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'Plane crash' at Nepal's Kathmandu airport

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'Plane crash' at Nepal's Kathmandu airport

Old 13th Mar 2018, 07:19
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In the case of the Eva air incident (on the youtube I posted earlier) ATC continued to tell the pilot to turn on to a southerly heading instead of requesting 180 degrees.

At the same time there appeared to be no appreciation on the flight deck on where they were in relation to the high ground on their track.

The controller told the pilots to turn to a heading of 180, though it didn’t seem to transmit whether it was supposed to be a left or right turn
The pilots repeated that they should turn left heading 180, and they weren’t corrected (it appears they were supposed to turn right to that heading, so if ATC had been paying attention to their read back, this could have been avoided)
The air traffic controller uses a lot of non-standard phrases — rather than telling the plane to turn to a specific heading, the controller says “what are you doing? turn southbound,” so it’s possible there was something lost in translation


This from the LA Times of December 2016.
An air traffic controller in San Diego who mistakenly routed a wide-body jet with 353 people aboard toward Mt. Wilson has been removed from her current assignment amid an investigation into the incident, The Times has learned.
The wrong turn, which has sparked concern in aviation circles, occurred in some of the busiest and most difficult to monitor airspace in the nation. On a typical day, more than 11,000 aircraft take to the skies in Southern California, most of them over the Los Angeles Basin. Los Angeles International alone handles 1,700 to 1,800 departures and arrivals daily.
In the past 30 years, the National Transportation Safety Board has blamed two major crashes in the region on air traffic control problems — the mid-air collision of a private plane and an Aeromexico jet over Cerritos in 1986 and another collision involving a SkyWest commuter plane and a USAir jetliner at LAX.
The controller has been given other duties and is no longer working air traffic after an EVA Air Boeing 777 that departed from Los Angeles International Airport last Friday morning was ordered to turn left to the north, sending the aircraft over the San Gabriel Mountains at low altitude.
The standard procedure for eastern departures from LAX is to make a right turn to the south shortly after takeoff and then head out over the ocean.
The EVA Air incident began about 1:30 a.m., when the controller ordered Flight 15 to turn left shortly after the pilot shifted air traffic control responsibilities from the LAX tower to approach control in San Diego, a common practice.
When the controller realized the EVA flight was turning in the wrong direction, Federal Aviation Administration officials said, she took immediate action to keep the aircraft safely separated from an Air Canada jet that had just departed LAX from the north runway complex.
Those planes remained the required distance from each another, which is 3 miles laterally and 1,000 feet vertically.
FAA officials said the controller then turned her attention to getting the EVA pilot to turn south and repeatedly ordered him to do so until he complied. At one point in the flight, the controller asked the pilot: “EVA 15 what are you doing? Turn southbound now,” according to a recording of radio transmissions.
The Taiwan-bound jetliner appeared to clear the 5,713-foot peak of Mt. Wilson by no more than 800 feet, according to website data cited by The Times. However, broadcast towers rise an additional 400 feet from the summit, potentially reducing the clearance.
FAA regulations require aircraft to be at least three miles away laterally or 2,000 feet vertically above obstacles such as mountains.
“No way they should have ended up where they were,” said Jon Russell, a commercial airline pilot and a regional safety coordinator for the Air Line Pilots Assn. “The pilots followed instructions from air traffic control and it led to other issues with traffic and terrain.”
Thomas Anthony, director of the Aviation Safety and Security Program at USC, said the incident raises several other important questions and issues, such as how close the Boeing 777 got to the mountains, the effort to separate the EVA and Air Canada flights and whether the air traffic controller might have been tired from working late-night shifts.
Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman in Los Angeles, said the agency’s investigation will look into all aspects of the flight, including air traffic control, the actions of the pilots and the proximity of the EVA jet to Mt. Wilson before correcting its course.
Gregor described the incident as “highly unusual,” but declined to comment further, stating that a personnel matter was involved. A spokesperson for the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn. also declined to comment, citing the FAA investigation.
EVA officials have said the airline is cooperating with the FAA and that their plane was never too close to the mountains or other aircraft, such as the Air Canada flight.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 13th Mar 2018 at 07:40.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:00
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
Wow, I've never heard of that one, I guess it's sorta like the missing thirteenth floor in some Asian hotels. Unless someone tells you about it, you might never notice it.

