BoeingGuy
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:12 pm

trnswrld wrote:
Yeah that comment above about "most likely be the end of their career" is pretty ridiculous IMO. I'm not denying the fact that there is an issue here that seems to be all on the pilots, but remember it was the pilot that spoke up and questioned the landing clearance. As mentioned, they knew something wasn't right. I don't know for sure what would have happened if United 1 didn't speak up or if the controller didn't tell them to go around, but I would like to think they would have done the go around on their own.

Didn't a Delta 767 actually land on a taxiway in ATL some years ago?


Yes, they had a sick check-airman on-board and were cleared to land on a runway that was not normally used for arrivals because it was closer to the terminal. It was an overnight flight and the crew had additional stress with a medical emergency involving a colleague.
 
brucek
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:50 pm

Also from a pilot- not ATP but instrument rated ASEL:

We all have the benefit of hindsight in this incident, which the pilot did not. That doesn't excuse that an incorrect approach was obviously in process. The visual to 28R I believe is a converging approach with 28L (we don't know if 28L was active is what I understand from this post). If the approach is converging than the aircraft is already not aligned with the runway until the bridge or beyond.

Visual approaches are great for moving traffic, but not so good in some other ways- such as missed approach and visual errors (the latter should trigger a missed if its perceived by the pilot).

I was always taught to make use of every tool that you have, so on a visual I would also have an approach loaded- RNAV, ILS or even LOC can help in visual conditions. And that's just with me flying- with two pilots I would be surprised of the PNF didn't have an approach up. But once again this is in hindsight-

We should just be happy that no lives were lost...
 
hivue
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:30 pm

Let me ask a question as a non-pilot, non-controller: I believe 28L and 28R have ILS approaches, RNAVs, company-specific RNAVs, and whatnot. Is there a compelling reason to use the visual? Does it save controllers that much time/workload? I get the impression that SOP may be for controllers to use the visual whenever they can and save the instrument approaches for when they're necessary, when maybe it should be the other way round.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
thehockeygeek
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:35 pm

A "dashcam" would be valuable so investigators can view what the pilots were seeing... would help more than anything. Which by the way, is something I am surprised is not already done with how small cameras can be. At least I have never heard of such a thing. I know an A380 (not applicable here) does have a tail mounted camera, but is any of it stored in any flight recorders?
 
77H
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:09 pm

rbavfan wrote:
wn676 wrote:
twincessna340a wrote:

Why not and how is that even possible?


Blue reflectors can be used in lieu of edge lights when there is a centerline lighting system installed.

viewtopic.php?t=1351669

I wonder if this will change the lighting guidance, should it be listed as a contributing factor.


While blue reflectors are nice for the aircraft on the taxiway it does not do much for approaching aircraft at night. Mind you the fact that all the aircraft were flashing should have been seen sooner.


Agreed. It's been a while since I've been a PIC but I often found that at night, the blue taxiway edge lights were more visible than runway lights especially the LEDs if the approach lights weren't flashing.

I also agree with the poster above regarding centerline taxiway lighting. I often find the green lights to be too bright and have a commanding presence over other airport lighting. They should be used in more limited cases.

77H
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:09 pm

Longhornmaniac wrote:
As a pilot, I would absolutely hate a "big freaking brilliant eye-piercing king-kong sized red "X," since I want to actually be able to see. ;)


As a lowly pax, I'd like my pilot to land on the intended runway and not on a taxiway ;)

Sure, "eye-piercing" isn't the way to go and I fully understand that a too bright light would be contra-productive, but that red X has been mentioned before and I think it's a good idea. Design and brightness would of course be a matter for the the authorities to decide upon. A light source can easily be designed to be very directional so that on the "taxiway approach", the light can be intense, but slightly off that line, the intensity would be significantly lower.

Another idea would be to use ADS-B data. I think the GPS position data in the ADS-B is accurate enough to figure out if an airliner is incorrectly lined up. Analysing that data should be fairly easy and could give ATC a heads-up that there might be a problem with an approach. I'll even have a look at the data for this particular flight to see if I can determine that it was incorrectly lined up just by looking at the data. Perhaps mr Ford could be the test pilot for the system?

