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Washington Dulles RTO incident

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Washington Dulles RTO incident

Old 26th Sep 2018, 23:03
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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There's a great writeup of the Tenerife aiport disaster by Kathleen Bangs at disciplesofflight.com/remembering-tenerife-airport-disaster in case anyone wishes to learn more.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 07:26
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by carmel View Post
There's a great writeup of the Tenerife aiport disaster by Kathleen Bangs at disciplesofflight.com/remembering-tenerife-airport-disaster in case anyone wishes to learn more.
Very good article indeed. Your everyday lesson, especially at then end in the sentence “the inescapable irony”.


Last edited by golfyankeesierra; 27th Sep 2018 at 10:46.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 07:50
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Another link to that article...

If that link doesn't work, try it again without the "www.".

There's a configuration error at Disciples Of Fight (at least regarding mobile browsers, so it probably worked for Carmel & GYS, while failing for me).
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 08:00
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Working link

Calamity and Coincidence: 40 Years Later Are We at Risk of Another Tenerife?
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 14:27
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by carmel View Post
There's a great writeup of the Tenerife aiport disaster by Kathleen Bangs at disciplesofflight.com/remembering-tenerife-airport-disaster in case anyone wishes to learn more.
Great article! I didn't know that about Jack Ridout, who lives in the San Diego area.

That PSA tragedy occurred only 60 miles from my home.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 16:41
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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What it needs is a set of big traffic lights at each end of the runway and at every crossing. When ATC gives take-off clearance the controller hits a big button that turns all the intersection lights red and then the one visible to the departing crew green. Then they either stay red until the controller hits the other button or, if you trust the automation, it could automatically turn off the red lights as the departing aircraft passes. It still doesn't account for someone running a red light but it might at least cause a pilot to query ATC if given an instruction to cross when the light is red.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 16:49
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by llondel View Post
What it needs is a set of big traffic lights at each end of the runway and at every crossing. When ATC gives take-off clearance the controller hits a big button that turns all the intersection lights red and then the one visible to the departing crew green. Then they either stay red until the controller hits the other button or, if you trust the automation, it could automatically turn off the red lights as the departing aircraft passes. It still doesn't account for someone running a red light but it might at least cause a pilot to query ATC if given an instruction to cross when the light is red.
To all intents and purposes, that's what IAD already has (apart from the redundant green takeoff light). See post #20.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 17:37
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Clearly something didn't work then because if the red lights were on, no one queried ATC instructions to cross despite the red light. Or weren't they on? I guess the NTSB will reveal that at some point.

Shades of the TCAS-related collision in Europe where the Russian aircraft followed ATC directions and the other aircraft obeyed TCAS. There needs to be a clear direction here that if ATC conflicts with other signs then a query should be made. It's also a use for the green light at the end - explicit clearance confirmation for the departing aircraft.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 17:47
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by climber314 View Post
Was the RWSL system not operational or just ignored by the crossing aircraft?

"Runway status lights (RWSL) are now operational on runways and taxiways at Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD).

The fully automated lighting system is being implemented at airports throughout the U.S. as part of a program to help enhance runway safety. The lighting system provides direct runway status information to pilots and surface vehicle operators indicating when it is unsafe to enter, cross, or takeoff from a runway. It requires no input from controllers as it processes information from surveillance systems and then activates runway entrance lights and takeoff hold lights in accordance with the motion and velocity of the detected traffic.

Light fixtures embedded in the pavement are directly visible to pilots and vehicle operators.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to have RWSLs operational at 23 U.S. airports by the end of 2016."

https://www.nbaa.org/ops/safety/runw...es-airport.php
It is obvious that the Sky West and AAL aircraft crossed as directed by the Tower controller and EITHER the RWSL system was not working OR they assumed that the controller's direction overruled the RWSL stop indications. This means that if the RWSL was not working it needs investigation; or, that a new rule needs to be put in place that RWSL indications have a higher priority than clearances from the controller - in a similar way as a TCAS RA must be obeyed regardless of what the controller is directing.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 10:36
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
...or, that a new rule needs to be put in place that RWSL indications have a higher priority than clearances from the controller - in a similar way as a TCAS RA must be obeyed regardless of what the controller is directing.
RWSL training does emphasize that the RWSL indications do take priority over an ATC clearance just like TCAS.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 13:13
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
It is obvious that the Sky West and AAL aircraft crossed as directed by the Tower controller and EITHER the RWSL system was not working OR they assumed that the controller's direction overruled the RWSL stop indications. This means that if the RWSL was not working it needs investigation; or, that a new rule needs to be put in place that RWSL indications have a higher priority than clearances from the controller - in a similar way as a TCAS RA must be obeyed regardless of what the controller is directing.
There is no need for a new rule.RWSL lights are not to be ignored and if on aircraft are required to stop.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 22:39
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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I have only very limited knowledge of RWSL but I understand it is ao fed by radar data. So when an aircraft is cleared for takeoff but radar data sees it still stationary, will the RWSL be lit? My guess only when the departing starts to roll but it may well be too late. Anyone with some background info?

