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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 18th Aug 2017, 12:23
  #881 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoFlyer11
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.......
See post #821:

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Old 18th Aug 2017, 12:57
  #882 (permalink)  
 
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To clarify my comments about spacing on finals: I was meaning staggered spacing. If the runways are too close for parallel approaches with the a/c 'side by side', then they can be staggered, at the same speed, with 2nm longitudinal spacing, but on the // runway. They would still have the required spacing of traffic ahead on their own runway, but staggered from the neighbouring one and thus achieve not lateral conflict. It would be necessary for the respective GA routings to ensure sufficient separation.
I also questioned whether this would trigger a TA on finals. the preceding traffic could be less than 3nm, but there would be no closure. The boffins will tell me.
This staggered spacing is used at some airports in a different way. There are crossing runway tracks and initial GA tracks my intersect too closely if the a/c touchdown simultaneously. ATC utilises a ghost radar picture. This shows the a/c landing on 1 runway and the a/c landing on the crossing runway to be superimposed as if they are landing on the same runway. It shows the effective spacing, nominally 2nm, between their landings.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 13:27
  #883 (permalink)  
 
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Post-event action of a/c on taxiway....

There is one aspect of this incident that intrigues me and I don't think anyone has talked about yet on this thread, namely what the "sitting duck" aircraft on the taxiway did next...

If the event was THAT close to the United and PAL aircraft, it seems their crew was still happy enough shortly afterwards to proceed to line up and depart. Does this surprise anyone?

I'm coming at this from an HF point of view.

Must have been some very interesting conversations over coffee on those legs.....
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:10
  #884 (permalink)  
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RAT5 : Misunderstood, Clear now , I thought you meant everybody 2NM behind one another . in FRA 2,5 NM spacing is done on some clear days , but that is about as low as you can go to stay legal and to avoid excessive GAs.
TCAS is no issue since (normally) as you said there is no closure and as I mentioned earlier inhibited below 1000 ft anyway.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:24
  #885 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RAT 5
To clarify my comments about spacing on finals: I was meaning staggered spacing. If the runways are too close for parallel approaches with the a/c 'side by side', then they can be staggered, at the same speed, with 2nm longitudinal spacing, but on the // runway. They would still have the required spacing of traffic ahead on their own runway, but staggered from the neighbouring one and thus achieve not lateral conflict.
As this graphic from a recent Heathrow presentation on IPAs illustrates:



No prizes for spotting the dodgy trigonometry.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:24
  #886 (permalink)  
 
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To clarify my comments about spacing on finals: I was meaning staggered spacing. If the runways are too close for parallel approaches with the a/c 'side by side', then they can be staggered, at the same speed, with 2nm longitudinal spacing, but on the // runway. They would still have the required spacing of traffic ahead on their own runway, but staggered from the neighbouring one and thus achieve not lateral conflict. It would be necessary for the respective GA routings to ensure sufficient separation.
At SFO, there are two kinds of simultaneous parallel instrument approaches that can be used:

1. Independent offset approaches (SOIA), with 28L using ILS PRM while 28R on the LDA PRM (or their RNAV equivalents). But SOIA is not an option in "hard IFR" because the LDA PRM minimum is fairly high (> 1,000ft).

2. Dependent approaches. SFO has authorization to conduct staggered approaches with 1.5nm spacing between aircraft on the parallel runways. In this case both 28L and 28R can use the normal (non-PRM) ILS approaches down to 200' DH. The 1.5nm spacing is possible because the ILS 28L glideslope was tweaked down a bit to 2.85 degrees a few years ago, providing additional vertical separation from staggered aircraft on the right.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:51
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the AC759 skipper (or the PF) called ''IN THE GO AROUND'' - that was heard on about page one of these 45 pages BTW
- this call was in response to ATC telling him to go-around after a quarter of a mile of the taxiway had been overflown by now scaring the crap out of United and Philippines.

His tone and his snappy (quick retort) response left no doubt in my mind that he was already in the overshoot when ATC told him to AND shows having clearly realised oops there are some planes in front of me where I was going to land

I think it is only DaveReid and myself on here that gets it (and got it from Page 1)

Now, why there were in that place in the first place is the case for the investigation - we can all pontificate another 45 pages but I dont have the wibble and froth time
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 14:51
  #888 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
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 indeed, though I suspect that their first response was rather more immediate and rather more Anglo-Saxon.

