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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

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EVA B777 close call departing LAX

Old 23rd Dec 2016, 15:25
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Although her instructions weren't great, I believe the English proficiency of some foreign pilots has a lot to be desired. I don't think they understood that they were being asked to do, otherwise why would you continue to fly into some mountains instead of turning southbound!?

Interesting that Eva were given a right turn onto 180 which they completely ignored - hence they ended up going into the mountains.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 15:36
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crablab:
Interesting that Eva were given a right turn onto 180 which they completely ignored
I take it you can show this? The FAA report says differently.
Snakecharma: Spot on. Once you have started turning left (regardless of the nonsensical order), passing through North is going to be certain.
For me, the mystery remains; why was this flight the only one told, repeatedly, to turn "southbound"? I have no doubt a non-English speaking pilot would understand 180 degrees but the term "southbound" over the air may be a different issue. What we don't hear is the conversation on the flight deck that may, for all we know, gone along the lines of "What the hell is she talking about?" Or "left turn to 180? Well, you heard her, that was what she said".
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 15:38
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ATC watcher. Uplinker only made an observation & speculated what the EVA crew thought ATC had said. Yes I expect they suddenly got situational awareness if their EGPWS suddenly responded to the approaching terrain.
As for poor ATC well the USA is pretty lax but not any way the worst. One controller in another part of the world tx: Xxx for your information I have lots of the aeroplanes coming & going all over the place!
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 15:41
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I take it you can show this? The FAA report says differently.
It's on the ATC recording that's linked on the first post.
(Unless I'm completely confused and the mountains are not in a northerly direction?)
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 23:21
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crablab

Interesting that Eva were given a right turn onto 180 which they completely ignored - hence they ended up going into the mountains.
In the initial tx from the controller we do not hear whether she said "left" or "right" heading 180. We only hear EVA acknowledge "left" heading 180. The question remains whether she inadvertantly said "left" or if she did mean left as in all the way around. My own experience is that controllers generally, for clarity, add "the long way around" in their tx when giving such turn instructions. 98% of the time LAX traffic departs on westerlies and indeed turn "left" heading 180. There is an outside chance that in a moment of distraction (a great deal goes on simultaneously on a controller position) she did say "left" by habit. This may have confused the EVA. However, the crew should have immediately sought confirmation.
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 23:30
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Snakecharmer: spot on.

The initial "stop your climb" instruction came at a critical time. The controller issued contrary instructions to AC at first ("stop your climb, AC; correction, expedite yiour climb AC") and then to EVA "stop your climb!". All in a raised, urgent tone as if to say: imminent collision. Picture the EVA flightdeck: trying to correct the left/right thing then suddenly it's "STOP CLIMB NOW!" Any pilot knows what happens then: you will get the nose down ceratainly, probably to the brief detriment of getting onto the heading. They'd task shed. They would be briefly rattled; anyone would be. And THEN it was turn "left onto 29, correction, 270", towards the AC who they are thinking potential conflict with. "WTF?" they think. Pause. Then "what are you doing, turn southbound now". The shortest way being at that point..... a right turn now. No wonder these guys came back with "left..right..?" at one point.

Very confusing controlling. I have flown into LAX and other US airports a lot and this sort of stuff doesn't surprise me at all. Most of the Yank controllers are excellent; they have to be. But a significant number are too culturally insensitve, lack understanding of what goes on in a flight deck and seem to forget we're all on the same team. Trouble is, half the people's attitude over there is "if you don't like it or can't hack it, don't come here!"

Poor language skills by EVA, yes, but this is primarily an ATC problem all of their own making.

P.S. Please: every pro pilot knows a turn onto a heading the "wrong way round", is certainly not unusual. Off 06 or 07 in LAX and a left turn onto 180 deserves some extra confirmation, sure, but its not wrong, as such. I have routinely departed LAX from 24L and made LEFT turns initially before heading out to the north, north-east, to Vegas and beyond. Doesn't seem logical but its all about traffic flow. Now these guys read back the initial "left 180", providing the controller a opportunity to correct either her initial, erroneous instruction or EVA's misunderstanding of the turn direction, and she didn't take it. It all started at that point and went downhill with the poor controlling thereafter. Thank God its really only bruised egos....

Last edited by Ushuaia; 24th Dec 2016 at 03:52.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 00:45
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Hotel Tango
My own experience is that controllers generally, for clarity, add "the long way around" in their tx when giving such turn instructions.
Thank you for this observation, as a Pilot and the owner/teacher of an English for aviation language school this is good to know, the rest of the message (below isnt't aimed at Hotl Tango... Just some observations..

