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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 17th Aug 2017, 20:32
  #861 (permalink)  
 
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First lessons learned, changes being implemented:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...fter-a-440380/
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Old 17th Aug 2017, 21:40
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Two controllers during the nighttime rush, no visual approaches at night when a runway is closed. That's something, I guess, at least for a quick and easy fix. Hopefully it'll cover some of the holes in the cheese.

Last edited by Carbon Bootprint; 17th Aug 2017 at 21:53.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 00:02
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Originally Posted by underfire View Post
When they passed 3 feet over PAL (with their lights on), do you think they realized they were on the taxiway?

Did they hear UAL radio they were on the taxiway 5 seconds before GA? Did they see UAL pass under them?

To continue to say they thought they were on the runway is disengenuous to say the least.

They never said we did the GA because we saw we were landing on the taxiway.

Again, denial of the simple facts.
You seem to be going round in circles.

Are you still asserting that the crew denied they were on the taxiway ?
Given the FACTS......

Yes

Insert
I swear I was on the RWY, I did call in and ask why there were aircraft on the runway,
I did not hear UAL on radio say that I was on the taxiway,
I passed over one aircraft on the runway, then
I did not see that I passed 3 feet over aircraft with that just turned its landing lights on...
but I decided to do a go around because I was not on the taxiway, but something just did not seem right.

Glad I had 2 days to practice my story and , ooopsies, no CVR.

It is interesting that pilots want to claim they are responsible for the aircraft....until something happens, then the blame game surfaces.

Last edited by underfire; 18th Aug 2017 at 00:17.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 02:43
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Originally Posted by underfire
Given the FACTS......

Yes

Insert
I swear I was on the RWY, I did call in and ask why there were aircraft on the runway,
I did not hear UAL on radio say that I was on the taxiway,
I passed over one aircraft on the runway, then
I did not see that I passed 3 feet over aircraft with that just turned its landing lights on...
but I decided to do a go around because I was not on the taxiway, but something just did not seem right.

Glad I had 2 days to practice my story and , ooopsies, no CVR.

It is interesting that pilots want to claim they are responsible for the aircraft....until something happens, then the blame game surfaces.
Versus:

"Lets make an approach to the taxiway full of aircraft ...
To cover our butts, let's make a call that 'something doesn't seem right' ...
To make it really exciting we'll do a go-around at the last possible moment..."

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Old 18th Aug 2017, 03:21
  #865 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by underfire
Given the FACTS......

Yes

Insert
I swear I was on the RWY, I did call in and ask why there were aircraft on the runway,
I did not hear UAL on radio say that I was on the taxiway,
I passed over one aircraft on the runway, then
I did not see that I passed 3 feet over aircraft with that just turned its landing lights on...
but I decided to do a go around because I was not on the taxiway, but something just did not seem right.

Glad I had 2 days to practice my story and , ooopsies, no CVR.

It is interesting that pilots want to claim they are responsible for the aircraft....until something happens, then the blame game surfaces.
Cool story bro.

You get all of that from "we believed we were on 28R". Amazing.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 04:46
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IF there were two controllers, one to check if no one lines up wioth taxiway, waterway etc. ....
IF there was only a RNP 0.11 RNAV approach that could be completely coupled with the AP ....
IF there was a great big orange lit cross marking 28L closed, a great big orange lit cross marking the beginning of taxiway C and bright, standard lighting for 28R ....
IF there were sharp pilots on each and every aircraft on taxiway C warning any fellow pilot wrongly lining up to it ....
IF there was any a "optic-radar-laser-differential GPS positioning-high precision" measuring and warning unity installed on every possible approach vector for every possible and published approach for every runway ....
... and maybe a German shepherd dog on every extended runway bearing who could bite a highly trained flagman equipped with a VHF transceiver if it spots a deviation of an approaching airliner ....

Then we could proceed another step closer to pilotless aircraft.

See what i'm drifting at?
Even if there were contributing factors, this still remains a huge f%ck up of two highly trained professionals who would defend their above average salary with the above average responsibility they assume.

