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Lufty at SFO

Old 26th Nov 2023, 03:13
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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As an occasional visitor to SFO, this has been an interesting thread. I feel now that this is more about a systemic issue that unfortunately brought a customer and the service provider into conflict, which prompted some unprofessional behaviour from both parties.

In an ideal world, ATC would have created a small gap (didnít need to be much) by speeding up / slowing down / vectoring other traffic, then filed a report with the regulator, airline and the airport authority explaining why this particular situation could cause capacity issues if it became widespread. I donít think allowing one aircraft a little more space would have had much/any of a measurable effect on flow rates that night, but can absolutely see that if a significant proportion of arrivals demanded the ILS with procedural separation there would be knock-on effects. LH donít plan to arrive after dark, so this was a rare or even unique situation for them, and possibly for ATC too...
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 06:33
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs
That's clearly ridiculous. You obviously do have no idea. Pretty obvious though from your previous posts.

Short range flights will be held on the ground or spaced out to give priority to long haul flights. Itís called metering and is managed by the local TRACON and the center when terminal conditions deteriorate or other factors (like this) take place.

We just had an area of strong winds in the Southwest of the USA. I was departing KLAS to KOAK and we were being metered because they were only taking off and landing on the 01s. (Runways). That killed their arrival and departure rate. There were up to 1 hour delays because of this. It happens a lot. When I left OAK there was a ground stop into LAS. Luckily I was going to a different destination.

I know Europe has arrival and departure issues. Iíve held going into LHR quite often, although itís so much better now than before COVID. Itís the same thinking, just applied in a different way.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 08:19
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FullWings
As an occasional visitor to SFO, this has been an interesting thread. I feel now that this is more about a systemic issue that unfortunately brought a customer and the service provider into conflict, which prompted some unprofessional behaviour from both parties.

In an ideal world, ATC would have created a small gap (didnít need to be much) by speeding up / slowing down / vectoring other traffic, then filed a report with the regulator, airline and the airport authority explaining why this particular situation could cause capacity issues if it became widespread. I donít think allowing one aircraft a little more space would have had much/any of a measurable effect on flow rates that night, but can absolutely see that if a significant proportion of arrivals demanded the ILS with procedural separation there would be knock-on effects. LH donít plan to arrive after dark, so this was a rare or even unique situation for them, and possibly for ATC too...
LH knew they were going to arrive after dark that night, and that their own SOPs placed an operational restriction on them in darkness. A mandatory Part of the "System" is the filling of a Flight Plan, and in that Flight Plan there are areas where the Operator lists equipment and capabilities. Just after the Destination, Alternates spaces there is an area, Block 18, used for the purpose of conveying to ATC information of significance for their attention. Among the items of significance are Nav, Comm, Datalink, Special Handling, etc. That space for ATC also allows one to transmit info using plain-language text. For instance:

"RMK NO VIS APPCH"

An operational restriction that doesn't allow certain type of approaches at the Destination and Alternate, would certainly be considered significant enough that it should have been filed on the Flight Plan to alert ATC at the destination. LH knew they would be arriving after dark on that flight and the forecast was mostly likely for VMC conditions.

ATC isn't a fast food restaurant nor is the Operator a "customer" that's always right...the Operator has responsibilities to meet when using the system as well. One responsibility is filing an accurate Flight Plan to convey the information ATC needs to provide the service . If LH didn't even attempt to notify ATC of the restriction at their destination in that night's Flight Plan, the problem isn't the system, it was that they didn't use it.

Does anyone know if LH filed a Flight Plan that conveyed this operationally-important information?

Last edited by PukinDog; 27th Nov 2023 at 08:44.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 09:49
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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Another part of the “System” is publishing necessary information to operators in the AIP to allow them to know what to expect. In the rebuttal video the “controller” states they treated the DLH as though it was requesting the opposite end. Now as an example, since Heathrow has already been used so much in this thread, if you look in the EGLL AIP entry and scroll to 6,a,ii) with regards to the local preferential runway procedure and requiring the opposite end:

“Pilots who ask for permission to use the runway into wind when, in accordance with these procedures, Runway 27R or 27L are in use, should understand that their arrival or departure may be delayed.”