With my students, in all classes we run a section about RT used in the United States, which is for my students to have a broader knowledge of how the USA breaks from the norms of most of the rest of the world. As a commercial pilot based in Brazil you will find that a lot of your interational flying is done to the USA and, infact ANAC (th Brazilian FAA/CAA or what have ya) have molded there English exam (to some extent) with this in mind. However, I think that it is absolutely fundamental that when my students leave to take their exams that I can sleep at night in the knowledge that they have received more than just enough education to perform, that they understand that infact, ICAO 4 is far from perfect and while I can not cover every eventuality in the time that we have, the student will certainly continue to consider and study the many differences that exist between reality and standard RT in the States. When I have the time, I will start another thread on this... However, ANAC here in Brazil are now actively lobbying and petitioning the USA to improve and starndardize its phraseology to be inline with (most of) the rest of the world.

With regards to the quoted text, I actually just called a student, who is a commercial pilot for a blue airline here in Brazil, a 10k + hours captain, who has just received level 5.... When I asked him to readback and then to explain the message "turn soutbound, the long way around" after explaining that he was currently climbing through 6000 and heading 030...... The read back was a tongue twister, he mumbled long as something between long and wrong - he was also unable to explain in Portuguese exactly what the controller wanted him to do.... Setting him up in the same position and saying... turn left heading 180.... there were no problems at all, both the read back, and his explanation of the situation were perfect.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 02:53
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Took off easterly,a bit b4 Eva that day, in not your typical sunny LA weather with winds up to say 7000' being no factor for the climb(in a 74-4 just below max TOM).
Of course a direct track overhead Mount Wilson after t/o was no option, even with a slats extended climb and 250kts.

Having flown a mix off meds and heavies it strikes me how often ATC seems to have no clue of the ac performance, especially in areas like SA(Quito-Bogota, although Quito is getting much better).

Was just wondering how much training our ATC colleague's get in ac performance.

Any ATC lads/ladies who can enlighten?
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 06:43
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Saying " the long way around" is a classic example of where the US controllers go wrong as evidenced by JumpJumpJump 's story. If you want someone to be confident that the instruction is indeed meant to be 'the long way around' you simply say " turn left, left heading one eight zero".
There is so much extra jargon and unnecessary words used in the transmissions that it is no wonder the frequencies are often more congested than they otherwise would be.
I'm not excusing the Eva crew but the ATC was atrocious.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 10:27
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uplinker ;
Quote:
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.
Ha ha ha, ATC Watcher; that is priceless ! My comments in this thread refer to the ATC recording on the youtube link given in the first post, which I have listened to about 5 times. Perhaps I have missed something?

For what it is worth, I have 16 years commercial passenger flying experience, including 10 years flying heavy twin jets (A330) longhaul across the Atlantic to the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean. I have spent thousands of hours listening to and responding to ATC instructions, including some truly atrocious ATC in the Middle East, India and SE Asia.

The incident on this tape has some mistakes from both sides, but the first one and the majority of the others are made by EVA015. We don't hear whether ATC said 'left' in her original instruction, but that is immaterial. Given 180 degrees from a heading of 090 one would query a plain "left" instruction. But they did not query it and neither did they turn onto 180 degrees - they turned north (I reckon onto 018 degrees) !!

This put them into conflict with the Air Canada 788, who was minding his own business, following the GABRE SID, and the controller then had to rapidly prevent an airprox, by stopping the EVA015 from climbing, and telling AC788 to expedite their climb to 12,000'.

Yes, she starts to sound concerned and trips over herself a couple of times but faced with EVA015 being in completely the wrong place, approaching the AC788 and ignoring all her instructions, who wouldn't? Having got AC788 safely out of the way, she climbs EVA015 as she sees he is heading for Mount Wilson. She is not up to the extremely high standard of UK London TMA controllers, but the instructions she issues sound clear to me, and I would not characterize her performance as "atrocious", far from it.

I did wonder if EVA015 had suffered a compass malfunction, but they do eventually turn onto 180 degrees, so presumably not.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 12:09
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Uplinker
Yes, she starts to sound concerned and trips over herself a couple of times but faced with EVA015 being in completely the wrong place, approaching the AC788 and ignoring all her instructions, who wouldn't? Having got AC788 safely out of the way, she climbs EVA015 as she sees he is heading for Mount Wilson. She is not up to the extremely high standard of UK London TMA controllers, but the instructions she issues sound clear to me, and I would not characterize her performance as "atrocious", far from it.
I don't think that at any point the pilots were "ignoring" her instructions. Misunderstanding, misinterpreting or NOT understanding, maybe... but at no point was the controller being ignored.

