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Cathay messy in SFO

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Cathay messy in SFO

Old 4th Sep 2019, 01:46
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting to see not many people blaming the approach controller. How you can plonk an aircraft right below another and ask them to maintain visual separation, whilst at a similar speed and track...legal or not. I know that’s the done thing in the US but there’s a lack of airmanship shown by the controller. Awful vectoring too.

Not a great deal of airmanship shown by either of the flight crews either.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 01:57
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fleigle
cappt
"B/S! Move 28R a couple hundred feet out further into the bay. The current 28R can become bay again with little overall loss of San Francisco Bay."
You saying move it north 200'?, where would the GA terminal go?, the Coast Guard Station?, the tank farm to the NW?, the takeoff path would then be even closer to the San Bruno "mountain"...... you are the one with B/S.
f
Don’t be silly, the city has been trying to fix the layout since the Willie Brown nineties. The simplest and least invasive solution is move 28R north to the end of the 1’s. The only reason airliners have to do this approach wingtip to wingtip is because of this outdated joke of an international airport. Oh there’s a cloud below 2100’? Your flights now three hour delayed because simultaneous approaches are no longer authorized.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 02:55
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pudoc
Interesting to see not many people blaming the approach controller. How you can plonk an aircraft right below another and ask them to maintain visual separation, whilst at a similar speed and track...legal or not. I know that’s the done thing in the US but there’s a lack of airmanship shown by the controller. Awful vectoring too.
Spot on, pudoc. I think SFO controllers tend to forget that many pilots operate there only now and then, and are far from familiar with the less than optimum airport configuration. Also, expecting a heavy to do a S turn on finals at the end of a long haul flight is unrealistic.

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Old 4th Sep 2019, 03:32
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pudoc
Interesting to see not many people blaming the approach controller. How you can plonk an aircraft right below another and ask them to maintain visual separation, whilst at a similar speed and track...legal or not. I know that’s the done thing in the US but there’s a lack of airmanship shown by the controller. Awful vectoring too.

Not a great deal of airmanship shown by either of the flight crews either.
from the AIM
A pilot sees the other aircraft involved and upon instructions from the controller provides separation by maneuvering the aircraft to avoid it. When pilots accept responsibility to maintain visual separation, they must maintain constant visual surveillance and not pass the other aircraft until it is no longer a factor.
When the CX accepted the visual he was instructed to maintain visual separation but not pass the aircraft. Many airports have very closely spaced runways and the aircraft can fly almost in formation. For awhile they were trying to establish PRM approaches for such airports with a “zone of no transgression” and a monitor approach controller. It’s all in an effort to increase arrival rates.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 05:59
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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C'mon, folks. In 3 pages no-one has mentioned directly that Cathay:

- got and acknowledged an instruction to turn left to 010 - and 38 seconds later was still goofing along on course ~090.
- when reminded of the turn, had forgotten the heading assigned
- was confused about whether he was flying an ILS or visual

I mean, seriously - all you have to talk about is "ATC this" and "United that" and "RA something else?" I don't want to be especially hard on Cathay - but let's not lose sight of the real story here.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 06:21
  #46 (permalink)  
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let's not lose sight of the real story here.
Absolutely . The controller just follows the local rules he has been trained for and instructed to do . SFO ,like many other US airports are operated with a waver from the FAA to go below normal separation minima. on APP.
The problem here is that the CX crew appears not prepared ( or even trained) for the unusual approach situation handed over to them , acerbated by the heading problems, those could be explained by fatigue or stress ( look at the R/T speed delivery ) or more likely both combined.
To their discharge, to maintain in a wide-body visual separation with an aircraft less than a Mile away is not something you do everyday outside of the USA..

Now that said, both aircraft always had vertical separation at all times anyway, so nobody was really at risk here , so let's keep things into perspective.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 06:56
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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SFO works very well when everyone plays the game right. That means flying the course you are cleared for and maintaining separation that you are responsible for once you are “cleared for the visual.” Or cleared for the FMS visual.

