Author Topic: Air Canada Near Miss in SF  (Read 2381 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« on: July 11, 2017, 11:50:11 »
Cleared to land,the pilot lined up to land as 4 aircraft were lined up for departure on the same runway.ATC called the pilot off and everyone lived to see another day.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40571913

In it, a male voice believed to be that of the Air Canada pilot is heard saying that there are lights on the runway.

One of the air traffic controllers replies that there are no other planes there.

Another - unidentified - voice is then heard saying: "Where's this guy going? He's on the taxiway."

The air traffic controller then apparently realises the danger of the Air Canada plane crashing into the four aircraft on the ground, and orders the pilot to pull up and make another approach.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 12:02:03 »
When did Harrison Ford start flying for Air Canada?
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 12:12:55 »
Maybe snakes on the plane ?  :D

Offline YZT580

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 22:08:32 »
That is what happens when you let the pilot try find the runway visually instead of using GPS.  I am surprised though that he couldn't distinguish between white and blue lights

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 22:40:00 »
I don't believe Air Canada's A320 are equipped with GPS approach capability.  For sure, they could have dialed in the ILS for that runway to help with guidance.  I never fly a pure visual approach at an unfamiliar airport, I always have some instrument approach to back me up, even when officially on a Visual Approach.

Re: Blue and White lights.  Not the easiest thing to distinguish from a mile back, especially when at low intensity. 

Offline Colin P

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 10:18:00 »
particularity in an area with lot's of backscatter and other lights.

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 11:44:18 »
I don't believe Air Canada's A320 are equipped with GPS approach capability.  For sure, they could have dialed in the ILS for that runway to help with guidance.  I never fly a pure visual approach at an unfamiliar airport, I always have some instrument approach to back me up, even when officially on a Visual Approach.

Re: Blue and White lights.  Not the easiest thing to distinguish from a mile back, especially when at low intensity.

Noob Question:  Shouldn't a pilot have to do simulator time for new airports, prior to flying to them for the first time?  Sending them in blind for their first flight seems really dumb-dangerous given the technology we have today.
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Online Thucydides

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 11:46:06 »
Quick thinking on everyone's part, this averted what was potentially the biggest air disaster since the collision of 2 747's at Tenerife  in 1977.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 12:57:48 »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfHl87p7X5o

Landing SFO San Francisco Airport OnBoard Airbus A380-800

View from cockpit in HD. Lufthansa Captain's last flight 26 Jan 13.
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Offline YZT580

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 21:19:17 »
Possible:  was set up for another approach and offered this one at the last moment.  Reported visual, saw taxi and runway and thought they were both runways and lined up for the left one.  I can't believe he was inbound without having the ILS set up for the approach, after all it is on the ATIS.  Possible: ILS failure reports visual and continues, same scenario.  Possible: fatigue.  Unless AC has changed their policy, no pilot flies into an airport for the first time without having a check captain on board.  Which doesn't mean that he sees all ends of the runways but it does make him familiar.

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 01:08:58 »
Noob Question:  Shouldn't a pilot have to do simulator time for new airports, prior to flying to them for the first time?  Sending them in blind for their first flight seems really dumb-dangerous given the technology we have today.

Company policies aside, once you have a pilot licence and an instrument rating, you can pretty much go to any airport in the world.  Types of instrument approaches are so common that regardless where you fly, it feels and looks the same.  There are some exception, which require specific training.  A famous one was the approach in Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong but there are a couple ones in the world.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2017, 03:34:38 »

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2017, 09:49:37 »
Note that the video of the Lufthansa flight was also landing at 28R.
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Offline BurmaShave

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2017, 23:53:24 »
Couple of points:

1. Apparently, Runway 28L was closed. In the dark, the runway could look like the left runway, the taxiway then being confused for the right runway. Particularly at SFO, where the runways are a mere 750 ft. apart (vs. 5000ft at Vancouver, or even 1500 ft. here in Portage).