Atrocious is a strong word, I agree, however.... Both parties were operating within the bounds of their respective licences. The EVA pilot must have at least ICAO level 4, if not his flight plan out of his home country wouldn't have been approved, the controller is also qualified and was operating under the rules and norms of her own country..... And therein we find the problem.

It is largely irrelevant that that clip clips the initial instruction from the controller as the controller had a final chance to spot the left turn was being initiated when the pilot readback "Turn left heading 180". RT communications should be a similar process as establishing who has control control... I have control > you have control > I have control...... in this sense should be.... Pass instruction > Readback > Listen to readback to assure that the readback was correct and that the pilot has understood the message.... or to assure that your first transmission was correct. So depending on the initial message, what we should have had here should have been either...

ATC: turn left heading 180
EVA: Turn left heading 180

or

ATC: turn left heading 180
Eva: turn left heading 180
ATC: Eva, Correction, turn right heading 180
EVA: Turn right heading 180

or

ATC: Turn right heading 180
Eva: Turn left heading 180
ATC: Negative EVA, I say again, turn Right heading 180
ATC: Turn right heading 180

Situation 1, would have led to a situation similar to what happened, but would have been resolved faster with the continued use of standard RT.

Situation 2 would have been a non-event.

Situation 3 would have been a non-event.

What will need to be addressed as an outcome of this event is whether or not the English Language Exam in the pilots state is sufficiently good fr international operations and whether or not US RT is sufficient for foreign pilots operating in the USA. It would also be worth noting the amount of time since the pilots took their English tests and whether or not sufficient time had passed since any language training was given in which the pilots would have suffered a decline in their language skills. However, I am still willing to say that the major factor here was the American system, and that further cross cultural training and a tightening of the US standard RT system MUST be given, whilst I think that this must be rolled out at all stations across the nation, it should DEFINATELY be improved upon at all centers and at all TMAs of international airports. This wasn't necessarily the direct fault of the individuals involved.

Last edited by JumpJumpJump; 24th Dec 2016 at 12:11. Reason: SPAG
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 12:50
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Uplinker:
jumpx3 is very kind with you to explain how it normally works, , and he is 100% correct .
I am however a bit puzzled by 2 points in your reply :
I have 16 years commercial passenger flying experience, including 10 years flying heavy twin jets (A330) longhaul
and
I did wonder if EVA015 had suffered a compass malfunction,
Not really compatible I would say.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 14:35
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JumpJumpJump

Well said. I would also add:-

Eva: Request high speed.
ATC: Negative. Do not exceed 250kts.

A stupid request from EVA whist still tracking away from destination, foolishly granted by ATC. Allowing the A/C to increase speed during a large turn only complicates her task to get the A/C eventually tracking towards its destination.

ATC: EVA, What are you doing?

Even the French "say edding" would have been better!

Always was such a welcome sound - that first contact with Scottish or Shannon control after a trip across the pond.

Last edited by c.j.shrimpton; 24th Dec 2016 at 20:16. Reason: bloody spellchecker!
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 15:27
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When I turn aircraft the long way around:" EVA15 it will be a left turn on course today, turn left heading 180". I also only give the non English types one instruction at a time. May take a few extra transmissions but you save time not having them asking to confirm something or a long winded reply. With the US not being responsible for errors in read backs, I sometimes wonder if they pay attention or if they are already onto the next task in their mind. And did I hear correctly she assigned an altitude with a frequency change and didn't receive a read back? Seemed like an accident/incident waiting to happen.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 15:27
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All Boeing products afaik turn in the direction closest to the HDG target in AP HDG mode. So to turn left to 180 from 90, you would need to turn the heading bug left to 350ish degrees, wait until close, then continue the knobbing left to 180. But I don't suspect any of us know what AFS lateral mode they were in. Likely HDG mode, but we don't know.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 15:48
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Some observations:

I have watched movements on FR24 prior to this incident. Runway change took place just after midnight (local time), about 1 hr and 15 mins prior to EVA15's departure. During all this time every southerly departure turned right onto 090 followed by a further right turn heading 180. There were no left (all the way around) vectors for any previous departures. Furthermore with the ACA departing off 06R it is incomprehensible that EVA would have been given a deliberate clearance to turn left all the way around as this would have immediately created a conflict with ACA (as it in fact transpired).