Now, I’m not as au fait with browsing FAA documents so I may well have missed it and I’m more than happy to be corrected, but I can’t find anything similar in the KSFO AIP entry that suggests something as fundamental as requiring the controllers to provide radar separation might incur a similar delay. How do you expect DLH to be aware they’ll need to make this remark short of “well they should just know”?
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 09:54
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
LH knew they were going to arrive after dark that night, and that their own SOPs placed an operational restriction on them in darkness. A mandatory Part of the "System" is the filling of a Flight Plan, and in that Flight Plan there are areas where the Operator lists equipment and capabilities. Just after the Destination, Alternates spaces there is an area, Block 18, used for the purpose of conveying to ATC information of significance for their attention. Among the items of significance are Nav, Comm, Datalink, Special Handling, etc. That space for ATC also allows one to transmit info using plain-language text. For instance:

"RMK NO VIS APPCH"
Thats not quite how it works.
Does it say on the approach chart ďArriving aircraft must accept visual separationĒ?
The flight is planned according to the charts. There are charts for an ILS approach and I donít see visual separation mentioned.
If the airline ops department are just supposed to know then remember that DLH fly to hundreds of destinations, each one through probably upwards of 50 ATSUs, are they supposed to remember the individual quirks of each one?
If you put a plain English message for every ATSU quirk en route the RMK box will quickly fill up and be rendered useless by the volume of information on it.

RMK should be used for Nav, comm, datalink and others as you suggest but if the charts say thereís an ILS approach available then to decline visual separation is not special handling or a specific failure.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 14:03
  #266 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
LH knew they were going to arrive after dark that night, and that their own SOPs placed an operational restriction on them in darkness. A mandatory Part of the "System" is the filling of a Flight Plan, and in that Flight Plan there are areas where the Operator lists equipment and capabilities. Just after the Destination, Alternates spaces there is an area, Block 18, used for the purpose of conveying to ATC information of significance for their attention. Among the items of significance are Nav, Comm, Datalink, Special Handling, etc. That space for ATC also allows one to transmit info using plain-language text. For instance:

"RMK NO VIS APPCH"

An operational restriction that doesn't allow certain type of approaches at the Destination and Alternate, would certainly be considered significant enough that it should have been filed on the Flight Plan to alert ATC at the destination. LH knew they would be arriving after dark on that flight and the forecast was mostly likely for VMC conditions.

ATC isn't a fast food restaurant nor is the Operator a "customer" that's always right...the Operator has responsibilities to meet when using the system as well. One responsibility is filing an accurate Flight Plan to convey the information ATC needs to provide the service . If LH didn't even attempt to notify ATC of the restriction at their destination in that night's Flight Plan, the problem isn't the system, it was that they didn't use it.

Does anyone know if LH filed a Flight Plan that conveyed this operationally-important information?
And woe betide anyone who has a problem en route that means they can't oblige the poor old air traffic ​​​​​service.

Off to Oakland with you, you pest...
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 15:04
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Originally Posted by Del Prado
RMK should be used for Nav, comm, datalink and others as you suggest but if the charts say thereís an ILS approach available then to decline visual separation is not special handling or a specific failure.
In SFO, it is special handling. Theyíre not asking a pilot on a VFR flight plan to shoot an ILS. Theyíre asking an IFR crew to look outside and fly. If they canít (or arenít allowed to) do that in VMC, expect lengthy delays.

The whole operation isnít going to stop because they want/need an ILS. Following an aircraft to the runway is something every student pilot learns how to do.

If youíre flying into a major US airfield, plan for the instrument AND the visual approach. That way you wonít get caught napping.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 16:01
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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Firstly, if itís special handling where is that written down? There are multiple methods for notifying operators about local procedures and what to expect. Secondly, if the whole operation needs to stop to make a gap - exactly what theyíd need to do if there was a go around, in both cases thereís 1 extra aircraft in the sequence and a single gap lost - then the operation needs rethinking. Making a gap is something every trainee approach controller learns to do.

FAA AIM

3-2-1 c) IFR Separation. Standard IFR separation is provided to all aircraft operating under IFR in controlled airspace.

3-2-3 a) Class B Airspace [Ö] An ATC clearance is required for all aircraft to operate in the area, and all aircraft that are so cleared receive separation services within the airspace.

5-5-12 A2) Visual Separation Pilot Responsibilities
If instructed by ATC to follow another aircraft or to provide visual separation from it, promptly notify the controller if you lose sight of that aircraft, are unable to maintain continued visual contact with it, or cannot accept the responsibility for your own separation for any reason.

Is (at least) 40 minutes notice not counted as prompt? ATC for whatever reason were not willing (and/or able) to provide standard IFR separation to the DLH. Iíve yet to find anything written down that removes the responsibility from ATC at KSFO (do feel free to provide that info - it may well be out there). All they were willing to offer was for the DLH to provide their own separation. Itís a bit like going to a restaurant and being told if you want your meal cooked for you by the chef itís at least an hours wait before you can even order, but youíre welcome to go through to the back and cook for yourself now!