Stand for it! It is the pilots who are finally responsible for a safe flight.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 05:25
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Incomplete Pass, er, Questions

Without getting into any of the contentions about the mechanics of flying specific approach profiles or the contours and structure of any of those profiles, there is one aspect of the, shall we call it, back-and-forth with underfire, about the blameworthiness of the pilots, which should be called out. Anyone who has taken a witness's statement in a preliminary setting or situation, when the factual picture is far from complete, will admit it is a rare indeed situation where a more complete factual recitation - through Q&A - is not elicited once the facts reach their ultimate level of development or discovery.
The point this sets up is simple: the snippets of verbal responses the pilots are quoted in the preliminary Board report as having said were the product of a rather preliminary type of questioning by Board staff, were they not? If a detailed, meticulous and methodical Q&A were to be conducted upon a full factual record, common sense and experience strongly indicate that a clearer picture would emerge about there having been a moment of shocking revelation when what they thought was 28R was shown to be the taxiway instead. When exactly this moment occurred, I would argue, is not determined by the snippets of verbal responses quoted in the preliminary report. Of course the apparent failure to preserve the CVR makes the pilots look worse than they already did (and the carrier, and possibly FAA), and causes some presumably significant (useful and relevant) information to be unavailable. But that fact does not convert an ambiguous set of short-hand answers into a detailed, moment-by-moment timeline. Particularly with respect to the moment when the nature of the concrete they had had in sight on the first approach was revealed with accuracy.
If this is giving too much credit to the ambiguities apparent in the reported statements by the crew, I am sure various posters will drive right at it and cause it to dive into oblivion.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 06:23
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Originally Posted by underfire
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
You seem to be going round in circles.

Are you still asserting that the crew denied they were on the taxiway ?
Given the FACTS......

Yes
OK, thanks for clarifying that. Then permit me to ask again the second part of my original question, that you haven't answered:

Where and when did the crew issue that denial?

You do know what "deny" means, don't you?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:18
  #869 (permalink)  
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from the Flight global article linked earlier :
he A320 pilots overflew the taxiway by about 0.25nm before controllers ordered it to go around. They descended to minimum altitude above the taxiway of 59ft and passed within 29ft laterally of one aircraft and 100ft above two others, according to US and Canadian investigators.

At the time of the incident, San Francisco's runway 28L was closed and unlit.

Pilots of the Air Canada A320 told US investigators they thought the lighted runway was 28L and that taxiway C was runway 28R, the NTSB said.
If this is indeed correct , then 90% of the posts on this thread are obsolete.

Point 1 : The controller became aware as he/she ordered a go around.But late .
Point 2 : 100ft above an 30 ft lateral , looks like it would not have resulted in the " worst collision ever" even if they would have actually landed on the taxi way .
Point 3 : they were misled by the lighting configuration and thought they were lining up with a runway. Confirmation of what we thought from the beginning.
Why is obvious , and the FAA change in procedures will definitively help in ensuring the repetition of this case is unlikely.

What do you want more? Hang the 2 pilots in the Control tower balcony?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:37
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
OK, thanks for clarifying that. Then permit me to ask again the second part of my original question, that you haven't answered:

Where and when did the crew issue that denial?

You do know what "deny" means, don't you?
As I have posted earlier:

* the crew queried 'something on the runway' :
* tower says no its clear all yours,
* the crew initiated a go around because they see things on the 'runway' that do not look quite right;
* Tower commands a go around;
* Crew responds we are in the go around - and are probably thinking - "we were right tower screwed up and there was traffic on the runway"

I doubt that the misconception was noted indeed it may have continued until the crew shut down. So there was no reason to 'deny' anything - it was a tower screw up and that was why they were being asked to call tower. Why should they protect the CVR if they thought it was a tower screw up?

It will be instructive to find out when the crew became aware that they had actually made an approach to the taxiway. I suspect their first response was "no - we made both approaches to 28R!"
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 07:39
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
If this is indeed correct, then 90% of the posts on this thread are obsolete.
The Flight article contains no new facts about the incident, only details that have been known for several weeks.

Nevertheless I'm sure that 90% of those who have posted during that period are feeling suitably chastened.

