS if the antennas weren't in the EGPWS database.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 17:52
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American pilots are not shy to use "unable" when asked a task by ATC. But Asian pilots may not be so confident in their environment. Taipei ATC would take a dim view of pilots dis-obeying ATC "commands". It is a potentially career ending move for Taiwanese pilots.
TAiwan air traffic is dense and it's important everyone follows their instructions.

Perhaps this caused them to not query why they are flying into mountains when they are supposed to be headed towards the ocean pronto.

Unconfirmed rumour has it the pilots have been suspended pending review. And no rumour here, the Taiwan CAA is looking into this incident closely.

Pilots facing dismissal and loss of license.

p.s. TAiwan is only 90 miles away and only 45 miles away from no fly zone of "enemy" China and there are constant military sorties around the island. ATC talks to Taiwan military in Mandarin (not English). Therefore even more important civilian flights follow their instructions to avoid conflict. Especially civilian flights commanded by pilots unable to understand Mandarin.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 17:53
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This is the 1:24,000 topo for Mt. Wilson with the highest antenna and three of the others plotted:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Mt Wilson.jpg (682.0 KB, 137 views)
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 18:01
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Originally Posted by aterpster
ATC Watcher:

However, 250 below 10,000 wasn't always a rule. I can only speak to the U.S. When I went with TWA in January, 1964, their was no speed limit below 10,000 except within the old Airport Traffic Area (generally within 5 miles of the airport below 2,000 (or perhaps 3,000) agl).

The TWA/UAL mid-air over New York in December, 1960 finally worked through the regulatory system and sometime in 1964 or perhaps 1965 the rule was changed to 250 below 10,000 and within 30 miles of the destination airport.
Thanks for sharing this historical insight.

That 250 knots below 10,000 within 30 miles lives on in places like Mexico where it's 250 at or below 10,000 AGL within 30 miles of any airport.

Originally Posted by aterpster
Airbubba:

I don't know about the current EGPWS database, but when I was on a committee working RNP AR issues circa 2004-07, "peaks and obstacles" was a Honeywell option for the EGPWS. "Peaks" provided better point terrain resolutions and "Obstacles" provided tall buildings and antennas. If "peaks and obstacles" is still a database option, then EVA may not have had the Mt. Wilson antenna farm.

BTW, how do I get that Goggle Earth track file? I am not conversant with how to obtain the file.
I also don't claim to know what options and database would be installed on a ROC registered 777 EGPWS but the installations I've recently flown will give a pop-up display of the rising terrain even if terrain is not selected on the nav display. In years past we would go over modes and sub-modes ad nauseam in training only to find that the ground school stuff had been superseded by a software update.

I've had the OBSTACLE warning in Mexico before when vectored near a hill with an antenna to intercept the approach course in hazy day VMC. We started a terrain avoidance maneuver and the warning quit as soon as the power came up and the nose rose. We were able to positively establish safe terrain clearance in day visual conditions so we broke off the approach and took a turn for another try. My coworker initially suggested continuing the approach but I decided to start again on the long VOR final just to sort things out (CYA these days ).

To view the .kml file on a PC (may also work on an Apple, I'm not sure), first download and install Google Earth using the blue 'Agree and Download' button:

https://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html

Then, go to this FR24 link and click on the KML button on the right side of the listing for 16 Dec to download the .kml file:

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/br15#be7fcf0

After the file has downloaded, click on 'open' or click on the .kml file in the folder. It should start Google Earth and you can zoom, tilt and turn to view the flight path and the terrain. Also, you can click on each data point to get time, speed, altitude and heading.

Hope this helps.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 18:51
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She tells them to turn FIVE times, each one acknowledged, before they actually turn. If you don't understand "turn southbound now" when you are told to do that, please don't fly to the USA!
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 18:52
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777-300 'UP' bug would be around 263 kts(?) at max gross weight.

They'd need that as a minimum if they were at max gross weight.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 19:12
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Many of these Asian carriers would have crews that would be confused by the phrase "turn southbound". To "turn" makes sense but "southbound" is not commonly used in aviation. in my previous life in a Chinese carrier, the FO in the jumpseat would be using the radio and the crew in the front seats would respond accordingly. Many old timers have marginal English and i have seen confusion unfold rapidly when the young kids are translating a non standard term to the guy with his paw on the tiller, especially in US airspace where rt is commonly non standard. I suspect that Eva crews have a better grasp of English than the uncles from the mainland however a bit more precise controlling would have helped.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 19:14
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Long haul.

Have you read the report into the GIV crash on takeoff here in Bedford, MA?

There are a lot of pilots that shouldnt be flying in the US!
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