Öand even if you donít agree with all that for whatever reason, weíre still back to the question of what the delay actually was and why it wasnít transmitted to the pilot. I ask again, what is the correct quantity of extra fuel to uplift for a delay of 10 minutes, that keeps increasing by another 10 minutes every quarter of an hour?
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 16:18
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chesty Morgan
And woe betide anyone who has a problem en route that means they can't oblige the poor old air traffic ​​​​​service.
.
Are we going to pretend that in the year 2023 enroute air carrier aircraft can't communicate with their Ops, obtain current weather reports/updated forecasts, or notify ATC to pass a message that will likely be of operational significance at the arrival airport down the line to those it would matter to the most? In your hypothetical, is it your contention that an enroute controller wouldn't pass along such a message when received from the pilot if the pilot had the sense to realize that a Company restriction had now come into play...especially one that ATC would have no way of knowing about unless told? It's almost as if you don't believe communication and coordination exists between Enroute and Approach controllers.

A belief that a "customer" should be able to just rock up having given no heads-up, and receive whatever they request regardless of the impact on anything else is somewhat amusing. This doesn't even happen for something as simple as booking a hotel room. If one needs (or comes to need) a room equipped-for and with access for the physically handicapped, it would be pretty dumb to not specify this requirement while making the reservation or, if it only becomes apparent after booking, to not notify them of the change with as much lead-time as possible that any old room they choose won't do. If one fails to use the opportunities and channels to communicate the special restriction beforehand, then a delay getting what they when they arrive at the front desk is on them. TRACON is the front desk of the airports they serve.

But an enroute delay wasn't what happened to this particular LH was it, so it would be useful to know if anyone at LH bothered to communicate the "no visual appch" operational restriction on their Flight Plan.

Curious, at your company, what do you do if an enroute or destination alternate goes down with unforecast conditions, or you lose some avionics that could restrict your ability to use them. Just keep quiet, keep on truckin', and hope for the best when you get there?
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 16:27
  #270 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
..... in that Flight Plan there are areas where the Operator lists equipment and capabilities. Just after the Destination, Alternates spaces there is an area, Block 18, used for the purpose of conveying to ATC information of significance for their attention. Among the items of significance are Nav, Comm, Datalink, Special Handling, etc. That space for ATC also allows one to transmit info using plain-language text. For instance: "RMK NO VIS APPCH"
As was already said it is not how a flight plan works . Field 18 is not processed to ATC , The controller has no idea what is written tin here , he only has the ATC part of the flight plan and that stops with Destination . . even the endurance and alternate(s) are not processed, all this and the rest is for SAR. , and is only get processed to ATC manually in case of INCERFA. /ALERFA.

And last , LH accept visual approaches, what the LH SOP says is the visual separation at night which is not .
Their SOP reads : : " clearances to maintain own separation in VMC may be accepted under the following conditions .... , and the last one is : only during hours of daylight .

@ Request Orbit :
ATC for whatever reason were not willing (and/or able) to provide standard IFR separation to the DLH.
I agree , the fine line here is between Willing or Able to. . Waiting to see the official FAA reaction , if one will ever come , as in fact there was no incident , safety was never compromised, so no real need to investigate .
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 16:32
  #271 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
In SFO, it is special handling. Theyíre not asking a pilot on a VFR flight plan to shoot an ILS. Theyíre asking an IFR crew to look outside and fly. If they canít (or arenít allowed to) do that in VMC, expect lengthy delays.

The whole operation isnít going to stop because they want/need an ILS. Following an aircraft to the runway is something every student pilot learns how to do.

If youíre flying into a major US airfield, plan for the instrument AND the visual approach. That way you wonít get caught napping.
Nothing has to stop

All that is needed is a couple of minutes of gap. Slow a couple of inbounds by a minute each, or 4 byv30 seconds etc. and hey presto...The job of ATC.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 16:37
  #272 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
Are we going to pretend that in the year 2023 enroute air carrier aircraft can't communicate with their Ops, obtain current weather reports/updated forecasts, or notify ATC to pass a message that will likely be of operational significance at the arrival airport down the line to those it would matter to the most? In your hypothetical, is it your contention that an enroute controller wouldn't pass along such a message when received from the pilot if the pilot had the sense to realize that a Company restriction had now come into play...especially one that ATC would have no way of knowing about unless told? It's almost as if you don't believe communication and coordination exists between Enroute and Approach controllers.

A belief that a "customer" should be able to just rock up having given no heads-up, and receive whatever they request regardless of the impact on anything else is somewhat amusing. This doesn't even happen for something as simple as booking a hotel room. If one needs (or comes to need) a room equipped-for and with access for the physically handicapped, it would be pretty dumb to not specify this requirement while making the reservation or, if it only becomes apparent after booking, to not notify them of the change with as much lead-time as possible that any old room they choose won't do. If one fails to use the opportunities and channels to communicate the special restriction beforehand, then a delay getting what they when they arrive at the front desk is on them. TRACON is the front desk of the airports they serve.