So, again it comes down to the unheard (by us) initial tx by the controller. And indeed, as mentioned by Uplinker, the EVA initially turned left and flew on a heading of approximately 018. So, did they hear "left heading 180" and, instead of confirming with ATC, put the emphasis on left and decided "oh she must mean 018"? Who knows?

The official transcript will in time shed more light. What was said on the F/D will also be of interest, but that will probably never be known.
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 16:42
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Originally Posted by physicus
All Boeing products afaik turn in the direction closest to the HDG target in AP HDG mode. So to turn left to 180 from 90, you would need to turn the heading bug left to 350ish degrees, wait until close, then continue the knobbing left to 180. But I don't suspect any of us know what AFS lateral mode they were in. Likely HDG mode, but we don't know.
I was thinking maybe the Boeings turned in whatever direction the heading bug went for a turn of more than 180 degrees. In other words, if you start cranking the heading to the left, the plane banks left and will not reverse turn direction if you continue turning the heading knob more than 180 degrees from the current heading.

But, I'm not sure. Some of this detail stuff on the avionics and automation is 'pin selectable' like the single cue or crosshairs flight director. And some of the autoflight behavior is subtly different with with different engine and airframe combinations.

So I do exactly what you describe, walk the heading bug around keeping it less than 180 degrees from the aircraft's passing heading.

Originally Posted by Hotel Tango
And indeed, as mentioned by Uplinker, the EVA initially turned left and flew on a heading of approximately 018. So, did they hear "left heading 180" and, instead of confirming with ATC, put the emphasis on left and decided "oh she must mean 018"? Who knows
I'm trying to think if I've ever had a heading like 018 (other than maintain runway heading) given for vectors in airline flying. If that's what I thought we heard, like everyone here says, I would question and confirm.

Also, is there an ICAO ATC phrase that implies 'turn the long way around'?
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 16:54
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FAA Order 7110.65—the ATC handbook—lays out the vectoring toolbox in section 5-6-2. Let’s roll with the basics: “FLY HEADING (degrees).” The controller wants you to turn to the assigned heading, but which direction should you turn? The Pilot/Controller Glossary’s Fly Heading entry says, “The pilot is expected to turn in the shorter direction to the heading unless otherwise instructed by ATC.” If you’re heading 089, and ATC says “Fly heading 270”, you’ll make your turn to the left. If there’s ever any ambiguity—for instance, if you’re flying 090 degrees and ATC wants a 270-degree heading—verify the direction with the controller.

If ATC indeed needs the turn in a certain direction, they’ll employ the second tool: “TURN LEFT/RIGHT HEADING (degrees).” Let’s say you’re heading 089 degrees again and need a westbound turn, but off your left wing there’s an obstacle or traffic. “Turn right heading 270” ensures you make that turn in a safe direction. If the direction is truly critical or the turn direction is counterintuitive, controllers may add extra emphasis, such as, “Turn right—again, turn right—heading 270.”
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 17:09
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
<<<SNIP>>>

Also, is there an ICAO ATC phrase that implies 'turn the long way around'?
The phrase "Long way round" is in many aviation phraseology collations.

Photocopiable Glossary of Aviation Terms Word Definition and examples Resolution | Toni Lazarovski - Academia.edu

Normally, repeating 'left' twice is sufficient with emphasis on one of the left's is sufficient: "Left, left, heading 180" -- this avoids the query: "XXX confirm left180?"

Adding 'the long way round' is also common for the same reason and just avoids the potential queries or worse a direct right turn despite saying "left". "Left, left the long way round, heading 180"
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 17:10
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Originally Posted by Back2Final
When I turn aircraft the long way around:" EVA15 it will be a left turn on course today, turn left heading 180". I also only give the non English types one instruction at a time. May take a few extra transmissions but you save time not having them asking to confirm something or a long winded reply. With the US not being responsible for errors in read backs, I sometimes wonder if they pay attention or if they are already onto the next task in their mind. And did I hear correctly she assigned an altitude with a frequency change and didn't receive a read back? Seemed like an accident/incident waiting to happen.
I keep hearing in posts here that in the US controllers have no read back responsibilities. That is not true. They are required to monitor and correct a bad readback and face discipline if they miss a bad readback. What is true in the US is that as a pilot if you read back a clearance wrong and the controller fails to catch the error it does not absolve you from possible FAA action.
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