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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 13th Jul 2017, 07:50
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Having read all of the posts so far ... sounds like the holes on a very large Swiss cheese almost all lined up together.
1. Parallel runway lights switched off, giving impression that taxiway is the parallel runway.
2. Visual approach for noise abatement with no auto tuning of the ILS
3. Pilots at low point of circadian rhythm and fatigued

Far from being a long way away from disaster, this look to be very close ....
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 08:42
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Long Haul
3/. In modern aircraft we don't "tune the ILS." That happens automatically.
I disagree with that, the last modern plane I used to fly (ejet) was tuning automatically frequency and inbound course with what inserted in FMS. It was happening around 30nm from destination.
But everybody in my compagny were tuning manualy inbound and ils/vor/loc, ... frequency in the standby frequency box during the briefing.

I don't know the airbus or boeing, but I like to set my approach aids myself and not just relied on FMS.
Just my 2 cents.

Finally when I do visual approach, I have always backup (ils, vor, fms ...) To check what I m doing.
I read too many article of plane landing wrong airport (Ryanair in Milan) or wrong runway ... I don't do "just" visual.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 08:48
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extreme noise sensitivity of the area. The folks on both sides of the bay have telephones and they use them.
Of course they wouldn't know there was an airport there until after they moved in
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 09:44
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Long Haul:---thanks for the lesson mate. My A330 and 777 before that do indeed automatically tune the ILS but if they don't I do know how to myself and indeed do on occasion. We certainly check the whole NAV RAD during the approach briefing and setup before TOD and adjust as required.

As to HIAL being too bright and therefore distracting on a clear night......ok well ask ATC to turn them down a stage..........certainly it should have been on and it is a fantastic aid to find the runway in all weather down to CAT 2 ....Much better than a black hole to land on like I had in Jakarta 07L last month.....

RTZL on or off? Way better if they are on ( at an appropriate level )

It's not hard for the PM ( and the PF higher up ) to scan the PFD on approach at 1,000' and 500' etc to monitor the LLZ/GS as well as the IAS/VS and then make appropriate trend callouts. ( as they already are required to do on all approaches anyway in my Airline )

Indeed it should be taught that if the info is displayed for your runway then check it.......for this very reason
Especially in places like SFO with close parallel runways and taxiways.

Flocks:---good practice that will serve you well.

Last edited by ACMS; 13th Jul 2017 at 10:00.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 10:47
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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CVR secured!?

I assume the CVR has been removed, if not we lack a critical tool to learn from this mess.
I challenge you FR24 experts to check if the aircraft departed as planed with in the morning.
If it did there is two cases:
1 The CVR pulled and new inserted and the inbound CVR on its way to NTSB.
2 The aircraft departed and the CVR was over written and we will never know what happened in the flight deck.

If the aircraft is grounded due to lack of CVR we are good.
Anyone?
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:14
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Finally a balanced viewpoint instead of sensational nonsense...

CTV News Channel: 'Situation was unusual' | CTV News
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:23
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Basic FR24 skills suffice:
Originally Posted by FR24
C-FKCK
DATE_______FROM__________TO____________FLT___FL.TM___STD___A TD____STA
08 Jul San Francisco (SFO) Montreal (YUL) AC780 4:58 7:30 AM 7:48 AM 3:50 PM Landed 3:46 PM
07 Jul Toronto (YYZ) San Francisco (SFO) AC759 5:12 8:55 PM 9:58 PM 11:23 PM Landed 12:11 AM
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:38
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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No Visual Night!

Norwegian Chief Pilot just commented on this incident and stated that a visual night approach is prohibited in his company.
This is the case in most EU companys.
I am a big fan of visual approaches , but seldom do it as we have to do a separate brief.
What I do is call visual and intercept ILS or LNAV-VNAV path no later than platform alt with HDG/ VS +, VORLOC/GS armed .
All low risk and wasting 31 seconds...
Done plenty of yank and bank in the old days, seen to much and read to much to be the slightest interested to satisfy the local ATC agenda.
Love FAA and the safe execution milions of flights, but they are overdue for a big one.
Conveniently this one is on the Canadiens , but take notes.
Visual night approach to a big international airport, give me a f.... break.
Seriously.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:39
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sea Eggs
Finally a balanced viewpoint instead of sensational nonsense...