But an enroute delay wasn't what happened to this particular LH was it, so it would be useful to know if anyone at LH bothered to communicate the "no visual appch" operational restriction on their Flight Plan.

Curious, at your company, what do you do if an enroute or destination alternate goes down with unforecast conditions, or you lose some avionics that could restrict your ability to use them. Just keep quiet, keep on truckin', and hope for the best when you get there?
Ridiculous post. How far out is your hypothetical occurring?

How much notice does a controller need? Certainly more than they got between LH requesting the ILS and them diverting. How long was that? Cant turn up to SFO with a problem, minor or otherwise, if you can't have that problem x minutes out?

Flexibility is the key..SFO ATC has none.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 17:44
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Originally Posted by Chesty Morgan
Ridiculous post. How far out is your hypothetical occurring?
All PukinDogís hypotheticals seem to revolve around it being entirely DLHs fault for not doing things that they apparently should have done, despite those things not being written down anywhere, and being contrary to what is actually notified. All the while, the things plainly written down regarding responsibilities ATC personnel do have are conveniently ignored. At this point in the hypotheticals it appears you have to declare a missed approach while somewhere over Canada, or the sequence at KSFO canít possibly workÖ

ďIf one fails to use the opportunities and channels to communicate the special restriction beforehandĒ seems to fit the KSFO published approach procedures perfectly.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 19:58
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Well, since 18 is invisible unless things get dicey and they haven't added a new 'Visual" Code to the Field 10 Approach Capabilities (or is that invisible too?) to accommodate those who can't be assumed to have eyeballs, it looks like LH has created an impossibly complicated, 4-dimensional chess problem of how Ops or crew can communicate to ATC their Company's nighttime restriction before showing up on SFO's doorstep late after dark with Visuals already in progress.

It's a shame it's so terribly difficult because, after all, LH crews and Ops know through long and frequent experience these Visuals are likely when it's VMC at SFO, flying them regularly during daylight. Sigh, If only there was a way, life might be easier for everyone.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:04
  #275 (permalink)  
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It's a shame that certain air traffic control centers can't do the job of air trafficking. Or, in other words, to expedite the safe and efficient flow of traffic...ALL traffic.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:19
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Originally Posted by Chesty Morgan
It's a shame that certain air traffic control centers can't do the job of air trafficking. Or, in other words, to expedite the safe and efficient flow of traffic...ALL traffic.
My thoughts exactly every time I've sat around on the ground any given sunny day waiting to hear from Eurocontrol about slot times, engine start times, etc. Then, if entering a hold somewhere despite all that, one has even more time to ponder the shame of it all.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:20
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
And last , LH accept visual approaches, what the LH SOP says is the visual separation at night which is not .
Their SOP reads : : " clearances to maintain own separation in VMC may be accepted under the following conditions .... , and the last one is : only during hours of daylight .
ergo: it wouldnít matter whether visual approaches were added to field 10 or not as it was not the visual approach that was the issue, it was the application by the pilot of visual separation. It shouldnít require a remark in field 18 for ATC to discharge their responsibility to separate IFR aircraft in controlled airspace.

Again I ask, is it notified anywhere that DLH have to do any of what you suggest when operating into KSFO? Is it notified anywhere that an ILS approach is, apparently, unavailable at any time?

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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:24
  #278 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
My thoughts exactly every time I've sat around on the ground any given sunny day waiting to hear from Eurocontrol about slot times, engine start times, etc. Then, if entering a hold somewhere despite all that, one has even more time to ponder the shame of it all.
That is expediting traffic. I've yet to witness any controller within the Eurocontrol arena punish an aircraft for wanting an alternate approach.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:28
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
My thoughts exactly every time I've sat around on the ground any given sunny day waiting to hear from Eurocontrol about slot times, engine start times, etc. Then, if entering a hold somewhere despite all that, one has even more time to ponder the shame of it all.
Are you genuinely trying to say that if the sunís out at your departure aerodrome then the entire route must be just peachy?
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 20:41
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Originally Posted by Request Orbit
Again I ask, is it notified anywhere that DLH have to do any of what you suggest when operating into KSFO? Is it notified anywhere that an ILS approach is, apparently, unavailable at any time?
Why would a crew NEED an instrument approach on a VMC night? As far as we know, the windshields weren't cracked. Why would anyone expect a crew to need an approach that was designed to get airplanes down in bad weather, while the weather is good?
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