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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, 17:50
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Visual night approach to a big international airport, give me a f.... break.
Seriously.
Given that the procedure in question provides positive course guidance provided to the runway, the same screwup could be just as evident on an ILS.

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.
The approach is advertised on the ATIS. The ATIS is digital so they could have known for hundreds of miles or even at the departure gate in Canada if so inclined and concerned enough to look. It is tied into the STAR after the approach is line selected (closing the discon, perhaps different on your jet). The instructions from SFO TRACON on initial contact are at ARCHI, join the FMS Bridge routing and only after sighting certain bridges and the airport are they cleared for the approach. From first hand experience, this isn't a particularly challenging procedure to fly having done so numerous times and the routing drops you exactly on CL with VNAV all the way down. AC aren't infrequent visitors to SFO either.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 17:51
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neila83

Its called compromise, it's how society generally functions. Believe it or not, and contrary o 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 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.

Well, then, let's all sign off our call signs and just go home. And if we're taking a civil air transport flown by an ATP to get there, let's not worry whether noise abatement restrictions have a statistical, or unquantifiable but nonetheless real, detrimental impact on safety. After all, the whole Swiss cheese model, why, that's just the concoction of a "few pilots on the internet."
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 18:16
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the angled approach to KSFO 28R has nothing to do with noise abatement and everything to do with the fact that you can't fly simultaneous IFR parallel approaches to two runways that are only separated by 750'.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 18:40
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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This incident has nothing whatsoever to do with noise abatement. As a society we constantly deal in levels of risk and decide what is acceptable. Given there hasn't been an incident as far as I'm aware in the history of aviation where noise abatement was considered a contributing factor, perhaps they've got it right?
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 19:02
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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About angled approach to KSFO 28R - I'm making no claim about current approach designs at all (and also, not claiming that D-R-UK is wrong). The noise abatement factor had been raised by other poster(s) in context of visual approach at night under certain conditions. If that association does not exist in fact, then nothing about differing points of view regarding different approach designs or their components should have elicited any comments about noise abatement (including mine).
As to whether noise abatement as such is relevant, I disagree, neila83. I can make no claim about this incident's causes, but I'll take your word for it (unless and until some future analysis of the airspace architecture reveals that concern for noise abatement compliance yielded a suboptimal approach design). But the lack of an incident where abatement was a contributing factor is just a nice historical fact. As airspace gets more and more heavily utilized, and as complications of CRM, automation of the flight deck, fatigue, and other factors threaten to drill into the Swiss cheese with greater and greater impact, I don't agree that past compromises necessarily are a template for contemporary and near-future decisions. After all, isn't the reasonableness of the compromises being saluted undermined to some extent (not completely) by the simple fact that very nearly everyone who complains about airport noise knew the airport was there before they moved close to it?
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 19:10
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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With all the technology we have at our disposal today, ('Go-Pro/High Res' Cameras, cockpit display screens, electronic flight bags, etc), surely it should be possible to provide crews with visual data, annotated as necessary, in addition to the charts which you obviously have to have.
It surely wouldn't be difficult to photograph each R/W approach from, say, 2 or 3 points on the centre-line, downwind, base-leg or whatever, in day/night and VMC/IMC, under the heading of...'This is what it will look like when you're lined up, or bang out of cloud.
O.K., you might not need it for every R/W at every airfield, just the ones where confusion may occur or has done in the past.
It's often said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words', and the acquisition of a library of visual images would be easy and relatively cheap to assemble. Just put a few cameras in cockpits for a month, and it's done.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 19:22
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by neila83
This incident has nothing whatsoever to do with noise abatement. As a society we constantly deal in levels of risk and decide what is acceptable. Given there hasn't been an incident as far as I'm aware in the history of aviation where noise abatement was considered a contributing factor, perhaps they've got it right?
There's one that I'm aware of - a Saratoga vs a Skyhawk at Oakland 30 years ago, although the noise abatement procedures at the time were put in place without FAA approval. Not particularly relevant to this case but it was a contributing factor. More background at '87 Oakland Midair
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 19:46
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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With all the technology we have at our disposal today, ('Go-Pro/High Res' Cameras, cockpit display screens, electronic flight bags, etc), surely it should be possible to provide crews with visual data, annotated as necessary, in addition to the charts which you obviously have to have.
This is already done by Jepp for a number of different airports if one cares to go that deep into the charts. As you mentioned, it is not done for all runways, but certainly is done for those runways I operate to where a little more "heads up" on the local area is advised.

However, I wonder whether such a chart would have done any good, as the pictures I've seen in the Jepps are always taken during daylight and could not cover all the variables of different airport, city, and sky lighting conditions. A picture does cover a thousand words, but only if those are the thousand words you're looking for.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 19:56
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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"Tower, just want to confirm. This is Air Canada 759. We see lights on the runway there. Across the runway. Can you confirm are we cleared to land?"

I can only imagine that he didn't know that 28L was out so deduced the two things he was seeing were 28L and 28R when they were actually 28R and Charlie. Is there any other possibility that I am not considering?