/Fredrik
 
PITingres
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:19 pm

mwscan wrote:
I'm not a pilot, but I do notice things about communication.

Quote: Air Canada pilot: Tower Air Canada 759 I can see lights on the runway there. Can you confirm we’re clear to land?

This is somewhat ambiguous...


Actually, I think it's quite illuminating. :-)

It certainly sounds to me like AC759's pilot had already decided that he was lined up on the runway, and was verifying that the runway would be clear for landing. Possibly he thought that the lights he was seeing was traffic about to exit the runway. We can speculate / hope that if he had continued on, with no other input from anyone, he would have eventually spooked at the lights and done a last minute go-around.

It certainly does seem like it ought to be possible to better highlight a taxiway vs runway using lighting. It doesn't have to be flaming, maybe a T in directional lights or something.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
MKIAZ
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:38 pm

CO953 wrote:
WHY CAN'T EVERY AIRPORT UNIFORMLY JUST PUT A BIG FREAKING BRILLIANT EYE-PIERCING KING-KONG SIZED RED "X" THAT LIGHTS UP AT THE APPROACH END OF EVERY TAXIWAY AND EVERY RUNWAY NOT IN USE?? (And a giant green smiley face for the ones that are in use, to make it kindergarten-simple.)


Because pilots are human, and you can never entirely remove human error.
 
MO11
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:39 pm

hivue wrote:
Let me ask a question as a non-pilot, non-controller: I believe 28L and 28R have ILS approaches, RNAVs, company-specific RNAVs, and whatnot. Is there a compelling reason to use the visual? Does it save controllers that much time/workload? I get the impression that SOP may be for controllers to use the visual whenever they can and save the instrument approaches for when they're necessary, when maybe it should be the other way round.


In normal operations, simultaneous visual approaches are used to 28L/28R. You can't do simultaneous ILSs. Good thinking, though, blaming the controllers.
 
N353SK
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:54 pm

hivue wrote:
Let me ask a question as a non-pilot, non-controller: I believe 28L and 28R have ILS approaches, RNAVs, company-specific RNAVs, and whatnot. Is there a compelling reason to use the visual? Does it save controllers that much time/workload? I get the impression that SOP may be for controllers to use the visual whenever they can and save the instrument approaches for when they're necessary, when maybe it should be the other way round.


A visual approach relieves ATC of traffic separation requirements. Basically the pilots say "Yep, I see the airport (and any other traffic, if applicable)" and I'll assume my own separation. SOP at an airline would be to load an approach into the FMS anyways to back up the visual approach. Visuals are especially important at SFO because due to runway spacing the arrival rate has to come down to ensure separation if instrument approaches and separation are in use (not sure how much of an issue this would have been late at night).

One thing other posters have mentioned is that it's it's common to assign the "Quiet Bridge Visual" approach, which is a charted procedure that includes a 9 degree offset to the right until the San Mateo Bridge.
 
hivue
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:19 pm

MO11 wrote:
hivue wrote:
Good thinking, though, blaming the controllers.


Even better thinking making the assumption I blame the controllers.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
ezalpha
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:29 pm

Would aircraft on the taxiway have their landing lights on?
 
airtechy
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:44 pm

I suspect having landing lights on....facing incoming air traffic...would be a big no-no. Taxi lights yes.
 
phishphan70
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:48 pm

airtechy wrote:
Was the ILS active? Sounds like he was making a visual approach. Shades of Asiana 214 on 28L. :roll:

SFO's runways are too close together to shoot simultaneous ILS approaches, so visual is the norm when it's possible
 
32andBelow
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:54 pm

phishphan70 wrote:
airtechy wrote:
Was the ILS active? Sounds like he was making a visual approach. Shades of Asiana 214 on 28L. :roll:

SFO's runways are too close together to shoot simultaneous ILS approaches, so visual is the norm when it's possible

You can still line up the needle when shooting a visual though no? Some pilots at work were talking about how they always do this to make sure they are at the right airport and what not.
 
