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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

Old 22nd Dec 2016, 19:27
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
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.
I imagine that was happening. It seemed the voice of the EVA pilot got more serious as the mountains became closer, presuming the ATC youtube recording above has properly sync'd the flight path and the voice recording.

FWIW I found a pic of the Mt Wilson Antenna Farm as of 2001 and even then it was pretty impressive:



Originally Posted by Uplinker
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 don't think I'd go with "entire", but would say this thread seems to be fixated on radio terminology (which I can say is a pet peeve of this forum after reading it for more than a few years) and largely ignoring the fact that the crew was told to get to heading 180, and acknowledged that, and regardless of the issue regarding left turn vs right turn, flew heading 0.

Originally Posted by End_of_Descent
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))
Thanks for this link and the others, they were really informative. The view out the cockpit reminded me of ones from my Pilatus B-4 glider, and not the ones I'd like to see when departing from LA on large commercial transport!
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 19:31
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Originally Posted by oicur12.again
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!
Looks like they shouldn't have been flying in any country!
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 19:47
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ElectroVlasic:

The Mt. Wilson antenna farm hasn't probably changed much since that photo was taken. The really tall antenna is in the far distance and hardly shows in that photo.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 20:35
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If you cared to read through my posts carefully then you would realise I have said my operator is approved, not self approved, but approved by the FAA. Written in our manuals.

We operate fuel critical long range sectors out of the west coast, often at times with reduced reserves and every kg of fuel counts.
I operate similar sectors, but nowhere in our manuals does it say we can accelerate to high-altitude climb speed once clear of the coast. What are the exact words in those manuals, and which manuals are they?
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 21:57
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It's actually expected to address an older male as "Uncle". A sign of respect. Also, you're actually being rather presumptuously monoracial by assuming the original poster is Caucasian. Also, your wife makes you sit down when you pee. I stand by my tosser statement..
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 21:57
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Haven't flown EVA for about three years but up until then did so fairly often. The pilot was often an American or Australian, so are you sure of the nationality of the flight crew on this occasion?
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 22:54
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I wonder how the autopilot plays into this. I imagine the reluctance to click it off and roll the A/C to heading 180 could have resulted in the delay in turning. We all know how slow auto can be when you need him to do it "now".
Hence the hand flown break-out requirement on PRM approaches.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 23:52
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Originally Posted by Long Haul
If you don't understand "turn southbound now" when you are told to do that, please don't fly to the USA!
in much the same way I sometimes hear 'the good 'ole boys' not understanding ATC outside of their US home grounds Not often, but it happens...
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 00:13
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Originally Posted by End_of_Descent
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
Nice views, thanks for posting this. As you see, Google Maps and Google Earth don't depict the antennas very well, they are sort of poured down the side of the hill when viewed from some aspects.

Originally Posted by cappt
I wonder how the autopilot plays into this. I imagine the reluctance to click it off and roll the A/C to heading 180 could have resulted in the delay in turning. We all know how slow auto can be when you need him to do it "now".
Hence the hand flown break-out requirement on PRM approaches.
Even if the crew was indecisive over left or right to 180 and went straight ahead for a while they should have had plenty of EGPWS warning of the hills. In the sim it's hard to get a surprise warning since the hills pop up on the screen and you get close to a minute of notice through visual and aural cues before the PULL UP call.

There are modes and sub-modes and different Mark numbers of the EGPWS systems but I believe every 777 has it installed. But, I may be wrong. Remember years ago after a CFIT when it turned out that Air Inter didn't have GPWS in its A320's since it wasn't required for domestic carriers under French rules?

This was really a close one, like United's near CFIT at SFO in 1998:

United pilot inexperienced in landings nearly crashed 747

Saturday, March 20, 1999
By Glen Johnson, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A United Airlines jumbo jet that lost power in an engine during takeoff from San Francisco dipped low enough that its thunderous roar set off car alarms and sent airport neighbors scurrying for cover.

The pilot of the Boeing 747 so badly mishandled the recovery last summer that the plane cleared the 1,576-foot-high San Bruno Mountain, a few miles to the north, by only 100 feet, government and airline officials said.

"Pull up! Pull up!" shouted other pilots in the cockpit, as the electronic voice in the plane's ground-proximity device warned: "Terrain! Terrain!"
United pilot inexperienced in landings nearly crashed 747

Last edited by Airbubba; 23rd Dec 2016 at 00:29.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 00:48
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Long Haul,
Surely any turn instruction issued by a radar controller, (anywhere), should include the direction of the turn as well as the desired heading?
It's basic stuff, really.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 04:15
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I don't think I'd go with "entire", but would say this thread seems to be fixated on radio terminology (which I can say is a pet peeve of this forum after reading it for more than a few years) and largely ignoring the fact that the crew was told to get to heading 180, and acknowledged that, and regardless of the issue regarding left turn vs right turn, flew heading 0.
Looking at the radar plot, it looks very much as though they turned left and headed 018 degrees instead of 180 degrees. That mistake and then ignoring ATC is what caused this whole incident.

Surely any turn instruction issued by a radar controller, (anywhere), should include the direction of the turn as well as the desired heading?
It's basic stuff, really.
Most people heading 090 on being told to turn left heading 180, would query "confirm left heading 180?", and if ATC did require a left turn onto 180, they would normally say something like "left left heading 180" to indicate it was an unusual direction to turn for that kind of heading change.