If so, this doesn't have anything to do with noise abatement.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 20:29
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RAT 5
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.
Helps that a couple of the taxi a/c were 87s. That beacon stands out like nothing else
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 22:17
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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There seems to be some confusion regarding the serviceability or otherwise, of the approach lighting systems for 28R and 28L at the time this event occurred.
In The U.K., any failure, or irregular functioning of approach-aids, constitutes 'Essential Aerodrome Information', and 'shall' be passed to aircraft, by Aerodrome Control' The use of 'shall', means a mandatory instruction.
Notwithstanding the possible promulgation by NOTAM, the information is usually re-inforced by transmission to each individual a/c, or by inclusion on the arrival ATIS. Was this done, I wonder?

O.K, I know that USA and U.K. ATC systems operate differently, but, someone is bound to say that 'lessons will be learned'.

Earlier on in the discussion, someone mentioned the responsibility of the TWR controller, regarding 'looking out of the window'. When I started my ADC training, it was drummed into us that it was essential. It's where the action is.
Having said that, I've never been to KSFO, but looking at the charts, the angle of view and distance, to the 28 thresholds, might make detection of an errant approach to either R/W, or it's parallel taxiway, difficult to detect without the use of in-VCR technology.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 22:27
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the angled approach to KSFO 28R has nothing to do with noise abatement and everything to do with the fact that you can't fly simultaneous IFR parallel approaches to two runways that are only separated by 750'.
Maybe, maybe not. The 'FMS Bridge Visual' approach is the FMS version of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach (they have the same ground track). QUIET in the name strongly suggests noise abatement. Of course the approach may also provide the ability to fly simultaneous approaches as you suggest. But in this case 28L was closed, so the only approaches were to a single runway (28R). And yet they were still cleared via the equivalent of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach and not the ILS. Excuse the pun, but that 'sounds' like noise abatement was a factor.
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 22:48
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Bieve,
Or could the 'QUIET' designation mean that the airport is relatively quiet, due to a lack of traffic, and therefore nothing is happening on 28L?
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Old 13th Jul 2017, 23:52
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bleve
Maybe, maybe not. The 'FMS Bridge Visual' approach is the FMS version of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach (they have the same ground track). QUIET in the name strongly suggests noise abatement. Of course the approach may also provide the ability to fly simultaneous approaches as you suggest. But in this case 28L was closed, so the only approaches were to a single runway (28R). And yet they were still cleared via the equivalent of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach and not the ILS. Excuse the pun, but that 'sounds' like noise abatement was a factor.
Also might have something to do with arrivals and departures into SJC and OAK. I know when we are in the transition from the DYMND 3 arrival to the FMS Bridge Visual, traffic landing in OAK are below us and traffic departing SJC make an immediate right turn and are just west of us. The step down altitudes keep us above OAK arrivals, the offset keeps us clear of aircraft departing SJC.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:17
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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How can one mistake 28 left is closed or not...there's a big lighted "X" on the threshold.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 04:19
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Cactusbusdrvr:--- fair enough I understand the dive bomb high speed approach into a dark hole over water approach to SFO is quite challenging but maybe now you'll take the bold airmanship step of manually tuning the 28R ILS and selecting the LS push button on. It's the simple things that will save the day and add another layer of safety for just these scenarios.

It might save your ass too from an embarrassing stuff up to something a whole lot worse.

Live and learn.

Oh and "it's works fine that way all the time". Ahhhhhhh, it would seem that is not the case.

AC have dodged a bullet and in doing so have highlighted a problem that needs addressing.

Last edited by ACMS; 14th Jul 2017 at 04:31.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 04:32
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Here is the TSB Canada incident report with the estimates quoted in the media that AC 759 overflew taxiway C for a quarter of a mile before the tower called the go around and they missed the first two aircraft by 100 feet .
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
AC759 at SFO.JPG (187.1 KB, 341 views)
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 04:34
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jack11111
How can one mistake 28 left is closed or not...there's a big lighted "X" on the threshold.
It's odd that it took 4 pages to mention this. Maybe it's done otherwise in the eu, but unless it was just closed seconds prior, the huge, lighted, white X would have been there.
At the threshold.
Facing east.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 07:34
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bleve
Maybe, maybe not. The 'FMS Bridge Visual' approach is the FMS version of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach (they have the same ground track). QUIET in the name strongly suggests noise abatement. Of course the approach may also provide the ability to fly simultaneous approaches as you suggest. But in this case 28L was closed, so the only approaches were to a single runway (28R). And yet they were still cleared via the equivalent of the 'QUIET Bridge Visual' approach and not the ILS. Excuse the pun, but that 'sounds' like noise abatement was a factor.
OK, point taken. In fact, a bit of digging shows that the airport does actually specify:

"To reduce the impacts of aircraft noise in surrounding communities, particularly between the hours of 2300 and 0700, the Airport encourages the use of the following procedures.

(cut)

(4) Use the Quiet Bridge Approach to Runway 28L/R."

Rules and Regulations: San Francisco International Airport
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 08:00
  #160 (permalink)  
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"Finally a balanced viewpoint instead of sensational nonsense.."

Canadian prelim report:
"The closest lateral proximity between ACA759 and one of the four aircraft on taxiway C was 29 feet."

What is 29 feet between friends? :-)
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