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More woes at SFO - transposing runway numbers leaves little room for error

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More woes at SFO - transposing runway numbers leaves little room for error

Old 15th Sep 2019, 16:25
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More woes at SFO - transposing runway numbers leaves little room for error

“In 2017, a commercial airliner lined up for takeoff at San Francisco International Airport on runway 01 Left, the main departure route.

The pilot accidentally punched 10 Left — a much longer SFO runway — into the cockpit computer, causing the plane to incorrectly calculate the appropriate thrust and wing flap settings.

The pilot’s simple reversing of the number caused the plane to nearly run out of runway, lifting off with only 400 feet left of asphalt, according to a Federal Aviation Administration report obtained by The Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act.”

More here:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...mpression=true
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 18:59
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Originally Posted by WillFlyForCheese View Post
“In 2017, a commercial airliner lined up for takeoff at San Francisco International Airport on runway 01 Left, the main departure route.

The pilot accidentally punched 10 Left — a much longer SFO runway — into the cockpit computer, causing the plane to incorrectly calculate the appropriate thrust and wing flap settings.

The pilot’s simple reversing of the number caused the plane to nearly run out of runway, lifting off with only 400 feet left of asphalt, according to a Federal Aviation Administration report obtained by The Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act.”

More here:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...mpression=true

"A typical commercial airliner is traveling at 184 mph at liftoff,"

All I needed to read. Pretty hard to find a well written aviation story.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 19:56
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
"A typical commercial airliner is traveling at 184 mph at liftoff,"

All I needed to read. Pretty hard to find a well written aviation story.
You mean that to most journalists, a knot is what you do with your shoelaces?
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 20:35
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
You mean that to most journalists, a knot is what you do with your shoelaces?
Pretty much. So frustrating to read a well meant article, so full of elementary mistakes.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 21:46
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This bit is worse:

​​​​​​​Aviation experts say airliners need to lift off the ground with enough runway left to abort a takeoff — 400 feet isn’t nearly enough and 1,000 feet is too close.
Bollocks.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 22:37
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Way back when, PanAm wasn't as lucky; they put the approach lights through the bottom of the fuselage while rotating. No real drama until they had to land with wing gear only (B747) on the subsequent return. However, when the aircraft came to a stop, it sat back on its tail and the evacuation went sideways when pax tried to exit the upper deck slide which was not close to the ground.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 23:22
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Originally Posted by Obama57 View Post
Way back when, PanAm wasn't as lucky; they put the approach lights through the bottom of the fuselage while rotating. No real drama until they had to land with wing gear only (B747) on the subsequent return. However, when the aircraft came to a stop, it sat back on its tail and the evacuation went sideways when pax tried to exit the upper deck slide which was not close to the ground.
More on the Pan Am SFO mishap here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_845
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 00:30
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
"A typical commercial airliner is traveling at 184 mph at liftoff,"

All I needed to read. Pretty hard to find a well written aviation story.
What's wrong with it? That's about 160 knots. It was nice of the journalist to convert to a unit of measurement that the general public can understand.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 00:35
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I regularly get airborne around 184. Griping about 400ft/1000ft is pretty petty too, compared to what actually happened.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 02:16
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Originally Posted by RogueRivered View Post
What's wrong with it? That's about 160 knots. It was nice of the journalist to convert to a unit of measurement that the general public can understand.
V2 speed on just my narrow body will vary from about 120kts to 160kts depending on weight. Don't have a clue for anybody else, so saying "184" for a "typical" speed suggests a level of significance that is totally inappropriate.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 03:19
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General Innumeracy

Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
V2 speed on just my narrow body will vary from about 120kts to 160kts depending on weight. Don't have a clue for anybody else, so saying "184" for a "typical" speed suggests a level of significance that is totally inappropriate.
I'm afraid this is just another case of innumeracy.
The reporter read "160kts" and maybe knew what that was and decided to convert it to 'reader familiar' units, or more likely didn't know what "160kts" was, converted it for their own edification. They put "160kts as mph" into Google's search box, and they were told "184.124712 miles per hour". They were numerate enough to put that as "184mph", but not numerate enough to ask themselves whether "160kts" is intended to be an exact measurement, and if not whether "185mph" or even "180mph" would be suitable.

You see the same sort of thing even in reputable industry magazines nowadays: for example an aircraft's range is quoted as "7,500nm (13890km)" which is arithmetically accurate but completely bonkers - anybody who thinks a long-range aircraft has its range estimated to +/- 10km shouldn't be reporting on aviation.

Folks, even "aviation journalists", don't understand numbers and trust Google far too much.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 03:37
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Who cares Hans? They took off on the "wrong" runway! Don't shoot the messenger.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 07:33
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Could this problem be compounded by the habit of saying, say, one left, instead of zero one left?
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 08:07
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Curious that, if miss was as near as report suggests, it's surprising it seems to have only been reported via an anonymous report (US equivalent of CHIRPS?). Appreciate the report messes up explanation of how ASDA/V1 should work but on face consequence could have been serious.

It's similar to several incidents in UK (eg Sunwing at Belfast) where mistakes with temperature, weight or full length v intersection departure have lead to flex-thrust being wrongly set. Several examples in AAIB report/bulletins over the years.

That 01/10 confusion is possible is one thing and worrying; that initial mistake was not detected in cross/check is more so.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 08:26
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I appreciate that airborne systems need a degree of safety, development and security not applicable to domestic devices BUT my car knows:
  • how heavy it is (and adjusts brake pressure accordingly)
  • what the exterior temperature is
  • where it is
It seems to be time that HAL caught up
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 08:39
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Your car doesn't know what the temperature is. Your car knows what the temperature at the sensor is, but that's not the same thing at all, especially if it's been sitting in the sun on the same piece of tarmac for a while.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 08:45
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Originally Posted by AerocatS2A View Post
Your car doesn't know what the temperature is. Your car knows what the temperature at the sensor is, but that's not the same thing at all, especially if it's been sitting in the sun on the same piece of tarmac for a while.
Fair point and perhaps I was being facile, but absolutely soluble at machine level. If it was important to my car then it would probably take the data from some 'nearest weather station'. METAR are already expressed in a form interpretable by a very simple machine. I am expressing lack of understanding as to why this ability is not used in performance calcs, as a check on human performance if nothing else.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 10:56
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
You mean that to most journalists, a knot is what you do with your shoelaces?
No, they wouldn't know how to tie a knot. They have Velcro.

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Old 16th Sep 2019, 11:33
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That 01/10 confusion is possible is one thing and worrying; that initial mistake was not detected in cross/check is more so.
NAV display: check.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 11:43
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
Fair point and perhaps I was being facile, but absolutely soluble at machine level. If it was important to my car then it would probably take the data from some 'nearest weather station'. METAR are already expressed in a form interpretable by a very simple machine. I am expressing lack of understanding as to why this ability is not used in performance calcs, as a check on human performance if nothing else.
What HAL could have known was that it was set up for runway 10 but it was lined up on runway 01. That kind of check could be useful as a second level of safety.
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