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Old 5th Dec 2017, 05:40   #1 (permalink)
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SIA 422 incident at Mumbai

The Times of India, Mumbai, Dec. 5 2017:

Quote:
Did SIA flight pilots mistake Juhu strip for airport runway?

A Singapore Airlines aircraft headed for Mumbai airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, or CSMIA) deviated to the left and headed northwards for Juhu airport while over the Arabian sea on Monday morning. But once overhead Juhu, the aircraft corrected its course, and flew to Mumbai airport, where it landed safely in its second attempt. The big question is, did the commander mistake the Juhu runway for the Mumbai runway?

In a statement, Singapore Airlines denied that the pilot of Singapore-Mumbai SQ 422 mistook the Juhu runway for that of Mumbai, but an aviation source informed TOI that Juhu air traffic control (ATC) had alerted Mumbai ATC through a hotline around 10.25am with the message: "Aircraft approaching too close to Juhu."

Juhu's runway 08 is about one-third the length of Mumbai's runway 09. It is used mainly by helicopters and small aircraft operators. Had the heavy twin-engine A350-900 jet touched down in Juhu, it would have sped off the end of the runway to crash.

There is a history of such errors. The beginning of Juhu's runway 08 lies 2.8km northwest to Mumbai's runway 09, a distance that can be covered in 20-25 seconds by an aircraft on approach to land. On at least two occasions in the past—1953 (EgyptAir) and 1972 (JAL)—pilots mistook the Juhu runway for the one they were supposed to land at. These incidents prompted the inclusion in maps used by landing pilots (called Jeppesen approach plates) of the warning: "Caution: Do not mistake Mumbai (Juhu) for Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Intl)."

On Monday, the high-precision instrument landing system (ILS), a ground-based navigational system that metaphorically hand-holds pilots guiding an aircraft right onto the runway centerline, was not operational. So, the electronic landing aid available was the same as the one used in the 1970s.

On Sweden's Flightradar24, a much-respected website and app that tracks air traffic around the world live, a replay of flight SQ 422 shows the Singapore Airlines aircraft overflying the Arabian sea and making a left turn for Juhu airport. Once overhead Juhu, it turns right for Mumbai airport. Flightradar24 collects its data from a network of over 7,000 receivers that source information on the real-time position of each aircraft from a plane's own highly-accurate onboard transponders.

The on-ground conditions at Mumbai airport were also different. The ILS which guides aircraft straight to the runway 09 centerline was not operational. What was in place instead was a VOR (VHF omni directional radio range), which doesn't give precision guidance. In a VOR approach, the pilot has to manually look out for the runway strip and the descent can be continued beyond (620 feet in this case) only if the runway has been spotted. When coming in from the Arabian sea, the first runway you spot is the one to the left, that of Juhu airport.

The minimum visibility required to do a VOR approach is 2,400 m; visibility at the time of the incident was just 2,500 m. Whenever visibility falls below 5,000 m, airports switch on runway lights. Unlike Mumbai airport, Juhu airport has no runway lights and this information is available to the pilots.
The Singapore Airlines statement said that due to poor visibility, the SQ 422 crew discontinued the approach to runway 09 at approximately 1,000 feet, in accordance with the standard operating procedure. "ATC Mumbai then vectored the flight for a subsequent approach onto runway 09 and the flight landed uneventfully at10.48am. At no time did the pilots of SQ 422 mistake Juhu airport as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport."

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which handles navigational aids and air traffic control services in India, didn't comment. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is investigating the incident.

Air safety expert Capt M Ranganathan said, "If you go by Flightradar24, the Singapore Airlines aircraft seems to be on track 102, which is the track that is used by outbound aircraft. Track 102 would take an aircraft close to Juhu airport."
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Last edited by India Charlie; 5th Dec 2017 at 06:05.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 08:50   #2 (permalink)
 
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SINGAPORE: The pilots of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight to Mumbai did not try to land in the wrong airport, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday (Dec 5).
The statement was in response to a Times of India report, which said the pilots of flight SQ422 mistakenly made an approach to land at Juhu airport – used by helicopters and small aircraft – instead of Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, the primary international airport in Mumbai.
The report said the aircraft changed its course after the error, and after a go-around it landed on the correct runway of the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport.
The Singapore-Mumbai flight, an Airbus A350, was scheduled to land on Runway 9 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport at 10.35am (1.35pm, Singapore time) on Monday. A total of 245 passengers and 14 crew members were on board the flight.
According to SIA, the landing was aborted at about 1,000 feet due to poor visibility, in accordance with standard operating procedures. Mumbai’s air traffic control then vectored the flight for a subsequent approach and the flight landed “uneventfully” at 10.48am, the airline said.
“At no time did the pilots of SQ422 mistake Juhu airport as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport,” it said.