Anyway, after listening to the ATC tapes, I don't think renumbering the runways would have helped this ill-fated crew sort it out.
They are correct. An example is YBBN where one runway has an orientation of 016/196. Logically it should be designated 02/20, but for the reason stated by krismiler it was designated 01/19
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:02
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Once again, the 02/20 QFU confusion does not explain this accident. Contributing factor , yes, having caused it, no.
But I read in the Nepalese press that the captain survived, so we should know more pretty soon.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:05
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Originally Posted by Airbubba
Wow, I've never heard of that one, I guess it's sorta like the missing thirteenth floor in some Asian hotels. Unless someone tells you about it, you might never notice it.
The 02/20 and 13/31 RWY ban is valid in Sweden also.
The risk of confusion isn’t in radio transmissions or superstition but 02 looks like 20 when you see it from the other side and vice versa. 13 seen from direction 31 or 31 seen from direction 13 is possible to mix up also. If they where doing some kind of holding over the field they maybe got confused when looking at the marks?
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:29
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It is all about manual, low level, low speed maneuvering proficiency. This only comes with practice. Otherwise, you are just afraid of the aircraft.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:30
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Originally Posted by cooperplace
The GA field I operate from, in Australia, had a 02/20 designated runway and the owner decided there was too much confusion so he just changed its designation to 01/19. Still the same runway. And I have made the mistake, in a high workload situation, of saying 02 when I meant 20.
Or make it simple by referring it to runway two, and runway twenty. That works in some countries!
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:43
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May be, there was runway 20 treshold input the database. But they tryed misused RW02. In 2015 A320 was crashed in this airport (landing on left from centerline) .
Attached Images
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 08:51
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I'm flying to KTM regularly, in a Heavy. In fact, I took off from there a few hours before this accident. I can not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would circle to Rwy 20 unless the tailwind component on 02 is absolutely prohibitive. 7 knots tailwind should never be, for a Q400. I'll prefer 10 knots tailwind for Rwy 02, even in a heavy, any day of the week.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:02
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I've been travelling to KTM for 40 years. Never landed on 20 with a heavy. 20 is circle to land and VFR only. On the LiveATC recording, all those cleared to land on 20 are domestic flights, operated by Twin otters or the like. In addition, this airline has been flying to KTM only for a few month, thus had a little experience of the environment.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:17
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Originally Posted by philrami
I've been travelling to KTM for 40 years. Never landed on 20 with a heavy. 20 is circle to land and VFR only. On the LiveATC recording, all those cleared to land on 20 are domestic flights, operated by Twin otters or the like. In addition, this airline has been flying to KTM only for a few month, thus had a little experience of the environment.
Agree completely. KTM airport reg's should read like this : Rwy 02 for approved foreign pilots with Sim training. Rwy 20 for approved local pilots, no faster than Twin Otter only Slightly exaggerating maybe, but you get my point I hope. I would only accept circling to 20, in Severe Clear
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:20
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Originally Posted by krismiler
Australia does not allow runway 02/20 due to possible confusion and this is something ICAO should adopt as well. Obviously this was a significant factor in the accident and may have been the primary cause.

A disaster shouldn't be the result of a simple mistake, had the runway been designated 01/19 this may not have happened. There is an obvious hole in the Swiss cheese which needs removing.

BTW I remember having to explain to a first officer one day how wind direction was given in a METAR so not much surprises me anymore.
Australia definitely has not totally banned runway 02/20. Can’t find a major airport with one but Waikerie YWKI and Naracoorte YNRC are both registered airports with 02/20 runways.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:40
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Originally Posted by philrami
I've been travelling to KTM for 40 years. Never landed on 20 with a heavy. 20 is circle to land and VFR only. On the LiveATC recording, all those cleared to land on 20 are domestic flights, operated by Twin otters or the like. In addition, this airline has been flying to KTM only for a few month, thus had a little experience of the environment.
we did circling approached to runway 20 in a 767, and Airbus 340 as well...at some point it was stopped, not sure if it was our airline, or the Civil aviation of Nepal...
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:42
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Originally Posted by Patanom
May be, there was runway 20 treshold input the database. But they tryed misused RW02. In 2015 A320 was crashed in this airport (landing on left from centerline) .
the flight path depicted is a but contrary to the tower saying they overflew the tower quite "close" crossed the airport and crashed on the east side...would seem to indicate they never aligned with 20 at all but somehow crossed overhead mid field
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:46
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That is the strangest ATC recording i have heard, so much confusion, never heard an aicraft ask so many times if they are cleared to land.

I can't even picture what was happening its so confusing
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 09:50
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is it possible somewhere to visualize the path of the a/c ?
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 11:49
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Originally Posted by ironbutt57
the flight path depicted is a but contrary to the tower saying they overflew the tower quite "close" crossed the airport and crashed on the east side...would seem to indicate they never aligned with 20 at all but somehow crossed overhead mid field
Having dealt with them, don’t believe a word said by anyone who works for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 11:56
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Originally Posted by sarge75
Having dealt with them, don’t believe a word said by anyone who works for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal
guess you're an expert then, operated in and out of there many years, never had an issue, ATC was better than some, worse than others...
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 12:47
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
If this was a joint US-Bangladesh operation I’d want assurances that the US side had ensured beyond all reasonable doubt that there would not be a smoking hole in the ground. How? The US had literally thousands of well qualified trainers who could advise the US side as to the competence of the pilot workforce of this operation and if not, bring them them up to standard. I do hope this worthwhile step was performed.

PM
The US connection is tangential at best. The airline has no US routes, and although it is technically a US-Bangladesh joint venture, the US office is registered at 'Bangladesh Plaza, Jackson Heights, Queens'. Deduce from that what you will - what I deduce is that all the backers are Bangladeshi nationals - some of whom live in the US; and that the 'US' bit of 'US-Bangla' is to give the impression to gullible potential pax that the airline is a US entity.

In a bitter irony, the company's strap-line is 'Fly Fast, Fly Safe'....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US-Bangla_Airlines
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 13:26
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I flew A330 in there for a few years, VOR DME and minus 5,7 degree approach until 3-4 DME and then reduce to minus 3,5 degree and intercept PAPI. This is not the airport to be mucking around in or pulling a circling to land, without even informing the ATC or perhaps not briefing it. You take the tail wind or you go-around and start again from the top at 13500ft.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 14:21
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Originally Posted by ironbutt57
guess you're an expert then, operated in and out of there many years, never had an issue, ATC was better than some, worse than others...
Have sat in a tower in Nepal and witnessed them give wind readings 7knots under what their screens told them so they could keep the airport open.
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