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Another SFO incident for AC (#3)?

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Another SFO incident for AC (#3)?

Old 1st Nov 2019, 06:58
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Originally Posted by giggitygiggity View Post
But why? Seems like an unnecessary erosion of safety. The only answer I can conceive is controller laziness or a desperation to sound slick.
It isnít. The vast majority of US pilots are dumbfounded when they hear ďline up and wait behind...Ē. They think itís reckless and unsafe.

They hold it in the same regard as you do with ďcleared to land, number 3Ē.

Itís just what youíre used to.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 07:03
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
"They landed without a clearance as a busy airport".

You think that's OK?
As many have implied, at a busy airport, airmanship and S.A. are paramount. Letís say the crew discovered the mistake pretty late (200ft for example). Iíd say theyíre better off scanning for traffic and landing if the runway is clear, than going missed.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 07:12
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Originally Posted by HPSOV L View Post
Last time I landed in SFO the landing clearance was issued on first contact with TWR even though the runway was subsequently occupied by other aircraft three times prior to us actually landing. Itís a conditional clearance but different to most countries in that the conditions are not stated. Like a lot of what happens in SFO it can throw you off your game a little as it is a bit out of the normal pattern.
What youíll hear will sound something like ď3 departures prior to your arrival, RW 10R, cleared to landĒ.

For me, that early landing clearance actually sets my mind at ease. My intent is to land, and absent further instructions, Iím able to do so. Now, I donít have to worry about landing without a clearance.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 08:01
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post


As many have implied, at a busy airport, airmanship and S.A. are paramount. Letís say the crew discovered the mistake pretty late (200ft for example). Iíd say theyíre better off scanning for traffic and landing if the runway is clear, than going missed.
Oh yes, I am sure that this is [something like] what happened - and they seem to have reported themselves which is admirable. The bit I was challenging was the blase attitude of other posters.

If TWR knew something they didn't (runway incursion, debris, who knows what all) and had cancelled the clearance it could have all turned to custard toot sweet
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 09:25
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Listening to Live ATC, it seems the Canadian flight and the Tower were in contact shortly before landing. The audio is of poor quality so it is not 100% but it sounds like a couple of brief messages between them. However, a short while later, Tower can be heard instructing the Canadian to hold short of some point and there was no reply from the aircraft. Tower called him again to repeat the hold short instruction and there was a response from the aircraft. Interestingly, what was not apparent was anything along the lines of "who told you to land?"
Try it at KSFO Tower archive 3rd October between 19:21 and 19:24 UCT.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 12:58
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Originally Posted by Maninthebar View Post
Oh yes, I am sure that this is [something like] what happened - and they seem to have reported themselves which is admirable. The bit I was challenging was the blase attitude of other posters.

If TWR knew something they didn't (runway incursion, debris, who knows what all) and had cancelled the clearance it could have all turned to custard toot sweet
Yes, there couldíve been some danger that the crew couldnít perceive, but at that point, the tower controller would likely find another way to communicate with the crew.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 13:07
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Listening to Live ATC, it seems the Canadian flight and the Tower were in contact shortly before landing. The audio is of poor quality so it is not 100% but it sounds like a couple of brief messages between them. However, a short while later, Tower can be heard instructing the Canadian to hold short of some point and there was no reply from the aircraft. Tower called him again to repeat the hold short instruction and there was a response from the aircraft. Interestingly, what was not apparent was anything along the lines of "who told you to land?"
Try it at KSFO Tower archive 3rd October between 19:21 and 19:24 UCT.
Iím assuming they werenít questioned because the crew did as they were expected to do, ie. land the plane.

Please donít take my replies here to mean that we go around landing without clearances every day, but most often in these scenarios, doing so is often the lesser of 2 evils.

Never flown in Europe, but most North American airline pilots would have operated at non-towered airports before (occasionally, even at an airline), so itís really not that much of an uncomfortable situation.

At least in my base, low vis takeoff and landing gets way more briefing time. I havenít done an approach in months, and apparently itís already snowing up north!
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 16:04
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I think the issue of not being on the right freq at SFO is not landing clearance (you can see for yourself if the runway is clear of obstacles) but more the possible loss of separation with close parallel approach or takeoffs from the intersection runway that abort (not sure whether the RSL will fix that one).
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 17:41
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
Who cares what it seems like, do you have any data that indicates itís unsafe? Opinion isnít fact nor data. The vast majority of the top 10 busiest busiest airports in the world successfully use anticipated separation daily.

itís simply different than what youíre used to, not more safe or less safe, just different,
I never said my post was fact, it is opinion. I am not the regulator, this is a forum for discussion. Although I am used to it do it most weeks in CDG, I still donít like it. I just donít see the advantage. You have the crew going, Ďwere we cleared to land, I canít remember? Oh yeah we checked in so we must be cleared to landí.

To the point another made about getting told to line up behind, I didnít realise that this was something that was prohibited under the FAA as I donít operate in the USA. Although a line up behind clearance would never be issued with a secondary condition, it will be specific referring to the next landing aircraft and never something like Ďafter the third company a319 on the approach at 15 miles, cleared to line up behindí. I imagine that clearance option came about as a lot of the European airports are a lot smaller. For example, My base has just 1 runway but still moves 50 million pax a year, SFO has 4 and only shifts a fraction more. Therefore arguably compromises are necessary due to the infrastructure limitations to keep things moving. I just donít see the advantage in clearing someone to land with 3 aircraft ahead.
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Old 1st Nov 2019, 22:23
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Just to clarify, youíre not always cleared to land on initial contact with the tower.