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ER757
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:06 pm

Pure conjecture here and we will never know for sure, but since the AC pilot noticed traffic on the ground in his path, would have to assume he'd have pulled up and done a go around before getting too close to the ground even if ATC hadn't initiated it first. If the visibility was poor that night instead of good, this could have ended very differently with many lives lost. So glad that wasn't the case
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:13 pm

ER757 wrote:
Pure conjecture here and we will never know for sure, but since the AC pilot noticed traffic on the ground in his path, would have to assume he'd have pulled up and done a go around before getting too close to the ground even if ATC hadn't initiated it first. If the visibility was poor that night instead of good, this could have ended very differently with many lives lost. So glad that wasn't the case


As other posters have stated, if the visibility were poor, they wouldn't have been doing a visual approach and this wouldn't have occurred anyway.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:25 pm

Humans do bungle things up. I just read an accident report. The highly experienced helicopter pilot - he's not only a flight instructor, but also an examiner taking flight exams - *noticed* his steep approach, as did the other crew members. But nobody did anything, nor spoke up. Helicopter stalled, and was written off.

If you asked him why he acted that way, there's a very high chance of "I don't know" as an answer. Sometimes, brainfarts hit hard.


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
richiemo
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:35 pm

Here's the deal. On one hand it's disturbing that in this day and age something like this could even come close to happening. Yet on the other hand, the fact that it was prevented due to the pilots asking the question and the ATC responding appropriately. I think it shows that by-and-large, the people in this industry are on the ball.
 
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flyPIT
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:08 am

77H wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
wn676 wrote:

Blue reflectors can be used in lieu of edge lights when there is a centerline lighting system installed.

viewtopic.php?t=1351669

I wonder if this will change the lighting guidance, should it be listed as a contributing factor.


While blue reflectors are nice for the aircraft on the taxiway it does not do much for approaching aircraft at night. Mind you the fact that all the aircraft were flashing should have been seen sooner.


Agreed. It's been a while since I've been a PIC but I often found that at night, the blue taxiway edge lights were more visible than runway lights especially the LEDs if the approach lights weren't flashing.

I also agree with the poster above regarding centerline taxiway lighting. I often find the green lights to be too bright and have a commanding presence over other airport lighting. They should be used in more limited cases.

77H

If I had to decide between green centerline lights and blue taxiway edge lights I would much prefer the green centerline lights - especially referencing this topic when it comes to identifying a parallel taxiway on approach.
Image
Looking at the photo as an example it is very easy to identify the parallel taxiway using only the green centerline lighting. But lets take away the green lights and focus only on the blue lights as a sole reference. Would you be able to decipher the taxiways from that view? All I see is a sea of blue. Even when on the ground and there are a lot of taxiways in an immediate vicinity it can be very difficult or impossible to see what taxiways are what when only referencing blue edge lights.

Furthermore, lets my taxi light is MEL'd. Unlike with blue edge lights I can still maintain centerline with green centerline lights.


ezalpha wrote:
Would aircraft on the taxiway have their landing lights on?

No. In addition they most likely would have their taxi lights off if stationary. So its entirely possible the only exterior lights the 4 aircraft on the taxiway had illuminated are the red rotating beacons, nav, and logo lights.
FLYi
 
Dominion301
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:35 am

runway23 wrote:
Visibility couldn't have been that bad if they could see the other aircraft and well the other aircraft could clearly see them.

Very lucky there was some visibility, as could have been a remake of TFN.

Most likely that's the end of the two pilots' careers.


End of their careers...not likely. A trip back to recurrent training and the simulator...almost certainly.

This was definitely a close call, but fortunately all aircraft landed/took off safely that night from SFO.
 
goboeing
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:26 am

Apparently, I read elsewhere that not only were the lights for 28L OFF, but there was not a lighted X placed on 28L either.

With the remaining lights being 28R and Charlie, it is basically a trap to line up with Charlie.

We'll see what comes out regarding the lights on 28L.

I still can't believe how something like this makes the news.

But it sounds like SFO airport operations/ATC may have played a role in creating quite an illusion for a crew coming down final approach at 03:00 base time.
 