Having only recently done the 09 NPA; I would think the above is what could have happened; me ain’t buying the landing in Juhu Hype...and in any case he went around at 1000’...why such a big deal..
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 10:25   #3 (permalink)
 
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Aviation Herald's take on this:
Singapore A359 at Mumbai on Dec 4th 2017, go around on final approach portrayed as approach to wrong airport

Last edited by OldLurker; 5th Dec 2017 at 10:25. Reason: typo
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 14:16   #4 (permalink)
 
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Just a normal go around due to visual sighting issues in hazy conditions made worse with the sun up front..The blokes in the flight deck may not even have seen Juhu throughout that approach, let alone line up for it...their track doesn’t line up either and even if it did; doesn’t mean they were heading there..they veered to the left of the final approach track probably while looking out for visual cues in the hazy conditions and not maintaining on the Radial till approaching 670 ft DDA. If at all...their track is heading towards RW 14...maybe they picked that up since that would have been a bit Off Sun...nyways... Bottom line; they aborted at 1000’...so end of story..
A waste of news print.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 16:40   #5 (permalink)
 
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The flight is on a stable inbound course to the airport. And then turns left towards the other airport. It doesn’t make that turn on the second attempt. There was no reason to make the turn unless they mis-identified the airport.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 17:09   #6 (permalink)
 
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Don't they have radar in those places?
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 17:57   #7 (permalink)
 
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Ofc they have radar and it’s a vectored approach to intercept the final approach track. The deviation left is not so significant (an NPA it is) that radar had to worry...and the crew aborted well before their MDA(DDA)...its another matter that had they just remained on the final approach track till their minimums they would in all probability have landed...but maybe the haze drove them thru the windshield earlier than they should have and then spotted some part of Mumbai airfield to the left (most of the airfield complex of parking stands, taxiways and a cross runway are all to the left), and they initiated a slight left turn; only to abort soon after. My point is that JUHU runway is pretty insignificant and impossible to spot in such conditions, and in any case it was still to their left in this case...so what’s all this about.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 18:13   #8 (permalink)
 
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They ended up approx 2000’ left of centerline and got as low as 800’ using FlightAware data.

Of course this is just normal. Of course it is. (Sarcasm)
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 22:19   #9 (permalink)
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misd-again - methinks you have not done too many NPA approaches to Mumbai RW09? Lighting at Mumbai is a disgrace with many of the approach lights and runway lights not working but, if the aircraft didn't see Mumbai then they definitely didn't see Juhu. The visibility given is usually questionable at Mumbai and often worse than given by ATIS due to the many, many smoke fires from the people who live around the airport. They initiated a GA at 1000' having realised they were not in a position to land and completed a second attempt without incident. Happens somewhere everyday, I've seen more than one or two miss the first attempt at the Canarsie approach at JFK when the viz. is down.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 23:53   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
They ended up approx 2000’ left of centerline and got as low as 800’ using FlightAware data.
And that of course is a highly accurate source (sarcasm)
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 00:20   #11 (permalink)
 
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A rough measurement from the AH diagram puts the point of the deviation left/north at least 10000 feet (1.6 nm) offshore.

With an RVR of 2500 in smoke at VABB, and an easterly wind of 5-7 knots blowing that smoke out towards the sea, I'm not convinced the crew had anything in sight except water at the point they deviated north. Although I'll bow to those having experience with Mumbai's micro-weather patterns.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 01:26   #12 (permalink)
 
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4,800’ descending from 5,900’ to 1,100’, on a constant heading (092-093) which was what the automation would be tracking. And then at 1,100’ they turn left 16-17 degrees and we’re supposed to believe they’re following the FMC provided lateral and vertical guidance? Of course professional pilots don’t believe that.

Minimums are 620’. That’s if they’re on course. Calling “stable” while deviating from the autoflight guidance is a worthless call.

Or, if the guidance/FMC caused the airplane to turn 15 degrees of course, the aircraft and/or approach should have been written up. But since they made it in the second time, with no tracking problems, perhaps it wasn’t an equipment issue?