Unless they were Québécois.
I doubt if the crew even heard the UAL transmission (or more correctly comprehended it) why would they think it is about them?

A more constructive transmission would have been Air Canada you are lined up on the taxiway; or aircraft on approach to 28R you are landing on the taxiway.

When someone has cognitive tunneling, the first sense to go is understanding what is being said. Once they had started the go around they were out of the tunnel.

There was a lot to be said for the RAF 'runway controller' firing a red flare
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 15:26
  #889 (permalink)  
 
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My guess, the various clues all came in focus for the crew and they decided to go--the radio comment by UA, the tower saying the runway was clear when they thought it was not and PAL flashing his lights. They just starting doubting themselves very late. They can't have mistaken the UA comment--they were the only ones it could possibly have applied to.

Without the CVR, we'll never know the truth sadly.

As to the UA and PAL crews, what would expect them to do? Taxi back and leave 600 pax stranded. Close call, move on

GF
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 15:53
  #890 (permalink)  
 
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AVweb and Flight Global are now reporting:
The FAA has made operational changes at San Francisco International Airport in response to last month’s aborted landing by an Air Canada A320, the Bay Area News Group reported on Tuesday. The FAA no longer allows visual approaches for aircraft approaching SFO at night with an adjacent parallel runway closed, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the News Group. “When these conditions prevail, our controllers issue pilots Instrument Landing System approaches or satellite-based approaches, which help pilots line up for the correct runway,” Gregor said. “Additionally, SFO tower management is requiring two controllers to remain on position working traffic until the late-night arrival rush is over.”
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 15:55
  #891 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian W
I doubt if the crew even heard the UAL transmission (or more correctly comprehended it) why would they think it is about them?
That will no doubt be one of the questions the crew have been asked by the investigators.

Grammatical niceties aside, they may well have been graduates of the "when there is doubt, there is no doubt" school of GA decision-making.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 16:01
  #892 (permalink)  
 
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Without the CVR, we'll never know the truth sadly.

Equally, if the crew initiated the GA before ATC I wonder if it was PF or PM that called the GA. Remember they were studying the lights, and having doubts, for 2 minutes or more.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 16:38
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Originally Posted by betterfromabove
There is one aspect of this incident that intrigues me and I don't think anyone has talked about yet on this thread, namely what the "sitting duck" aircraft on the taxiway did next...

If the event was THAT close to the United and PAL aircraft, it seems their crew was still happy enough shortly afterwards to proceed to line up and depart. Does this surprise anyone?

I'm coming at this from an HF point of view.

Must have been some very interesting conversations over coffee on those legs.....
Well, the question was already asked a while ago...
Originally Posted by DIBO - July 18th
One aspect that I don 't expect to be covered in the NTSB report and given all the psychological insights given in this thread, how might this incident impact the front row witnesses. The PAL crew sitting in their big lame duck, nowhere to go or move, within seconds being blinded by big, bright landing lights coming straight at them. Depending on how much they saw this coming, it was all over in seconds (or a few dozen of it). How would they have keept their calm afterwards. Would you have kept your calm?
but not much reaction then...

Originally Posted by galaxy flyer
As to the UA and PAL crews, what would expect them to do? Taxi back and leave 600 pax stranded. Close call, move on
For UA it was a close-ish call, with the pointy end well out of the way and aiming South, they missed most of "the show"...
For the PAL guys.... well they are probably made out of "The Right Stuff"... I'm certainly not.
But know that minutes later the PAL crew lined up and asked "confirm we're cleared for take-off?", while nothing of the kind was stated by TWR, their RT based SA (ref. EK Seychelles topic, with the crew being condemned by the pprune jury for missing completely RT based SA) seemd to be missing the constant 'inter-meshed' T/O's on the crossing rwy, including the one that was rotating the very moment they asked. But the PAL crew did the right thing: when in doubt, get clarification (unlike the E195 @BRU topic).
Was that merely an honest doubt/mistake?? Or still a bit shaken from things 15min. before?
The TWR controller surely wasn't a bit shaky, and given his firm reply, wasn't going to let things get screwed up twice in 15min. times....