Having been exposed to ďline up behindĒ and ďcleared to land no. 3Ē early in my career, I really donít see a problem with either.

If you really want to have fun in the US, you can be cleared for a visual approach without having the field in sight.

conditions apply of course
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 01:32
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If I recall correctly at SFO one could be cleared for the visual approach RWYs 28 if you had the San Mateo Bridge in sight.
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 02:09
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by giggitygiggity View Post


I never said my post was fact, it is opinion. I am not the regulator, this is a forum for discussion. Although I am used to it do it most weeks in CDG, I still donít like it. I just donít see the advantage. You have the crew going, Ďwere we cleared to land, I canít remember? Oh yeah we checked in so we must be cleared to landí.

To the point another made about getting told to line up behind, I didnít realise that this was something that was prohibited under the FAA as I donít operate in the USA. Although a line up behind clearance would never be issued with a secondary condition, it will be specific referring to the next landing aircraft and never something like Ďafter the third company a319 on the approach at 15 miles, cleared to line up behindí. I imagine that clearance option came about as a lot of the European airports are a lot smaller. For example, My base has just 1 runway but still moves 50 million pax a year, SFO has 4 and only shifts a fraction more. Therefore arguably compromises are necessary due to the infrastructure limitations to keep things moving. I just donít see the advantage in clearing someone to land with 3 aircraft ahead.
I donít see an advantage to not doing it. As I said earlier, The reason you donít like it s because itís different than what youíre used to. A bit of the NIH syndrome, so it must be substandard.
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 04:04
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I actually like this system. It reduces radio congestion and you donít have to worry about that late landing clearance being stepped on.

But there is a gotcha which may or may not be a factor in this case.. If you do miss the frequency change to TWR (which comes at quite a busy phase of configuration change etc) there is no memory trigger at the point you would normally (in other countries) expect a clearance. You are thinking ahead, not back where the error occurred
Yes I know there are other cues which should clue you in but the brain is a funny thing when it gets focussed on a task.

Anyway it's not an excuse, just trying to give an insight into how a minor difference from your normal habit pattern can erode your passive defences.

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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 04:05
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
I don’t see an advantage to not doing it. As I said earlier, The reason you don’t like it s because it’s different than what you’re used to. A bit of the NIH syndrome, so it must be substandard.
^^^^^
This.
It’s life, Jim, just not as we know it.
Most old guys I know always keep a jaundiced eye out for traps, all the way to the gate, past the flirtatious 63 yr old purser, up the jetway, into the coffee shop. A landing clearance, like every other clearance is only good until the moment it is not anymore.

Last edited by Australopithecus; 2nd Nov 2019 at 04:07. Reason: fixed missing apostrophe
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 15:20
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Izzat so?

I'm not rightly sure that's how it works in America.
Exactly. Crazy stuff that people write about 'how it really is." FIfteen minutes prior is typically about 60 nm from the runway. No one gets landing clearance that far out..... unless you're racing the curfew into DCA back in the old days. ;-))))
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Old 2nd Nov 2019, 16:16
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
In Canada (and all the other countries I have flown in), you are not cleared to land until you are number 1 and the runway is clear.
Its been in use at YYZ for at least 5 years. Unlike our FAA friends, we can't anticipate the separation with departing traffic in the mix and cannot clear an aircraft to land until a departure is actually rolling.

It does help reduce chatter on sometimes very busy frequencies (e.g. closely spaced parallels) but it is a controller judgement call and by no means is it a blanket clearance.

I agree with the comment regarding the check-in at the FAF requirement being a PITA. On a mixed mode runway you can almost guarantee that you will try to check-in just as the preceding arrival is landing and the controller is trying to line up the next departure. The FAF is the transfer of control point from arrival to tower and some believe the transfer of comms should be at the same inconvenient point. IMHO If you check-in a mile early there will be no problems and you are less likely to forget as you pass the FAF and get busier.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 01:33
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Originally Posted by blue up View Post
Back in my day we only did something after we had heard the clearance AND read it back for confirmation.
How horribly old-fashioned of you.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 01:37
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Originally Posted by Australopithecus View Post
The US controllers would clear you to land on first contact regardless of how many landers were in front of you. But I canít honestly recall if they ever did that in poor visibility. I used to fly there often enough that the phrase ďcleared to landĒ lost its meaning.

The more troubling thing about this incident isnít that the crew didnít hear the clearance, its that they wouldnít have heard a go-around instruction either.
And that's exactly why you shouldn't land unless you hear the tower clear you.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 01:50
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Flight in front of us at SFO went around once from short final. They finally contacted tower on the go and tower asks "UA123 say reason for go-around?" UA123 "we didn't have landing clearance" Tower- "OK, well, everyone usually just lands anyway".
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 06:58
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Originally Posted by cappt View Post
Flight in front of us at SFO went around once from short final. They finally contacted tower on the go and tower asks "UA123 say reason for go-around?" UA123 "we didn't have landing clearance" Tower- "OK, well, everyone usually just lands anyway".
Well I would not mix up attempted humor on the R/T with actual regulations and procedures.
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