Flight Track Log ? SIA422 ? 04-Dec-2017 ? SIN / WSSS - BOM / VABB ? FlightAware
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 01:29   #13 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Hotel Tango View Post
And that of course is a highly accurate source (sarcasm)
Considering the same system showed them reaching the runway on the second attempt itís accuracy seems reasonable.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 04:08   #14 (permalink)
 
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Parabellum-spot on...
Miss-agin...don’t think you get the point....of course they picked up something visually and went for it..and NOT JUHU...and realising it was not RW 09...went around..PERIOD ...so what. and I repeat from my previous post.likely they saw some portion of Mumbai airfield and hence veered left rather than stay on with George till approaching DDA.
I shoot NPAs almost daily in this part of the sphere, with the all pervasive haze, to earn my daily bread ...but yet had to hit the buttons when I thought I saw what I wanted to see from afar and knocked off the automatics..we learn...that’s why we have those Gates..and these blokes respected that..end of chapter me thinks)
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 05:12   #15 (permalink)
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Dynamite1, you seem to be familiar with Mumbai but somehow I’m not convinced by your defence (that they saw “something” and “went for it” / saw rwy 14 is just not logical to me), just a couple of questions: 1. doesn’t RWY09 have a STAR? 2. You said it’s a vectored app to the final app track, so just where does the tower leave you to continue the app or is it when they say “rwy at _ o’clock, confirm rwy in sight”? 3. When following the app course via the FMC, isn’t automation required to be followed until MDA / rwy in sight? I always thought pilots were supposed to utilise all automation available to them in poor visibility (in this case, smoke/haze, sun in their eyes...)


misd-agin, my thoughts exactly (all your posts).
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 06:27   #16 (permalink)
 
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IC yes indeed very familiar with that approach..all I am saying is that had they stuck to automatics till their MDA/DDA or whatever SIA calls it...they wd in all likelihood have spotted the runway and landed like they did the second time.

But I am also saying that there is no way they lined up for JUHU. CANNOT pick up Juhu from where they veered left ...And their track also corroborates that they were never in line with JUHU runway...I am only guessing their reason for ditching automatics and banking left.

Whatever they did; the fact that they executed a very safe and timely abort and landed without any further ado....something that happens almost daily in some sky somewhere...itís only a learning for the crew; and no more than that..

Unnecessary news by such ignorant misinformed reporters just to grab headlines; looking for a story where there ainít any....pretty much the norm these parts especially related to aviation....probably the same in your neck of the woods too..

As for your question...yes itís always a RNAV1 approach ending in a radar vector to the intercept heading and they let you go at around 7 to 8 miles having fully established on the final approach track, and ask you to dial the tower.

And sorry just saw your location IC...we are probably just a few parallels apart
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 07:58   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamite1 View Post
But I am also saying that there is no way they lined up for JUHU. CANNOT pick up Juhu from where they veered left ...And their track also corroborates that they were never in line with JUHU runway...
Actually the FlightAware track puts them exactly on the Juhu 08 extended centreline at 04:55:58Z.

That corresponds to a gap of 55 seconds in the FR24 coverage, so it's not apparent from the latter.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 10:11   #18 (permalink)
 
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But he has turned left from the final proactive track well before that and aligned himself to the low cost carriers parking stands to the left of RW 27: thereafter he has again veered left and at 0455 58 when he is just a bit right of the extended centre line of JUHU 08; he has turned right and aborted simultaneously.
I still maintain that when he initially left the final approach track for RW 27; he could never have done so with reference to JUHU.
I rest my case
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 10:13   #19 (permalink)
 
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Proactive=approach....
RW27= RW 09

SORRY
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 11:01   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamite1 View Post
But he has turned left from the final proactive track well before that and aligned himself to the low cost carriers parking stands to the left of RW 27: thereafter he has again veered left and at 0455 58 when he is just a bit right of the extended centre line of JUHU 08; he has turned right and aborted simultaneously.
No, I'm afraid you're wrong, or rather you are making a common mistake that people make when they are looking at ADS-B plots on FR24, etc.

The aircraft symbols tell you where the flight was at any given point in time, and can be considered accurate for pretty well any reasonably new aircraft.

The lines, on the other hand, that join the symbols (which are always straight on a FR24 plot) don't necessarily show the exact trajectory of the aircraft in between the known points, particularly where course changes are involved.

Adding the FlightAware plots to the FR24 ones gives a more granular picture of the trajectory:



For clarity, I've coloured the additional plot points from FlightAware in red.

Compare that to the plot on Avherald (based on FR24 alone) and you can see the misleading effect of omitting those intermediate points:



So there seems to be little doubt that a more detailed picture of the trajectory puts the aircraft on the Juju centreline at one point.
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