CTV News Channel: 'Situation was unusual' | CTV News
To be fair to Mackey, he was clearly being interviewed on the day following the incident before the full facts had emerged. Nevertheless he appears to have completely misread what actually happened, presumably not yet having heard the ATC recording.

So maybe not such as "balanced viewpoint" after all..
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:45
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Is this picture and video similar to what CA would have seen?

28L unlit (except for red "X"?), 28R illuminated, Taxiway C green centerlights.





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Old 13th Jul 2017, 11:59
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BluSdUp
Visual at night is not a good idea without a ILS or VNAV- PATH as primary and visual as backup.
This near disaster proves it.
I'm with you on that - especially when fatigue is a factor! Another airport where the 'greenies' rule
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 13:24
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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These photos are an interesting addition to the conversation; and we are still waiting confirmation about the radiating status of the 28R LS. I see PAPI's on LHS of rwy threshold; I see standard green threshold lights; I see standard approach light & touchdown zone lights. That looks like a runway. I can't believe taxiway C had anything like this, so how can you line up on a strip of concrete, at night, that you can't see too well anyway, that doesn't have appropriate lighting. That's all you can see at 4nm, not the concrete/tarmac. I'm also surprised they could see a/c lights hidden in all the airport lighting. They would have been 2 candle power compared to what was surrounding them. But they said they could see something odd.
What approach did they brief at TOD? It can't have been only some kind of visual; they must have briefed an IFR approach of some kind and set the nav boxes for it. If 28R ILS was in the air it should have been tuned and identified, surely? How far out were they when cleared for this odd, last minute offset visual? To an unfamiliar crew that would be a huge cheese hole, right there, if it's last minute and unbriefed. (A bit like ATC asking you to take the next exit just as you touch down. It's a bit late now, mate)
If 28ILS was in the air, and if it was tuned and displayed, what was PM looking at on finals? It would have shown almost full scale deviation at 4nm. What calls does AC have on their approaches? It does seem like 2 heads outside ands no-one managing in the office inside. Were they in autopilot CMD or manual? If A/P, was CMD what was it following; FMS, VOR or ILS? If manual were the FD's on and what were they following? It would seem that they should follow 275 until passing the bridge and intercepting 284, by what ever method laterally.
If they were lined up with the taxiway, which seems invisible in the photos, what were they using for glide path guidance?
One reason that dismissing this as a minor event is not a good idea, is that no-one will investigate and find out how the holes lined up. Damn sure it will happen again. Time to plug the holes.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 13:51
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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The mind boggles........
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 13:53
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by White Knight
I'm with you on that - especially when fatigue is a factor! Another airport where the 'greenies' rule
Speaking as a "greenie":

Would you claim that this Air Transport Pilot was so fatigued that he didn't recognize the runway - but alert enough that had he been provided ILS he could have landed safely?

I am willing to believe that some (perhaps most) ATPs would prefer ILS over visual, but I am not ready to believe that so few of them find visual such a handicap that it could be characterized as "not a good idea".
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 14:00
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sea Eggs
Finally a balanced viewpoint instead of sensational nonsense...

CTV News Channel: 'Situation was unusual' | CTV News
'An unusual set of circumstances that created something that's probably going to turn out to be a non-event'.

Yep, I'm sure the FAA and the NTSB will agree.

Captain Mackey does do a good job of explaining the runway setup and construction at SFO. As DaveReidUK said, this was an early assessment and more information on the incident has emerged.

Originally Posted by WHBM
I also wonder why they were given this curved visual nighttime approach at a time of low traffic to a runway fully equipped with all the aids. I'll bet when they came back round again that was not done.

And you have to wonder how the Flight Radar 24 traces shown above, which is something put together by a bunch of enthusiast amateurs, can show quite clearly, based on real time information, that they were lined up on the taxiway, and not like the later parallel trace shows for the runway, yet with all the millions of dollars of kit the ATC staff in the tower didn't get to be aware of this.
From the 0700Z approach control reel at liveatc.net, on the second approach AC 759 was vectored for a visual approach behind an AA B-777. Other planes were still using the FMS Bridge Visual though.

I don't believe any of the posted plots of AC 759 overflying the taxiway, including mine, came from FlightRadar24. The data in close to the runway on FR24 didn't look too good to me but you can definitely see who the players are as the incident evolves.