The most formation flying I’ve done is been flying the visual to the 28s in SFO with a 777 on my left side and me keeping station slightly behind to the right. Auto pilot off, auto throttles off. Match speed. Basic airmanship.


ATC relies on the pilots to do as they are cleared. Cathay screwed up several ways. They delayed their base turn, they overshot their course, they failed to slow when they accepted the clearance to follow UAL. ATC did a good job considering that the end result was them breaking off Cathay and sending them around.

United can be forgiven for not responding to the RA immediately for several reasons. They were on short final, inside the bridge and about 3 out. Landing is not when you expect to do a RA maneuver. They heard Cathay acknowledged the speed and maintain visual clearance. They assumed he was complying. They asked tower for advisories on the traffic, they got them.

Last edited by cactusbusdrvr; 4th Sep 2019 at 07:09.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 07:04
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Fatigue

I find it interesting that many posters have mentioned that the Cathay crew would have been fatigued after a long flight. I have seen similar reasoning on other threads where crews have made mistakes.

Assuming they were within their crew duty times can we really excuse the mistake by saying they were tired?

I know what it’s like to be fatigued but surely the regulations and our best practice should prevent it from causing problems such as this.

If crews are routinely making mistakes due to fatigue then maybe the rules need to be changed.

I realise I am putting the cat amongst the pigeons here but I do love a good debate.

BV
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 08:24
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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SFO does seem to have its fair share of issues......

Time to ditch visual approaches for long haul carriers unfamiliar with SFO’s idiosyncrasies.

All fine for local Jet operators not fatigued and close to their body clock....

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Old 4th Sep 2019, 08:31
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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United can be forgiven for not responding to the RA immediately for several reasons. They were on short final, inside the bridge and about 3 out. Landing is not when you expect to do a RA maneuver. They heard Cathay acknowledged the speed and maintain visual clearance. They assumed he was complying. They asked tower for advisories on the traffic, they got them.
I disagree with absolving UAL here. Perhaps their decision can be understood in the circumstances you describe but their actions were still incorrect. Assuming that other aircraft are follinwg instrucitons correctly, and that ATC have the correct picture, is exactly WHY TCAS was developed...because historically those assumptions have at times proven fatally incorrect.

Doesn't matter where you are on final, doesn't matter if you think you know where the other traffic is or what they are doing - you must comply with a TCAS RA.

The only missing piece I can see here is the the controller didn't instruct a breakout turn for UAL ( I assume SFO were conducting PRM or SOIA?). Even if they had, however, TCAS compliance in the vertical is still expected.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 08:45
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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If crews cannot fly a heading,and do a visual approach they should not be in any commercial aircraft. Let alone a wide body..
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 09:17
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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#48 “… good debate
… often overlooked, hampered by fixed views, and the increasing complexity of aviation operations.
The ‘system’ more often assumes that operations are only ‘complicated’, will always be understood, follow the rules, but in reality the operational environment is ‘complex’, interacting in unforeseen ways and thus unpredictable.

https://blog.usejournal.com/7-differ...d-fa44e0844606

It is also important to note that in most human systems, complex and complicated co-exist …

Were both aircraft still on IFR flight plans?
Can ATC arbitrarily change IFR by stating maintain visual?
Would SFO be capable of operating at a high landing rate if IFR was imposed?

edit: #50 “you must comply with a TCAS RA


Last edited by alf5071h; 4th Sep 2019 at 09:32.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 09:53
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Were both aircraft still on IFR flight plans?
Can ATC arbitrarily change IFR by stating maintain visual?
Would SFO be capable of operating at a high landing rate if IFR was imposed?
From the AIM in post #44, visual separation may be provided IFR to IFR if the crew report traffic in sight. I am certain none was ever asked to cancel IFR.

