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Near miss with 5 airliners waiting for T/O on taxiway "C" in SFO!

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Near miss with 5 airliners waiting for T/O on taxiway "C" in SFO!

Old 10th Aug 2017, 14:55
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Nice aterpster!

It would be interesting to plot some of the ADS-B data points against the procedure. To my eye it does not look like the aircraft made the turn across the bridge towards F101D, perhaps suggesting the PF was already hand flying prior to the bridge.

Incidentally it's JANYY instead of JANNY (a different waypoint near Los Angeles).
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 14:58
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Framer, thanks for the recognition but Atcos like millions of other people, including pilots,
work during the day and during the night. I never heard of problems due to circadian cycles
in my time in the air and in Atc. In Atc one of the skills is in knowing what the aircraft are going to say before they say it. It works, most of the time. Also it is unlikely that even a single controller on duty in the Tower will be alone. Alongside him/her will be a clued-up assistant.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 15:16
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Originally Posted by peekay4
Nice aterpster!

It would be interesting to plot some of the ADS-B data points against the procedure. To my eye it does not look like the aircraft made the turn across the bridge towards F101D, perhaps suggesting the PF was already hand flying prior to the bridge.

Incidentally it's JANYY instead of JANNY (a different waypoint near Los Angeles).
Thanks for the catch. I'll correct it and repost with TRDOW included.

I am familiar with JANNY, a STAR into KBUR.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 15:31
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Originally Posted by 413X3
At that time of night, the single controller is clearance, ground, and tower. He/she has enough to do than remind a pilot to do their job and read the notam and listen to the atis.
I agree entirely. That was not what I meant.

My analysis is this. When the pilot is cleared to land on 28R, there is an implicit instruction here to be careful not to land on 28L. These pilots were so fixated on avoiding L that they lined up on a taxiway. There's been a lot of discussion about technological solutions, and hand-wringing that the plane was not equipped with GPS. I'm offering the idea there may be a simpler solution.

Let me reframe my inicial suggestion. How about, when one runway is not visible, atc drops the L and R, and simply says cleared to land on 28. Cognitive dissonance should then snap any pilot, whose not as prepared as they may be, out of a tunnel-vision routine.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 15:34
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Good to see outside-the-box thinking but it's not workable operationally or legally. Eg., procedures are often runway specific, performance calculations, etc., and may create unintended consequences. All else equal it's better to give pilots the full picture rather than hiding info from them.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 16:43
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Originally Posted by portmanteau
Framer, thanks for the recognition but Atcos like millions of other people, including pilots, work during the day and during the night. I never heard of problems due to circadian cycles in my time in the air and in Atc. In Atc one of the skills is in knowing what the aircraft are going to say before they say it. It works, most of the time. Also it is unlikely that even a single controller on duty in the Tower will be alone. Alongside him/her will be a clued-up assistant.
I certainly don't feel on the top of my game during the night and work in a tower where I do work alone, all positions combined, without an assistant, usually using a crossing runway, noise preferential configuration answering phone calls about sundry crap.
Controlling the frequency (all frequencies are cross-coupled) is paramount and prioritizing your tasks to maintain control comes with experience. Just a couple of "say agains" and that control can be lost for a while and the timing of a take off clearance maybe delayed so that you can't shoot that gap any more.
Maintaining an effective traffic scan is paramount but there's no doubting I could do it better during the day when I was more alert and so don't push it. I do sit right next to the coffee machine though.
framer: If we fattened up the night shift to allow two controllers to work all night, we would lose one from the much busier times of the day which we already can't fully staff most days without copious overtime. If we can't staff the unit fully with what we do now, we're not going to get very close to adding one more on nights.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 17:13
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Originally Posted by peekay4
All else equal it's better to give pilots the full picture rather than hiding info from them.
Indeed. And one thing that's hidden from the pilots in a night visual approach is the runway ident, such as 28R, painted on the runway – not that clearly, but visible in daylight, not of course at night.
Suppose you replaced the arrays of red and white approach lights before the threshold (see photo on page 7 of this thread) with lights spelling the runway ident, suitably elongated on the ground so as to be readable from the angle of the approach?
And at places with a history or danger of taxiway approaches or actual landings, such as Seattle's taxiway T (or this one at SFO), maybe put lights similarly before the 'threshold' of the taxiway, spelling TAXIWAY or TWY, readable from the angle of the approach?

Last edited by OldLurker; 10th Aug 2017 at 17:31. Reason: clarify
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 19:39
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Originally Posted by peekay4
It would be interesting to plot some of the ADS-B data points against the procedure.
As previously discussed, the elderly ACA A320 was not equipped with GPS and so its ADS-B transmissions almost certainly didn't correspond with where it actually was.

Look at its track on FR24 and you will see what I mean.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 19:56
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I'm not talking about their actual flight path, but whether or not there was a turn to F101D (and then to the runway).

If they were on A/P until F101D, then even without GPS the ADS-B plot should still parallel the FMS procedure with the same turns, i.e., the same lateral & vertical profiles but just shifted a bit.