2. The usual approach for 28R is an LDA/PRM approach (dunno if it'd still be used with 28L closed). LDA stands for localizer directional aid, and means the localizer is not lined up with the runway (in this case, it's 3 degrees off, and offset by 1183 ft to the right). You ride the localizer to 4 miles out, and then you line up visually. There's nothing electronic to indicate you're aligned if you don't have an approach capable GPS, as is the case for the 320.

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Offline Baz

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 11:55:39 »
Couple of points:

1. Apparently, Runway 28L was closed. In the dark, the runway could look like the left runway, the taxiway then being confused for the right runway. Particularly at SFO, where the runways are a mere 750 ft. apart (vs. 5000ft at Vancouver, or even 1500 ft. here in Portage).

2. The usual approach for 28R is an LDA/PRM approach (dunno if it'd still be used with 28L closed). LDA stands for localizer directional aid, and means the localizer is not lined up with the runway (in this case, it's 3 degrees off, and offset by 1183 ft to the right). You ride the localizer to 4 miles out, and then you line up visually. There's nothing electronic to indicate you're aligned if you don't have an approach capable GPS, as is the case for the 320.

If the LDA/PRM was in use it would be a little more logical that he lined up on the taxiway given 28L was closed.  There would be some "latent expectation" that 28L was open, since the whole purpose of the LDA is to enable simultaneous parallel operation.  So, at 4 miles when the aircraft has to maneuver left to line up he would be looking for the right of 2 runways and only see the one runway and the taxiway.

As you said, there would be no electronic indication because the ILS would still be tuned to the LDA, and presumably the 2nd VOR to SFO on 115.80.

However, now I have two questions for people in the know:
- the PRM stands for Precision Runway Monitor, which requires a second controller monitor the aircraft on approach to ensure they don't get too close, and have a second frequency with second VHF radio available to ensure go around calls are heard.  Does that controller also monitor line up inside of 4 miles?
- if 28L was closed, why would the LDA PRM 28R (LDA to I-FNP on 110.75) be in use instead of the ILS 28R (ILS to I-GWQ on 111.70), given the LDA is to enable simultaneous parallel approaches?

The Quiet Bridge visual, which uses the 275 approach radial to the SFO VOR also means the aircraft is right of the ILS 284 Course, but the plate also show the 28R Localizer and not the LDA.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 12:13:05 »
Baz,

Don't ever stop being you.

(Good questions, btw).

Offline YZT580

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2017, 13:07:10 »
Without the parallel in use, the monitor position would not be manned. In that case the ILS should have been in use as the prime approach with the application of the noise abatement offset.  With good visibility though it would be the norm.  to have the aircraft flying the offset for a visual.  That way they can compensate a little bit for the loss of the other approach and up the numbers by wavering separation inside of 5 miles.   

Offline Baz

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2017, 06:52:48 »
(Good questions, btw).

The kids and I shot a couple of ILS to SFO 28R and it didn't make sense, but what BurmaShave says raises some interesting questions... I also read a NASA report on the LDA PRM to 28R that said it was "high workload."  Another report at the same site said it was a great approach that would be good for the airlines and should be brought into service right away... (can't find the site right now)

Speaking of my sim I got a pair of Cessna pedals and yokes on the way and an getting control loading motors and drivers; I think the big piece missing in a lot of home sims is the feel of the controls and having duals...

Offline Colin P

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2017, 12:10:32 »
Regarding sims, my friend was able to account for 10% of his flight hours for a commercial endorsement  in a twin engine using sims equipped with proper controls. That amount of time saved flying will play for a lot of stuff and he uses it to prepare for trips to new locations, including practicing for alternates airports.

Offline Baz

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Re: Air Canada Near Miss in SF
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2017, 16:33:57 »
I stumbled across a YouTube video that has the audio starting slightly earlier.  They were clearly on the Quiet Bridge visual approach to 28R, and not the ILS or LDA.

That approach does come in at 275 instead of the runway heading of 284 (so slightly right, maybe for noise abatement?) before transitioning left to either 28L or 28R (the latter in this case).  The plate also clearly shows the ILS frequencies for both runways (in the case of 28R I-GWQ on 111.70) and the localizer and radial (104).

I think this is one of those ones where there may be some good lessons to be learned...