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Old 4th Sep 2019, 09:57
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I agree a TCAS RA MUST be followed. For start it might not even be based on to the conflicting traffic that you are thinking about. It might be generated by a third traffic you are not aware of.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 10:19
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Flying to busy US airports for non US based carriers requires a thorough understanding of the FAA differences with one's own national regulations. As an example for a visual approach according to the FAA :
  1. Controllers may initiate, or pilots may request, a visual approach even when an aircraft is being vectored for an instrument approach and the pilot subsequently reports:
  1. The airport or the runway in sight at airports with operating control towers.
  2. The airport in sight at airports without a control tower.
in EASA land (for example) :

The initial and intermediate approach phases of an approach executed under the direction of a controller comprise those parts of the approach from the time vectoring is initiated for the purpose of positioning the aircraft for a final approach until the aircraft is on final approach and:
(a) established on the final approach path of a pilot-interpreted aid; or
(b) reports that it is able to complete a visual approach; or
(c) ready to commence a surveillance radar approach.Basically the big difference is that under EASA the visual approach will always come upon a request from the pilot whether in the States You can get one (and You will) by the controller's initiative. Being ready for it is what makes the difference.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 15:19
  #56 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Backupnav
Spot on, pudoc. I think SFO controllers tend to forget that many pilots operate there only now and then, and are far from familiar with the less than optimum airport configuration. Also, expecting a heavy to do a S turn on finals at the end of a long haul flight is unrealistic.
Unrealistic ? Unrealistic to have the potential for a go around either ? If you can't do a simple S turn on final long haul or not, you shouldn't be near the controls of a jet.
You get paid to fly an aircraft all you have to do is complete that task.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 15:37
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sonic, #55,
In FAA land, irrespective of who initiates a visual approach - need to see the airport, etc, there is no statement of change of responsibility for aircraft separation when flying an IFR flight plan.
Or does the FAA ‘visual approach’ imply visual separation; if so then all relevant aircraft positions should be notified, and those involved must be able to see each other and should manoeuvre to ensure no ACAS resolution conflict.
Gross assumptions all round.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 15:40
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cessnaxpilot
from the AIM
A pilot sees the other aircraft involved and upon instructions from the controller provides separation by maneuvering the aircraft to avoid it. When pilots accept responsibility to maintain visual separation, they must maintain constant visual surveillance and not pass the other aircraft until it is no longer a factor.

When the CX accepted the visual he was instructed to maintain visual separation but not pass the aircraft. Many airports have very closely spaced runways and the aircraft can fly almost in formation. For awhile they were trying to establish PRM approaches for such airports with a “zone of no transgression” and a monitor approach controller. It’s all in an effort to increase arrival rates.
This is why I said "legal or not" in my post. There's no point quoting the AIM, there's a distinct lack of airmanship by all parties. The book of rules won't save you from a disaster, airmanship will. Just ask Sully.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 16:59
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Originally Posted by FLCH
Unrealistic ? Unrealistic to have the potential for a go around either ? If you can't do a simple S turn on final long haul or not, you shouldn't be near the controls of a jet.
You get paid to fly an aircraft all you have to do is complete that task.
You get paid to fly an aircraft according to Your operator specific requirements and You are entitled by all means not to perform any manoeuvre that You are not comfortable with, or haven't practiced including S turns on final with a 300T passenger jet. In this event everybody has their share of responsibility but again when operating to busy US airports You need to be ready for visuals, (very) late runway changes with VOR approaches and so on, that's how it works on the other side of the pond, fair enough.
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Old 4th Sep 2019, 17:05
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Originally Posted by alf5071h
sonic, #55,
In FAA land, irrespective of who initiates a visual approach - need to see the airport, etc, there is no statement of change of responsibility for aircraft separation when flying an IFR flight plan.
Or does the FAA ‘visual approach’ imply visual separation; if so then all relevant aircraft positions should be notified, and those involved must be able to see each other and should manoeuvre to ensure no ACAS resolution conflict.
Gross assumptions all round.
I agree with You, but that's why You need to be briefed on how things work at certain airports to avoid any type of issue and trying to comply with ATC requests as far as practical. It's how it works there, it's either You get ready for it or get caught by it.
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