BTW, what training, if any, do the home carriers get?
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 23:31
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra View Post
I have only very limited knowledge of RWSL but I understand it is ao fed by radar data. So when an aircraft is cleared for takeoff but radar data sees it still stationary, will the RWSL be lit? My guess only when the departing starts to roll but it may well be too late. Anyone with some background info?

BTW, what training, if any, do the home carriers get?
Link in post #20, which in turn has a link to more material on RWSL.
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 17:30
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra View Post
I have only very limited knowledge of RWSL but I understand it is ao fed by radar data. So when an aircraft is cleared for takeoff but radar data sees it still stationary, will the RWSL be lit? My guess only when the departing starts to roll but it may well be too late. Anyone with some background info?

BTW, what training, if any, do the home carriers get?
I was a union safety representative when the FAA installed one of the first sets of RWSLs at DFW a dozen or so years ago. Got to drive cars up and down the runway at 3am and taxi a company 727 with a load of Feds from Washington to observe the lights in action. The Runway Entrance Lights activate when the departing aircraft reaches 30 knots and turn off just before the the aircraft passes the intersection. The Takeoff Hold Lights are a bit more complicated as I recall. The system looks at the taxiing aircraft's speed and distance from the runway and does the math to figure if it is likely to stop before entering the runway.

As to what training United gives their pilots I can't say but with the system installed at IAD, ORD, IAH, LAX and SFO, all United hubs, I would think the crews would be familiar with the system.
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 17:51
  #35 (permalink)  
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With that level of Tower workload - somethnig had to give.
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 00:03
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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@Markerinbound, thanks for info, the airports you refer to is where I fly to as well, and our info is limited apart from some basic info in route manuals.
Also the links in post 20 don’t give a lot more but I guess the RWSL don’t work well in this specific situation.
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 07:59
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra View Post
Also the links in post 20 donít give a lot more but I guess the RWSL donít work well in this specific situation.
Fair enough. Personally, I thought the Q&A on that link was pretty helpful:

What is Runway Status Lights (RWSL)?
What are Runway Entrance Lights (RELs)?
What are Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs)?
What are the benefits of RWSL?
How do the lights work?
What precautions should be taken if verbal clearance is received from the tower, but the lights are illuminated?
What airports are receiving RWSL?
What do the lights look like and how are they installed?
How are the lights different from other runway warning lights?
Does RWSL communicate with other safety systems?
How does the system vary from one designated airport to the next?
What is the program doing to educate people?
What precautions should be taken if verbal clearance is received from the tower, but the lights are illuminated?
What airports are receiving RWSL?
What do the lights look like and how are they installed?
How are the lights different from other runway warning lights?
Does RWSL communicate with other safety systems?
How does the system vary from one designated airport to the next?
What is the program doing to educate people?
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 09:52
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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You’re right, I skipped the Q&A.
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 11:10
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Snippets from the current FAA AIM:
Never cross over illuminated red lights. Under normal circumstances, RWSL will confirm the pilot’s taxi or takeoff clearance previously issued by ATC. If RWSL indicates that it is unsafe to takeoff from, land on, cross, or enter a runway, immediately notify ATC of the conflict and re-confirm the clearance
and

System lights can be disabled should RWSL operations impact the efficient movement of air traffic or contribute, in the opinion of the assigned ATC Manager, to unsafe operations.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 16:55
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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If the RWSL was INOP, is that something that would appear in a NOTAM?

Alternatively, from the FAA description, it seems that if a departing aircraft is cleared but <30 knots when the taxiing aircraft enter the runway, nobody would see RWSL at all.
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