However, whatever happened, EVA015 proceded to head 018 degrees and ignored all further orders to turn until it got serious in terms of terrain closure. With the EGPWS going off, and the exasperated controller saying "EVA015, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and telling them to turn southbound. the penny finally dropped and EVA015 probably then realised that they were in big trouble and started actually obeying ATC.

Last edited by Uplinker; 23rd Dec 2016 at 04:27.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 06:26
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I have flown to LAX several times and other major US airports and I totally agree with you. In very busy airspaces like those they should stick to ICAO phraseology to avoid missunderstandings and unnecessary RT congestions because your respond is "say again". We always mention ATC as a threat going into LAX. It also feels odd when you are number 3 or 4 in the line going in and you are cleared to land!
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 06:51
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Forgive me if I missed it, since I'm on my phone.

I feel like I've heard terrain mentioned on ATC transcripts before?

Such as "EVA015 expedite right turn, heading 270 for terrain clearance" or something like that? I obviously have essentially nadda comms experience, but I feel like I've heard that on accident tapes or general ATC recordings.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 08:22
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I heard a a heavy out of Melbourne being told "Expedite climb, terrain!" by ATC. So, yeah it happens.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 09:17
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uplinker ;
the penny finally dropped and EVA015 probably then realised that they were in big trouble
I normally do not comment on such posts , but yours since the beginning of this thread show very poor understanding of ATC and R/T communications . Why don't you read an learn for a while instead of posting things like his.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 10:44
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I have flown to LAX several times and other major US airports and I totally agree with you. In very busy airspaces like those they should stick to ICAO phraseology to avoid missunderstandings and unnecessary RT congestions because your respond is "say again". We always mention ATC as a threat going into LAX. It also feels odd when you are number 3 or 4 in the line going in and you are cleared to land!
Sounds like someone who hasn't flown much in the US and simply isn't used to American ATC. I am not native but flew in the US for over 3 years. Once you get the hang of it their ATC is superiorly efficient, imho. However, like driving in the UK, there may be little room for the ones that underperform. Like EVA showed in this case. It's all about what you are used to...
I think it's much better to get cleared to land further out without the stress of hanging on the stall warner (not literally) going into LHR, coz you can expect big bollocking if your wheels are to touch the ground before.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 12:53
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172_Driver, Therein lies the problem. "Once you get the hang of their ATC"

A lot of the long haul drivers do not regularly fly to the USA. Being in South East Asia, it is a very real possibility that you only head there a few times a year.
It could also be that they have never been there before. Combine that with a fatigued or underperforming crew member and you have the potential for a big problem.
Standard ICAO phraseology, while maybe a bit more cumbersome than the USA phraseology, will avoid these issues.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 12:56
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I agree with ATC Watcher...

Uplinker, they were turned left onto heading 180, which is the the long way round via a Northerly track.. Little wonder they got confused. Very poor ATC in my opinion!
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 13:53
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They ignored the first call to turn left to 270, which they read back. No SA.

The controller was definitely sloppy and should have been handling these guys very carefully as SoCal usually does with the marginal english speakers.

The controller shares a good but of the blame, but if the pilots were competent this wouldn't have happened.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 15:04
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Dorf I am not so sure.

She gave them a left turn the long way around to start with which she followed up with a string of rapid fire instructions including a range of level instructions. If indeed the initial instruction had the nose swing through a northerly direction in its way to 180 and she changed the direction of turn in a subsequent instruction then the machine is going to head north(ish) as it changes the direction of turn, something not easily discernible from the radar paint - coupled with a lag in the radar display vs the actual aeroplane and there is scope for a disconnect.

These guys do not have English as a first language and given her voice got higher and louder with each instruction they would be sitting there go "wtf" in their native tongue trying to figure out what the hell she wanted them to do.

If the aeroplane was turning left and then she countermanded the instruction with a right turn then getting a heavy fast jet (I.E. A heavy jet going fast, not a fighter for the pedants) to change direction isn't a snap roll type of thing and if you then add in the possibility (though I thought you would hear it in the background of their radio transmissions) the egpws going ape**** then there is the recipe for a cockup. There is the added question of whether in the 777 the autopilot always goes the shortest way to a heading or whether it goes in the direction the heading knob is turned. I don't know but it wouldn't surprise me if it takes the shortest turn to the selected heading, so to do a long way around turn you have to turn the heading knob slowly(ish) to get nose to within 180 degrees of the assigned heading before dialling in the assigned heading. Throw in some rapid fire instruction and directions of turn with the oddball "southbound" instruction and there is even more complication.

All in all the start of the problem was the first instruction and it unravelled from there.

I have flown in and through most continents and I find the us Atc to be challenging at times because of the rapid fire instructions that are not necessarily standard phraseology. South America is the worst because I can't for the life of me understand the accents at times, Russia is surprisingly good, though for some reason they always sound like they have a bucket over their heads.

I agree SA is important but whether it was the time and place to start the discussion about the direction of turn when they got the initial instruction is debatable, particularly from a cultural and language interpretation perspective.

In some other jurisdictions the **** would have started hitting the fan and not long afterwards a different voice would have come on frequency as the initial controller got stood down.
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