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climbing230
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:39 am

I am not a pilot though.I read a quote here where pilots ask " WHY THE RUNWAY LIGHTS ARE ON/LIT UP?"... Runway lights are lit up default aren't they?Then what made them to make that statement?
--Thanking You
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hmmmm...
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:30 am

If an instrument approach is possible, why is it not mandatory? Seems that this happened only because the pilot got confused by what he saw. Why rely only on your eyesight, if you can also be aided by your instruments.
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
DaufuskieGuy
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:38 am

at the normal rate of descent how much time would the pilots have had to initiate a go around considering they were only 200 feet from the ground when atc told them to? i'm guessing only seconds but this is amateur speculation, help from the controllers/pilots is appreciated.
 
cschleic
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:07 am

CO953 wrote:
Ummm .... maybe this is where we NON-pilots (I'm an auto mechanic) can suggest simple solutions to repeated potentially deadly problems like landing on taxiways///////

WHY CAN'T EVERY AIRPORT UNIFORMLY JUST PUT A BIG FREAKING BRILLIANT EYE-PIERCING KING-KONG SIZED RED "X" THAT LIGHTS UP AT THE APPROACH END OF EVERY TAXIWAY AND EVERY RUNWAY NOT IN USE?? (And a giant green smiley face for the ones that are in use, to make it kindergarten-simple.)

And no typical aviation excuse allowed for how "the X lights aren't working tonight." I'm talking a big hammer to force international compliance like a $1-million fine levied on the airport for each aircraft allowed to land while the X is not functioning. It's amazing how aircraft are designed with multiple system redundancy, whereas airports and their lighting systems seem to be held to the same level of compliance as a children's lemonade stand.

Not having something this low-tech seems to me as brilliant as not putting stop signs at intersections........ Am I being too simplistic? What am I missing here?

:confused:


A big X at the end of a runway means it's closed, so an X at the end of a taxiway right next to the runway could cause confusion...either it's in the wrong place or the taxiway is closed even though it really isn't, or ......

Saying airport lighting systems are at the same level of compliance as a kid's lemonade stand is too simplistic. Pilots who make mistakes like these likely get some training and simulator time, as well as some other unpleasant conversations and paperwork, as noted in other posts. Everyone involved takes runway operations very seriously. The fact that you hear about these on the news means it happens so infrequently.
 
ozark1
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:37 am

The pilot on the radio on AC 759 sure sounds fatigued to me. I agree that that needs to be investigated. But at least they were alert enough to ask about the lights they saw on the runway, and why they were there. "no on one 28R but you" indicates that controller definitely understood that AC was asking about aircraft lights that the crew saw, but not enough time to put two and two together before United 1 saved the day.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:55 am

hmmmm... wrote:
If an instrument approach is possible, why is it not mandatory? Seems that this happened only because the pilot got confused by what he saw. Why rely only on your eyesight, if you can also be aided by your instruments.


The increased separation if all approaches were instrument would grind air traffic to a halt.
 
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FredrikHAD
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:37 am

b747400erf wrote:
hmmmm... wrote:
If an instrument approach is possible, why is it not mandatory? Seems that this happened only because the pilot got confused by what he saw. Why rely only on your eyesight, if you can also be aided by your instruments.


The increased separation if all approaches were instrument would grind air traffic to a halt.


Yes, but if a pilot doing a visual can use the ILS as an additional source of information, not really an ILS approach, why not use it? Both landings on the wrong airport and incorrect runway/taxiway would be eliminated if this was done. Is it technically impossible to use the ILS even as a guidance under VFR conditions and parallell runways? Perhaps only one ILS can be active at the same time in the same direction?

/Fredrik
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:28 am

FredrikHAD wrote:
Yes, but if a pilot doing a visual can use the ILS as an additional source of information, not really an ILS approach, why not use it?


I see a danger there - "We have switched on ILS", and then the pilots have another brain fart - namely, believing that ATC is providing separation, while they are, in fact, flying VFR. This could mix up the mental states you have to keep apart.

But what's the big picture? How often are they approaching taxiways or wrong runways, anyway?