Originally Posted by ironbutt57
update....if the Quiet Bridge is selected from the FMGS database and activated, the localizer is not tuned, and no ILS data will be displayed...
That's what I've been told by a friend who flew A320's years ago. Can anyone with recent experience on legacy A320's confirm this?

Did the AC A320 have GPS for the Nav Display? On some older planes as we've discussed on other threads, ADS-B, TCAS and EGWPS may have GPS data but the ND might not display it depending on the installation. I've flown older '75's that were like this for a while before a subsequent update.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 14:50
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Another airport where the 'greenies' rule
Nothing to do with 'greenies', though I'd buy 'nimbies'. I live about 25 miles south of KSFO, under the BDEGA (from the north, with a teardrop turn) and SERFR (from the south) approaches. The amount of fuss in neighbourhood forums, town meetings and such, especially about the latter, is just unbelievable - people claiming they can't leave their house during the day because of the noise and so on. There are quite a lot of people who file a complaint with the airport EVERY time a plane flies overhead.

Now, do you think these people wear vegan sandals and walk everywhere they go? Or do you think they take the cheapest flight they can to travel several times per year? Yeah, right. But it doesn't stop them complaining.

Last edited by n5296s; 13th Jul 2017 at 15:13.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 15:26
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Originally Posted by RAT 5
If they were lined up with the taxiway, which seems invisible in the photos, what were they using for glide path guidance?
One reason that dismissing this as a minor event is not a good idea, is that no-one will investigate and find out how the holes lined up. Damn sure it will happen again. Time to plug the holes.


Could any white lights on four evenly-spaced airplanes on the taxiway create some kind of a runway-like appearance?
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 16:17
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by White Knight
I'm with you on that - especially when fatigue is a factor! Another airport where the 'greenies' rule
Need help with that shoehorn, it looks mighty heavy?

Its called compromise, it's how society generally functions. Believe it or not, and contrary to the belief of many here, aviation is not the single most important priority in the world, and does not have to be satisfied first at all times before any other decisions can be made, which must be made in deference to the wishes of a few pilots on the internet.

Noise regulations generally strike a good balance between airports operating efficiently and not causing unnecessary disturbance. What can be wrong with that unless you just get a kick out of annoying people? In which case you probably haven't reached the metal age to be flying a plane.

This forum confidently told me after Asiana that only Asian pilots did things like this, perhaps some reflection is in order?

Last edited by neila83; 13th Jul 2017 at 17:38.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 16:27
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Originally Posted by RAT 5
how can you line up on a strip of concrete, at night, that you can't see too well anyway, that doesn't have appropriate lighting.
Well it's more likely once you've had that Notam that the approach lighting is U/S.


How far out were they when cleared for this odd, last minute offset visual? To an unfamiliar crew that would be a huge cheese hole, right there, if it's last minute and unbriefed.
Reading the flight times above, they were an hour late, due before midnight, getting there after midnight. Does the noise abatement approach only come into force at a certain time.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 16:38
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Originally Posted by ACMS
I asked before but was ignored.

1/ was the 28R ILS switched on? If not why not?
2/ where the HIAL's and RTZL's switched on? If not why not?
3/ did the crew bother to tune the 28R ILS and check it.?

This should not happen, if a runway is equipped with an ILS and it's not U/S then it should be switched on by ATC and all landing A/C should tune it to use as a backup for just this very reason.
Especially at Airports like SFO with close spaced runways and taxiways.

It's should be common sense and airmanship.
I have done many FMS Bridge visuals in the A320 family. You do not have the ILS raw data because it is an FMS approach. You have VASI and the electronic glidepath. You can hard tune the lLS through the RMP but no one ever does.

As others have said, you have to work to get it down to 1800 feet at SAMUL. You are given the clearance with no time to waste getting it in the descent out of 11000. Speedbrakes are usually required with speed changes given as well. Late night arrivals have less restrictions on speed so the tendency is to keep the speed up.

It's a massive dark hole coming in over the water. With 28L out and the lights off the tendency would be to focus on the lights you see - 28R and the taxiway. Preconceived expectations of what you should see can be hard to overcome. And the difference in lining up on the taxiway and the runway would not be apparatus to the tower until close in. If they were doing the PRM approaches then yeah, radar controller would have caught it a few miles sooner but Late night operations in good weather have minimum staffing. It works fine that way all the time.
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