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Lufty at SFO

Old 12th Nov 2023, 04:56
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Originally Posted by Bean
whether they were cleared for an ILS or not is irrelevant
Of course it's relevant! If they had been cleared for an ILS approach, the FO probably wouldn't have "accidentally omitted" to tune it.

Added: it also makes you wonder what the captain was (not) doing if it was SOP to tune it on a Vis.

Last edited by Capn Bloggs; 12th Nov 2023 at 05:25. Reason: Added.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 06:11
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Maisk Rotum
Handled badly by both. If no vis app at night for them fine. It was communicated as such. ATC were less than accommodating by sending them to the hold. By that time both parties had become entrenched and then the crew threatened them with an an emergency call if ..... and what sounded like " and that will really **** up your...". To which ATC became more entrenched and invited them to call for a divert or shut up. All LH had to do was say "minimum fuel". To which ATC would be obliged to ask them for fuel remaining in minutes. Some sort of expedited sequencing should have then followed. Drama over. A few big egos on the radio here.
Heavy traffic arriving from an international long haul flight at night time, complying with sensible company procedures, and then being treated by ATC like this. I don´t see this as anything else but unprofessional and very inflexible by ATC - which I do not find common in the US of A in general. I commend the Lufthansa for not bending over to the economical pressure. I´m not sure what specific aircraft LH were operating on this sector, and they possible carried max load (cargo and fuel), but this reinstates the consideration of always carrying that extra bit of fuel - unless you want to extend your duty by 2 hours and see pax missing connecting flights etc.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 06:27
  #43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs
Of course it's relevant! If they had been cleared for an ILS approach, the FO probably wouldn't have "accidentally omitted" to tune it.

Added: it also makes you wonder what the captain was (not) doing if it was SOP to tune it on a Vis.
No need for inverted commas. let us put it another way. The FO failed to follow SOP for a visual which was to tune the ILS the captain was PF If SOP had been followed the problem would not have occurred in spite of not having been cleared for an ILS
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 07:12
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Thoroughly unprofessional ATC behaviour, both petty and childish. This is how accidents occur. The ATC is in the wrong job; he should be managing shopping carts at Walmart.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 07:54
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Originally Posted by wondering
SFO has PRM for busy times. Both runways would still be in use.
The flight was 4 hours late.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 09:12
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FAA vs ICAO

Another typical example of why it was (still is imo) wrong to have 2 sets of rules when flying into the US .
ICAO main goal when created was to allow cross border seamless air traffic , with sets of rules valid for every country that signed up to its convention.
So, according ICAO if you file an IFR flight plan you expect an instrument arrival . ATC can propose but not force you to do a visual approach if you are on an IFR flight plan . . But it can delay / put you in the hold for separation / sequencing, but mot refusing you which is basically what happened here .

LH is right to demand an instrument APP , and ATC should have accommodated it. Now that said US controllers are trained according FAA rules which differ from ICAO . It not only visual approaches, also at night ,it is also LAHSO procedures for instance . All are typical US procedures and can be ( and are sometimes ) refused by non US airlines .
This know issue is not new and should definitively not be resolved on the frequencies.

What we see now in 2023 is pushing for more and more traffic into saturated airports suffering ATC staff shortages and bending the rules ro make it work .
This is going to end up badly .

Last edited by ATC Watcher; 12th Nov 2023 at 09:53.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 10:59
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Originally Posted by old freightdog
The flight was 4 hours late.
That is not going to be an uncommon experience though. They will have at least a few flights a month that may be delayed by that much.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 11:04
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SFO seems to have international traffic coming in at all hours of the day. As someone alluded to, DLH insisting on an ILS would have meant inconveniencing maybe a dozen other airplanes.



It seems better to have one plane holding somewhere than 12. They were asked to evacuate a visual approach in night VMC. Not an unreasonable request for the holder of an ATP. It’s San Francisco, not Innsbruck.



I’m not faulting the crew, they have to follow the SOP. It’s just a dumb SOP.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 11:06
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Originally Posted by wondering
Maybe, LH did a risk-benefit/risk mitigation analysis and concluded it is safer not to do visuals at night? Or, LH may not have the FAA OpSpecs for night visuals in the US? Personally, I find it difficult to judge distances to other traffic and terrain/obstacles at night. But maybe that´s just me.

Crossair 3597 comes to mind, as well. Technically not a visual approach but the crew followed visual cues at night.

But yeah the PM´s cocky attitude seems to have aggravated the problem. There was a female voice later on. No idea if it was the F/O or PIC initially. I reckon, it comes down to leadership and CRM to avoid putting yourself in a disadvantaged position. I am sure the incidence will be a case study for LH and a subject during future CRM trainings.
Croosair 3597 was having a guy in the LHS who wasn’t up to flying jets..iirc he was one of Moritz’s first pilots, had failed conversion onto the 146 twice and spent nearly 6 months line training before he passed his third shot not long before the accident..
Glad that I missed the red tape flying..we had final approach configuration selected by 400ft..stabilised by 300ft in practice and could “bend” the rules if we could demonstrate that it was “best use of équipement”. Those were the days where we understood airmanship.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 11:35
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Instead of forcing LH to Oakland, I’m sure a small delay for a few arrivals into SFO to accomodate them would not have been a great impost.
If I was LH, I would have just declared Mayday Fuel and landed at SFO.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 11:53
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
I’m not faulting the crew, they have to follow the SOP. It’s just a dumb SOP.
Well we know the USA does not have much regard for ILS. The Asiana accident report shows the ILS was out of action at San Francisco, both main landing runways at the same time, for three months, "for construction". The fact that the Asiana crew had hardly any experience of visual landings outside their Sim sessions shows there are few if any other administrations who might do this.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 12:34
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So what happens at SFO if cloud prevents aircraft on approach from being visual with each other? Does the entire system grind to a halt because such a vast international airport can't cope with IFR arrivals? Sounds beyond belief.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 13:29
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Appalling, inflexible, "service".