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
SKCPH
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:30 am

Hi,

Potential accidents are prevented everyday.
Rgds,

SKCPH
 
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OA940
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:57 am

How can a pilot get so confused they try to land on a taxiway instead of a regular runway?
A350/CSeries = bae
 
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blackbox67
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:09 pm

Just get rid of allowing any visuals into SFO.
 
aviators99
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:34 pm

Depending what equipment lights were illuminated for the 4 planes on C, it's easy to imagine an "optical illusion" that makes C (or just right of C) appear to be a runway. The system worked to avoid an accident. I imagine that the go-around would have happened, even if not initiated by the local controller.
 
aviators99
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:52 pm

blackbox67 wrote:
Just get rid of allowing any visuals into SFO.


Because of the way the runways are configured at SFO, it barely functions when the airport is IFR. The parallel runways are *needed* to handle the airline traffic that is scheduled to/from the airport. It is a horrible situation. When it is IFR, GDP are initiated throughout the country, and the travel day is pretty much ruined for everyone.

I've heard several interesting suggestions on how to fix this problem, including some really unusual ones (simultaneous instrument approaches on the same runway at different segments, for example). It's a real problem that has nothing to do with this incident, but would love for it to be solved. The airport is overcommitted for the facilities, but that toothpaste is already out of the tube...
 
D L X
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:02 pm

Couple non-pilot questions:

1) Is it normal to turn off the runway lights of a closed runway?

2) Seeing a plane approaching you while you're sitting facing it on the taxiway, how likely is it that the pilots on the taxiway flashed their landing lights to warn the approaching jet that it is lining up on the taxiway? I can't imagine these pilots sitting idly as a life and death situation was developing.

3) I didn't realize they use Taxiway C to get to Runway 28R now, but it's been a long time since I flew SFO regularly.

4) This is somewhat scary. Should we expect some changes at SFO to come of this?
 
flight152
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:10 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
FredrikHAD wrote:
Yes, but if a pilot doing a visual can use the ILS as an additional source of information, not really an ILS approach, why not use it?


I see a danger there - "We have switched on ILS", and then the pilots have another brain fart - namely, believing that ATC is providing separation, while they are, in fact, flying VFR. This could mix up the mental states you have to keep apart.

But what's the big picture? How often are they approaching taxiways or wrong runways, anyway?


David

This is totally incorrect and goes against everything pilots are trained. You ALWAYS back up a visual approach with some electronic means. This prevents landing on the wrong runway, wrong airport and provides vertical guidance to back up what your eyes are telling you. Additionally, on a visual approach you are very much still IFR and ATC will provide information on traffic ahead to provide separation whether that be pointing them out or assigning a speed.
 
757drvr
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:37 pm

I fly into SFO all the time as I am based there! I have landed to all the runways, including the 01's and in all kinds of weather conditions! I think it would be impossible for a seasoned Captain to mistake taxiway C for 28R at night! Is it possible during the day with restricted or impaired visibility? Sure, but not at night! Any Captain of a modern airliner should know that runway lights are not green!

I do have one possible explanation for what occurred! On multiple occasions over the years of flying into SFO, I have also seen what looks to be lights moving at the far end of 28R. If you look at google earth, or maps, you will notice a road that lines up perfectly with 28R. If the vehicle lights are on bright and at the aircraft is at the right altitude. it can and does look like "lights on the runway" from either an opposite direction taxing airplane, or an airport vehicle! It got my attention several times when I was new to SFO.

If AC was flying the FMS Bridge Visual 28R, the ILS would not be tuned automatically! At my airline, there is no requirement to tune the ILS when flying this approach! However, more for vertical reference, I tune the ILS manually for 28R because the programed FMS approach brings you down earlier which results in leveling off around 2000ft AGL.
 
mcdu
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:24 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
trnswrld wrote:
Yeah that comment above about "most likely be the end of their career" is pretty ridiculous IMO. I'm not denying the fact that there is an issue here that seems to be all on the pilots, but remember it was the pilot that spoke up and questioned the landing clearance. As mentioned, they knew something wasn't right. I don't know for sure what would have happened if United 1 didn't speak up or if the controller didn't tell them to go around, but I would like to think they would have done the go around on their own.

Didn't a Delta 767 actually land on a taxiway in ATL some years ago?


Yes, they had a sick check-airman on-board and were cleared to land on a runway that was not normally used for arrivals because it was closer to the terminal. It was an overnight flight and the crew had additional stress with a medical emergency involving a colleague.