We look forward to more of your insights.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 08:08
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Dave :
The Flight article contains no new facts about the incident, only details that have been known for several weeks.
Some details were new to me at least , not everyone is the secret of the investigation, but you did not comment on my last remark, which was my point : : what are you all after now that the facts are known and remedy to prevent recurrence has been implemented ?
Why the hunt for a culprit at all costs ? We are supposed to be applying just culture in our daily jobs , but seem to be the first to deny this on this forum.

End of my "insights"
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 08:47
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what are you all after now that the facts are known and remedy to prevent recurrence has been implemented ?

ILS used for all approaches. Is there a problem with the spacing between 28L & 28R for a/c to use them both at the same time and hence the offset bridge approach? If so, and if a/c were spaced longitudinally at 2nm, could they use both ILS's at the same time. With equal speeds there would not be a lateral space problem. However, would there be a TCAS issue?
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 09:03
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What I do know is that they didn't set out to purposefully land on a taxiway, something screwed up their expectations.
I agree. Their expectations of a certain picture must have been strong.
If we can learn why they expected a picture that was obviously wrong we would be better off as in industry. If we get all pissy about who we should blame for this event will will be no better off as an industry.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 09:52
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Framer : I could not agree more .

RAT5 : I thought we have visual APP because it increases both efficiency and capacity . As a controller, if you all want ILS only and 2NM spacing ? no problem for me , on the contrary , but this means you all get down to the same speed to the Kt from the OM onward...abut even then , wake turbulence separation is likely to upset that.

would there be a TCAS issue?
on parallel APPs? , normally no. TCAS will only give you an RA is your tracks are converging and further no RAs below 1000 ft anyway.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 10:58
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Hi All
I've been following this incident with interest and observing the reactions of various people closely. OK my flying experience is limited to grass airfields so I don't know commercial airports but I would assume that the taxiways are lit differently to the runways. At least I hope so and I would expect pilots to know this. As to reactions to this kind of situation if I was an airline manager it would be summary dismissal. There is no excuse for endangering passengers in this way.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 11:33
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
Framer : I could not agree more .

RAT5 : I thought we have visual APP because it increases both efficiency and capacity . As a controller, if you all want ILS only and 2NM spacing ? no problem for me , on the contrary , but this means you all get down to the same speed to the Kt from the OM onward...abut even then , wake turbulence separation is likely to upset that.
Numerous airports in Europe, all busier then SFO (by flights), use almost only ILS. Rarely visuals, no RNAV, just 99% ILS. Even with 4NM spacing, slow and fast traffic.
So it can be done efficiently, but probably depends on layout and (noise) procedures.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 11:57
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I would assume that the taxiways are lit differently to the runways. At least I hope so and I would expect pilots to know this
......And I suspect if you asked the AC pilots involved before this incident about airfield lighting they will have have been happily be able to describe to you the difference between taxiway and runway lighting....indeed I'd bet a significant number of pilots who have landed on parallel taxiways instead of runways in broad daylight could describe Threshold Markings, Touch Down Zone Markings, etc.

. As to reactions to this kind of situation if I was an airline manager it would be summary dismissal.
That's the way to improve things..string them up, no need for further questions....but that improves safety for the rest of us who operate into "big" airports with multiple runways how, exactly? We know they stuffed up, they I'm sure know they stuffed up. I'm probably a bit of a soft old liberal but personally at the very least before firing them (if you must) I'd like to know why they didn't see the Gorilla, so I don't miss it the darned thing the next time I go into the likes of SFO...........
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:00
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Originally Posted by Ian W
I doubt that the misconception was noted indeed it may have continued until the crew shut down.
That would imply that the crew didn't take seriously the United pilot's "They're on the taxiway!" transmission (but went around anyway).

It will be instructive to find out when the crew became aware that they had actually made an approach to the taxiway. I suspect their first response was "no - we made both approaches to 28R!"
It will indeed, though I suspect that their first response was rather more immediate and rather more Anglo-Saxon.

Unless they were Québécois.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:14
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Air Canada, FAA hindered investigation of SFO near-miss

Editorial: Air Canada, FAA hindered probe of SFO near-miss

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Air Canada hindered the investigation of last month’s near-catastrophe at San Francisco Airport by dragging their feet in the aftermath.......
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