I think even Malaga ATC is better than this shower...whilst OJT!

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Old 12th Nov 2023, 13:39
  #54 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom
Instead of forcing LH to Oakland, I’m sure a small delay for a few arrivals into SFO to accomodate them would not have been a great impost.
If I was LH, I would have just declared Mayday Fuel and landed at SFO.
This was not a Mayday situation and was managed in spite of the aggro to not become one.

The post flight report on this will be problematic enough for management of LH and for the SATCO, engineering a Mayday would not be received with amusement.

After a 4 hour delay to start with on a long flight, and 2 hours to turn around to swim across the ditch from oaktown to SFO, ATC managed to increase threats, not reduce them. They should look inwards and reflect on what their task actually is, being a hazard to flight is not normally included, that is optional.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 14:02
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The answer is if Lufthansa are unable to comply with local procedures then SFO should initiate an approach ban on operators who cannot comply or withdraw their operating permit.
Had Frankfurt ignore approach sequencing so that LH could jump the queue including descending a 747 through our level in the hold which caused me to duck..complaint said 1000ft séparation my @rse.
Seem to remember that when Big Airlines lost a donk out of LAX and attempted to fly back to base only to get their knickers into a twist going into Manchester that the FAA invited them across the pond for a without tea and biscuits discussion.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 15:43
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Originally Posted by blind pew
The answer is if Lufthansa are unable to comply with local procedures then SFO should initiate an approach ban on operators who cannot comply or withdraw their operating permit .
Whow ! And on which legal basis could they do such thing ?
Is enforcing an IFR flight to perform visual apprach/separation at night an FAA mandatory published procedure ? or is it just another unwritten local capacity enhancement practice ?
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 16:09
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Intending that another interruption (from SLF/attorney) of discussion by the pros will be tolerated, maybe even interesting.

How does the aftermath of this particular situation get worked out, if it ever does get worked out? Intuitively and by common sense an outside observer would think within FAA, and also up the reporting chain of the established international air carrier, reports filed by the participants (or supervisors) will express frustration that such a situation could occur. They'll cite different reasons depending on whose report it is, and neither ATC nor LH will think another instance of this sequence of events is one that should be just shrugged off, not anything worth doing something to solve or prevent. But my uneducated guess is, FAA has imposed certain rules, and if I get the flow of the discussion FAA would back the ATC actions (because it sees inconveniencing one flight operator as better than disrupting a lot more other operators). I won't guess about whether LH's SOP makes sense enough to warrant its imposition (SLF . . .).

But ATC Watcher points to ICAO as intended to create - though the post didn't use these exact words - complete uniformity, even on the level of operational procedures for approach and landing. That's an overstatement, though - ICAO was created and organized, and today it operates, to create and uphold standardization. The fact that "Differences" can be filed establishes that uniformity of procedural choices for operational matters wasn't and isn't what ICAO does. (During her stint as Secretary General of ICAO, Fang Liu repeatedly emphasized in remarks delivered to professional conferences that standardization, and not necessarily uniformity, is the objective.)

If the FAA's view of the operational procedures the ATCOs were following is incorrect, who is going to direct FAA to change things? - you would think LH would be entitled to some positive action about this type of situation. Germany hosted the (very large) AirDefender 2023 NATO aviation exercise last summer, and the EUROCONTROL Global Civil-Military Aviation Summit was held in Brussels during that exercise. One would think that, if LH deserves some positive action to prevent a recurrence, somebody in the vast U.S. Fed. Government would motivate change. (I'm not referring to ATCO attitude or manners, just the facts or operating procedures.) And this even despite the more than a little inconvenient fact that United States at present does not have a Permanent Rep at ICAO and there appears zero prospect of the current administration presenting a nominee to the Senate.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 20:01
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SFO ops clarification

1) SFO no longer conducts PRM due staffing, training, reduced offset separation. They do, however so “close space parallel runway” ops. That requires 2 straight in approaches with 1nm “stagger”, heavy always trails. See
https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...es_to_CSPR.pdf

2) IFR stagger, even in VMC, (vs visual “sideby”reduces arrival rate from 54 to 45.

3) the 8p-10p arrival “bank” is scheduled to the max. miles in trail sequencing for the 28R steam begins almost 1hr out with salt lake center.

4) back to note 1, even with reduced stagger at 1mi, departures off of 1L, 1R, are affected as the “gap” to launch departures is smaller, slowing ops tempo.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 20:13
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Makes you wonder what Lufthansa have been doing every other time they've operated into SFO at night.
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Old 12th Nov 2023, 20:27
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo
So what happens at SFO if cloud prevents aircraft on approach from being visual with each other? Does the entire system grind to a halt because such a vast international airport can't cope with IFR arrivals? Sounds beyond belief.
It doesn’t grind to a halt but it slows way down. The closer in domestic flights are ground stopped with some cancels and most regional jet flights are simply canceled. That provides the cushion needed to bring the international flights in.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 12th Nov 2023 at 20:49. Reason: Fix quote
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