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Exclusive: SFO near miss might have triggered ‘greatest aviation disaster in history’

Exclusive: SFO near miss might have triggered ‘greatest aviation disaster in history’

Old Jul 12, 17, 3:19 am
  #166  
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
Except the ICAO standard for what you call a 'run up' - and is actually known as a RESA (runway end safety area) - is not 300m. The current standard is currently 300 FEET, (60m). FAA and other regulatory agencies recommend up to 300m, but these are not (yet) enforceable standards.

Note that some large airports (YVR for one) are in the process of installing 300m RESAs on the ends of some of their runways.


Again, the value of reviewing an entire thread is to glean such details as the fact that the UA1 pilot "piped up" AFTER the AC plane had overflown them, and AFTER the ATC go-around command.
he hopes if he says its an "international standard" often enough people will actually think AC is not at fault.
Perhaps AC apologists will ask for 300M at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto because AC does not want Porter competition.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 3:36 am
  #167  
 
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Originally Posted by Peter T. View Post
And please also not the very distinctive and visible approach lights that Runway 28R has (which are actually in the bay above the waterline) and that Taxiway C does not. How could any professional pilot (or even an amateur pilot) confuse Runway 28R with Taxiway C is beyond me.
My speculation is that either the approach lights weren't operating properly, or the pilot made a monumental mistake that the second pilot didn't notice. I can't see any other explanation here. The final report will make for some interesting reading.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 5:29 am
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Peter T. View Post
And please also not the very distinctive and visible approach lights that Runway 28R has (which are actually in the bay above the waterline) and that Taxiway C does not. How could any professional pilot (or even an amateur pilot) confuse Runway 28R with Taxiway C is beyond me.
This. How the pilots couldn't tell the difference between 28R and Taxiway C is simply mind boggling.

Originally Posted by pdquick View Post
The latest update from the San Jose Mercury News reports that 28L was closed on the night of the incident. The pilots of AC759 should have been aware of this via a NOTAM, but if they weren't, it would have contributed to their confusion. They may have thought the 28R approach lights were the 28L approach lights, and therefore looked for something to the right of the approach lights they saw. The only thing to the right of the approach lights they saw was the Charlie taxiway.
I get it that if 28L was dark, it might have seemed odd, but who in their right mind sees green taxiway lights and thinks its a runway?
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Old Jul 12, 17, 6:37 am
  #169  
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Exclamation

Folks, please drop the personal commentary on other members and discuss the thread topic. Any further personal invective posts will be deleted.

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Old Jul 12, 17, 6:44 am
  #170  
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Do planes not also use a radio beam-lock on landing to properly align with the runway? Even if autopilot is disengaged? Also, would there not be an emergency alarm set off when the plane(s) came within intercept distance to signal abort or divert?
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Old Jul 12, 17, 6:50 am
  #171  
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Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
Do planes not also use a radio beam-lock on landing to properly align with the runway? Even if autopilot is disengaged? Also, would there not be an emergency alarm set off when the plane(s) came within intercept distance to signal abort or divert?
Not on a visual approach, although some tune the ILS anyway (don't know if it was operating at SFO that night) for good airmanship (what a quaint word in the era of the children of magenta).

Believe TCAS is disabled by that point because landing on planes on the taxiway is probably not a use case they considered.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:01 am
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
Not on a visual approach, although some tune the ILS anyway (don't know if it was operating at SFO that night) for good airmanship (what a quaint word in the era of the children of magenta).

Believe TCAS is disabled by that point because landing on planes on the taxiway is probably not a use case they considered.
Thanks. Considering the assessment of the Asiana crash where the pilots decided to do a visual approach landing too, perhaps it's time to reinstate a radio beam override? Also, what was with the approach lights that the pilots could not recognize they were off-centre?
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:15 am
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
2 accidents now where disaster was averted by blind luck.
This occurence at SFO is what is called an "incident" not an "accident" - and I agree with the majority of other posters who say this merits thorough investigation. In the safety business "near misses" are the gold that prevent "accidents".

Originally Posted by pdquick View Post
One of the planes was PAL 115, a 330-400 bound for Manila.
To pick a small nit, there is no such thing as an A330-400. I presume you are referring to an A340-300.

Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
Also, what was with the approach lights that the pilots could not recognize they were off-centre?
My recollection from flying a flight simulator is that approach lighting systems have a series of lights that tell you if you are on the right approach angle/height. I presume the pilots should have noticed that their "runway" didn't have those lights.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:33 am
  #174  
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
My recollection from flying a flight simulator is that approach lighting systems have a series of lights that tell you if you are on the right approach angle/height. I presume the pilots should have noticed that their "runway" didn't have those lights.
If you're referring to the PAPI system, this only allows a pilot to infer glideslope information as opposed to a localizer which would have helped in this case, I suppose.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:44 am
  #175  
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Originally Posted by longtimeflyin View Post
If you're referring to the PAPI system, this only allows a pilot to infer glideslope information as opposed to a localizer which would have helped in this case, I suppose.
Yes I presume I was referring to the PAPI system - but my point was that if they weren't lined up with the runway, would they have seen the PAPI system lights (as I think more about it maybe they would have since I presume PAPI has to work in cross-wind approaches where the pilot is not lined up with the runway until just before landing.)
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
Yes I presume I was referring to the PAPI system - but my point was that if they weren't lined up with the runway, would they have seen the PAPI system lights (as I think more about it maybe they would have since I presume PAPI has to work in cross-wind approaches where the pilot is not lined up with the runway until just before landing.)
PAPI lights can be seen from a pretty wide angle. I do not doubt the pilots could see the PAPI lights properly even if they were a couple of degrees off course.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:06 am
  #177  
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
This occurence at SFO is what is called an "incident" not an "accident" - and I agree with the majority of other posters who say this merits thorough investigation. In the safety business "near misses" are the gold that prevent "accidents".
​​​​​​AC sure is providing a lot of accident preventing gold...

​​​​​​Does 1 accident (or should I use the AC hard landing terminology to meet your approval) and 1 incident where disaster was averted by blind luck make you feel better?

If this was an Asian airline you people would be going ballistic, such a double standard here.

Last edited by Admiral Ackbar; Jul 12, 17 at 8:11 am
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
since I presume PAPI has to work in cross-wind approaches where the pilot is not lined up with the runway until just before landing.)
Aircraft are perfectly lined up during a crosswind landing. A crosswind has zero impact on the approach path being followed.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by jasdou View Post
PAPI lights can be seen from a pretty wide angle. I do not doubt the pilots could see the PAPI lights properly even if they were a couple of degrees off course.
You're right, they're visible from a wide angle. But I'm pretty certain the picture wouldn't look right if you're looking at the PAPI lights on short final and you're 400' to the right of the centerline.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:59 am
  #180  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
​​​​​​If this was an Asian airline you people would be going ballistic, such a double standard here.
If I "went ballistic" over every incident/accident/event in the aviation industry, I don't think I'd be flying (or on this board).

You might enjoy this - most incidents are in North America not Asia:
http://aviation.globalincidentmap.com/
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