(I don't have an FR24 subscription else I'd plot it myself).
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 20:45
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Attached is the procedure in question plotted with the NCT MVAs and the SFO TAC. I have confirmed the procedure goes from terminal to approach sensitivity (RNP 1.0 to RNP 0.30) at F101D.
It appears you dont have SAMUL at 7DME shown.

F101D D4.4 (1200), SAMUL D7.0 (1500), JANYY D10.0 (2500)...etc.

The easiest way to get some valuable help would be to program the landing runway into the FMS as the last waypoint, with an extension on the aligned bearing.
It already is. When you call it up in the box, it is all there, to RW28R.

The design is squeezed a bit, with a 'FAF' at 4.4nm instead of 5nm, and the dogleg from SAMUL to F101D is in reality making F101D a FROP as well.

Last edited by underfire; 10th Aug 2017 at 21:09.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 22:10
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You're right. I missed SAMUL. It was early. It's easy enough to revise. And, F101D is certainly the FROP, but the designer labels it only as a FB and the "PFAF."
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 22:26
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Here's a revised view that includes SAMUL and is "zoomed in" a bit so none of waypoint names drop out in my GIS program's conservation routine.
Attached Images
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 23:43
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"And color vision at low light intensity suffers as well."

Originally Posted by jugofpropwash
Haven't heard this suggested, but some people's color vision is better than others - perhaps in this case, the pilot's color vision wasn't quite 100%?
Here's some information on the effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotopic_vision

That article links to the Purkinje effect, where color contrast and perception shift based on illumination levels.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 00:21
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
As previously discussed, the elderly ACA A320 was not equipped with GPS
Stunning. I've got GPS in my cars, and even when I'm hiking. As someone else noted, his car has a "lane departure warning". If he doesn't have his turn signal on, it warns him that he's not where he should be. It amazes me that this technology isn't on every commercial airliner, where the stakes are a lot higher. I have topo software, combine that with a GPS and there would never be another CFIT.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 00:39
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It's an entirely different world with airline airplane avionics. I can speak only in general terms to the Air Bus.

But, I can speak specifically to the Boeing 757/767. Those airplanes came on-line circa 1984-86. No GPS, so their FMS derived position from a combination of inertial and DME trig.

Enter GPS, when sufficiently mature for Boeing, and at Production Number XYZ, the build changed from the "brain dead" FMS to a far more capable FMS that included GPS.

If you had a 757/767 with the earlier FMS, you could "upgrade" for around $1 million per airplane, plus all the lost-revenue down time for retrofit.

Not exactly like changing the Garmin on your dashboard.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 01:49
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Not to mention the processor is a 486...The costs are really with the certification process for anything new or different. If that process was streamlined, it would really help.

Many of the features mentioned are being brought out in apps on the tablet, so it will only be a matter of time before it is part of the FMS.

It was only a few years back that SW began upgrading, putting in a display for #2, and adding VNAV. In reality, it was more expensive not to have the #2 display, and VNAV was there, just had the cover plate (which a bent paperclip could engage).
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 02:49
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Framer, thanks for the recognition but Atcos like millions of other people, including pilots,
work during the day and during the night. I never heard of problems due to circadian cycles
in my time in the air and in Atc.
Was that some time ago? I seems fairly well accepted by operational people in both roles that mental cognition is degraded during circadian low now.
framer: If we fattened up the night shift to allow two controllers to work all night, we would lose one from the much busier times of the day which we already can't fully staff most days without copious overtime. If we can't staff the unit fully with what we do now, we're not going to get very close to adding one more on nights.
With the current system yes. What I was suggesting is upping the total numbers so that the workload is reduced. Ie hire more ATCO's.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 02:53
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This post was made today in the Australian forum.
Top marks to the controller in Melbourne last night(around midnight)working Departures, Clearance Delivery as well as baby sitting Essendon with various aeromedical Kingairs arriving and departing, air ambulance chopper and Polair.

He was busier than a one legged man in a bottom kicking competition, as they say.

Nice work.
So my question is, is this type of ATCO workload ( that saves a couple hundred grand a year for Air Services) likely to be a factor in an aircraft accident within the next 30 years?
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 02:56
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Not to mention the processor is a 486...
Probably not even that... the 486 didn't exist when the A320 entered service. Most A320s run 286s; some very early ones had 186s.
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Old 11th Aug 2017, 03:19
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So my question is, is this type of ATCO workload ( that saves a couple hundred grand a year for Air Services) likely to be a factor in an aircraft accident within the next 30 years?
It has already been a factor. E.g., the Comair 5191 wrong runway takeoff crash at LEX.

Due to his schedule the controller was working alone after sleeping only 2 hours in the past 24. And the crash occurred on the "wrong side" of the controller's circadian rhythm -- he would normally be asleep at the time.

Since he was alone, the controller cleared Comair 5191 for takeoff before the aircraft had reached the intended runway and then attended other workload (administrative tasks) at the tower. That was a missed opportunity to notice that the aircraft had lined up on the wrong runway.
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