Well then should all emergency aircraft land on taxiways? If it was a check ride sure hope the crew failed! That is no excuse. A professional pilot has to be able to tune out distractions in the cabin to operate the flight safely.

The DL crew screwed up, just like all the other airline crews that have landed on taxiways or at the wrong airports. There are human factors but there are plenty of SOP's to prevent a crew from making those mistakes. Violate SOP's and you put yourself in the compromised position.

In SFO the AC crew reports the Bridge Visual. That's an FMS procedure used with LNAV and VNAV versus an ILS. I think the Airbus won't allow you to see ils display when on an FMS approach. The issue with LNAV VNAV is that it is not as accurate as an ILS. Close but not perfect. Perhaps these pilots were needles centered on the FMS approach which placed them right of the runway centerline and towards the taxiway due to RNP tolerances?
 
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kaminari
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:15 pm

D L X wrote:
Couple non-pilot questions:

1) Is it normal to turn off the runway lights of a closed runway?


To answer this question, yes.
While the X is recommended at night, it is not required if runway lights are shut off during a night closure. If there is a need to leave the lights on, then a lighted X is required. Lighted Xs are also required during daytime closures. This is detailed in the FAA Advisory Circular 150/5370-2F.
 
ATCGOD
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Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:27 pm

N353SK wrote:
hivue wrote:
Let me ask a question as a non-pilot, non-controller: I believe 28L and 28R have ILS approaches, RNAVs, company-specific RNAVs, and whatnot. Is there a compelling reason to use the visual? Does it save controllers that much time/workload? I get the impression that SOP may be for controllers to use the visual whenever they can and save the instrument approaches for when they're necessary, when maybe it should be the other way round.


A visual approach relieves ATC of traffic separation requirements. Basically the pilots say "Yep, I see the airport (and any other traffic, if applicable)" and I'll assume my own separation.


Splitting hairs here...but a visual approach clearance doesn't relieve the controller of standard separation requirements. Visual separation does. All a visual approach clearance does is relieve the controller of terrain separation requirements. A pilot flies visually to the runway, but standard IFR and wake turbulence separation is still in effect unless visual separation is applied.

And, you should all really think about this from the controller's standpoint. I believe these runways are approximately 700' apart (centerline to centerline), how can you possibly expect a controller who is a mile+ away at probably close to a 45* angle to tell if this aircraft is lined up on Taxiway C or 28R or even 28L for that matter? It's quite possible that the controller didn't know until the ASDE-X system acquired the transponder while over the taxiway. So please, spare me the "hang the controller" crap. We're all people and every time you introduce a human element into anything you will have the associated risk.
 
yyztpa
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:10 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:33 pm

http://avherald.com/h?article=4ab79f58
"It is estimated that AC-759 overflew the first two aircraft by 100 feet, the third by about 200 feet and the last by 300 feet. The closest lateral proximity between AC-759 and one of the aircraft on taxiway C was 29 feet."
 
CO953
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:05 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:40 pm

kaminari wrote:
D L X wrote:
Couple non-pilot questions:

1) Is it normal to turn off the runway lights of a closed runway?


To answer this question, yes.
While the X is recommended at night, it is not required if runway lights are shut off during a night closure. If there is a need to leave the lights on, then a lighted X is required. Lighted Xs are also required during daytime closures. This is detailed in the FAA Advisory Circular 150/5370-2F.


As a non-pilot, I am still dumbfounded at how something so simple can be treated as so complicated by the industry. Why on Earth would the industry want to complicate things by allowing "X"es to be shut on or off in various conditions? It seems obvious to me that having an airport have many different "looks," especially at night, depending upon which lights are on or off at the time adds complexity and INVITES landing on the wrong runway or taxiway!

The airport runway/taxiway lighting schema should appear EXACTLY THE SAME to each approaching pilot, EVERY SINGLE TIME, identifying each and every runway and taxiway, until it is so thoroughly drummed into the pilot's head by repetition that he/she knows exactly the number and layout of runways and taxiways, even with no lights at all. This business of having two runways, 28R and 28L, plus a parallel taxiway, then shutting off the lights on one of them and shutting off the X at night, forcing pilots to decide whether he's looking at 28L and 28R, or 28R and a taxiway, seems an insane and unnecessary shell game that repeatedly endangers lives.