Last edited by DIBO; 19th Aug 2017 at 08:17. Reason: brainfart typo
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 17:07
  #894 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=CargoFlyer11;9865669]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.......[/QUOTE

If ac did not report for 1 or 2 days I would suggest flying another airline. The duty pilot must have known or should have known within minutes of the incident.
As for the faa it was a weekend and good golfing weather. Did not expect much more from this lot. Your tax dollar at work NOT. AC management pilots should have several of their own heads on the chopping block. .

I spent 35 years (8 years on the computer driven 320 ) in the industry and can't remember such a up. AC and FAA we are all awaiting your report. Over a month ago and they can't find the wording to smooth this one out.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 22:22
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If ac did not report for 1 or 2 days I would suggest flying another airline.
The required deadline for reporting this type of incident: 10 days.

I suspect the relevant rules may be revisited.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 08:13
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No more visual approaches at night.

FAA says no more visual approaches to 28R when 28L is closed. And two Controllers in twr until evening rush over.

Wow, I wish I would have thought of that.

A thing I forgot to ask you chaps that regularly frequent SFO with airliners: Is the whole operation of 28L and 28R done with noise in mind. Ie, when traffic is less in the evening and at night they regularly shut down 28L and give visual 28R ( Wx permitting) to keep traffic away from the shoreline to the left.

I assume this is the case . And I could read the airport details, but I am interested in what they do , not what they write.

In my humble opinion , local rules and regs for noise make for way to much unnecessary yank and bank .

This accident avoided was created partly by the noise people.

With CDA ( Continues Decent Approaches ) there is no noise until 500 feet spool up. It is time to revise all departures and arrivals for modern jet.

A bit of drift there: Lets get back to the LOC and get on the GS.

KISS from Cpt B and FAA
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 10:53
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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...........[/QUOTE]

How to express this clearly. The pilot is responsible for the safety of the lives of the passengers on the flight. If as a pilot you accept this responsibility you are duty bound to ensure (as much as you can) that the other people do not die or are not harmed. This is an absolute. If the pilot stuffs up others die. Passengers trust the pilot not to stuff up and have to be able to rely on the pilots ability. Liberal values have nothing to do with it - peoples lives matter more. SFO is a known quantity and how the AC crew lined up on a taxiway without noticing escapes me. It does not represent the basic professionalism that a passenger has the right to expect. The incident also could have led to the death of people in other aircraft. Summary dismissal is the only response in this situation.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 11:06
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The pilot is responsible for the safety of the lives of the passengers on the flight. If as a pilot you accept this responsibility you are duty bound to ensure (as much as you can) that the other people do not die or are not harmed. This is an absolute
Is it an absolute? If so, why do planes crash? Is it because all crashes involve pilots who don't take their responsibilities seriously? Or because pilots make mistakes.....just like Ghandi, Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Chuck Yeager , Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela?
Summary dismissal is the only response in this situation.
What about adding one more response? Like investigating how two humans log 30,000 boring flight hours and then do this?
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 11:37
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Yes it is an absolute - a pilot flying other people is responsible for them. And I don't recall Ghandi, Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela being pilots. Lets not have any spurious equivalency here.

Lets put it this way - 100-500 people could have died because the crew lined up on the taxiway not the runway. It is not really relevant that two humans log 30,000 boring flight hours. Others could have died. They are supposedly professionals and are paid to be professional. The responsibility they bear is very hefty but they accept that when they become commercial pilots. If you fly airliners you are responsible for the people who fly on your aircraft. You make sure that you do your best because other people trust you with their lives. Seriously there is no excuse for trying to land on a taxiway instead of a runway.
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Old 19th Aug 2017, 11:47
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Old Carthusian

It's not WHAT they did but WHY that most professional aviators are interested in. You do know that's it's 2017 and in advanced countries it's the how the "holes in the cheese lined up" that is more important than blaming professionals.

Maybe they were negligent, maybe they were two god guys having a bad day (night!). I don't know so I won't speculate.

I am curious as to why they weren't flying an ILS at night. That's not a criticism as it may not have been an option. When I started flying to the USA I was told if offered a visual just say "no!".

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