I wonder if force of habit has created a blindness at the FAA over such a serious issue.

I mean... why don't we just have the computers randomly swap the positions of the throttles in the cockpit during each approach and have some lights flash in Morse code to tell the pilots which throttle controls which engine. Sure - the pilot can learn the system, but should he/she be forced to follow an arcane procedure in an emergency to decipher some flashing lights to figure out which throttle to advance after losing an engine, instead of always having the left throttle control the left engine and the right throttle control the right? :shakehead:

Make NO mistake about it - that was almost the WORST DISASTER IN AVIATION HISTORY! By the grace of God and quick action by the pilot, it was avoided. But now that means that this is an URGENT problem - to be solved NOW. Basically Tenerife X 2 almost just happened at SFO. There is no room for a slow or wishy-washy FAA response. :old:
 
N353SK
Posts: 903
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:08 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:57 pm

ATCGOD wrote:
N353SK wrote:
hivue wrote:
Let me ask a question as a non-pilot, non-controller: I believe 28L and 28R have ILS approaches, RNAVs, company-specific RNAVs, and whatnot. Is there a compelling reason to use the visual? Does it save controllers that much time/workload? I get the impression that SOP may be for controllers to use the visual whenever they can and save the instrument approaches for when they're necessary, when maybe it should be the other way round.


A visual approach relieves ATC of traffic separation requirements. Basically the pilots say "Yep, I see the airport (and any other traffic, if applicable)" and I'll assume my own separation.


Splitting hairs here...but a visual approach clearance doesn't relieve the controller of standard separation requirements. Visual separation does. All a visual approach clearance does is relieve the controller of terrain separation requirements. A pilot flies visually to the runway, but standard IFR and wake turbulence separation is still in effect unless visual separation is applied.


Of course ... duh. I guess I'm just so used to hearing "Follow the traffic, cleared visual" I forgot they were two separate things!
 
Passedv1
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:40 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:05 pm

Airports on the West Coast have a tendency to turn off the Lead-in lights during VFR. Airports on the East Coast/Mid-West tend to leave them on. It's very helpful to have the "ranbits" on during visual approaches. The only thing I can think of is that this is a fight between the environmentalist and the flight safety advocates. For example, SEA and PDX won't turn on their rabbits unless the visibility is below 3 miles. It is thought that the AS 'T' landing would probably have been prevented had the rabbits at SEA been on at the time.

The Runways/taxiways in SFO are so close that the ILS would not have been helpful in this scenario until towards the end of the approach.

Especially considering the runway/taxiway closures, 28L should have had a big X and the Rabbit for 28R should have been on. From my experience flying into SFO, I would bet anyone a whole dollar that the rabbits were NOT on for 28R.
 
User avatar
litz
Posts: 2023
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 6:01 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:34 pm

trnswrld wrote:
Didn't a Delta 767 actually land on a taxiway in ATL some years ago?


DL60 in 2009 ...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ay-336663/

IIRC, that taxiway is actually one of the original runways from the pre-midfield terminal airport configuration ...
 
hayzel777
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:18 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:55 am

I thought foreign airlines were banned from visual approaches after the Asiana crash and EVA Air near miss? Was that ban removed?
 
CO953
Posts: 433
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:05 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:16 am

Passedv1 wrote:


Especially considering the runway/taxiway closures, 28L should have had a big X and the Rabbit for 28R should have been on. From my experience flying into SFO, I would bet anyone a whole dollar that the rabbits were NOT on for 28R.


And this would be criminal negligence in any other industry. :thumbsdown: :tombstone:
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:35 am

hayzel777 wrote:
I thought foreign airlines were banned from visual approaches after the Asiana crash and EVA Air near miss? Was that ban removed?


Visual approaches were never banned.....

What Eva Air near miss?
 
Whiteguy
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 6:11 am

Re: Potential accident involving AC 759 prevented at SFO.

Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:41 am

blackbox67 wrote:
Just get rid of allowing any visuals into SFO.


Good idea......you think flow times are bad now!

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