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Old 05-03-2018, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway!

Yikes! When you actually see the video of the Air Canada A320 almost causing the worst aviation disaster in history; it makes your jaw just drop! Reading about this incident last July 7, is one thing, but viewing it is just TERRIFYING! Any passenger who was on that flight and on that tarmac (widebody planes waiting) that day must be in shock to see how close they came to kissing their butts goodbye. I don't know who saved the day? The UA pilot on the taxiway informing the control tower that an inbound plane was about to land on the taxiway full of planes or another pilot flashing their lights? Or the control tower staff? Too bad that the public will never get to hear the audio from the cockpit voice recorder that night.

At around 1:06 of the video is when disaster was narrowly avoided; by a few feet at most! Based on this video, it looks like it may have flown over another plane on the taxiway, before approaching the second plane and pulling up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF7F...ature=youtu.be
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Here is some audio from the cockpit to the control tower:

AC = Tower. I just want to confirm. This is Air Canada 7-5-9. We see some LIGHTS on the runway there... (Hmm. That's not a Runway!)

Tower = Air Canada 7-5-9 confirmed, cleared to land 2-8 Right. There is no one on 2-8 Right but you.



https://www.yahoo.com/gma/major-disa...222908569.html
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

My goodness,that was so close.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Not good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T7_4ever View Post
Too bad that the public will never get to hear the audio from the cockpit voice recorder that night.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF7F...ature=youtu.be
Not really, none of their business.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

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Originally Posted by Adour View Post
Not good.

Not really, none of their business.

I totally agree with NOT GOOD!


Well, I think it's the public's business to know that they are flying on an airline with competent pilots. You had 2 pilots who were about to touchdown on a taxiway full of wide body planes with passengers. You don't get a 2nd chance if your pilots can't distinguish a 'taxiway' lined up with departing planes from a 'runway'.

Based on the audio communication between the AC pilot and the Tower that was released to the public; someone definitely dropped the ball. T7
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Quote:
Originally Posted by T7_4ever View Post
I totally agree with NOT GOOD!
Well, I think it's the public's business to know that they are flying on an airline with competent pilots.
Regardless of the public's wish to know, it's absolutely not their business. It's the concern of the legeslative, operating and investigating authorities. There are very good reasons for this. Confidential reporting, monitoring and investigation are there to increase safety. The media and public's curiosity are detrimental to the operation of such systems and, would frankly be disasterous for aviation safety cultures.

So yeah, absolutely none of their business.

Someone dropped the ball. Exactly who, what and when is for the investigators to determine. They're not the first crew to make an approach to a taxiway, and I'm sorry to have to predict they won't be the last.

I am thoroughly familiar with both SFO and the A320, but I'm not going to indulge in public speculation or hang the crew until we have the facts.

But yes, obviously a nasty incident.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

From what I see here, two professional pilots CAN confuse runway and taxiway while landing at night at SFO. Looks like it's rather SFO responsibility than pilot's to make this kind of thing impossible to happen again.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adour View Post
Regardless of the public's wish to know, it's absolutely not their business. It's the concern of the legeslative, operating and investigating authorities. There are very good reasons for this. Confidential reporting, monitoring and investigation are there to increase safety. The media and public's curiosity are detrimental to the operation of such systems and, would frankly be disasterous for aviation safety cultures.

So yeah, absolutely none of their business.

Someone dropped the ball. Exactly who, what and when is for the investigators to determine. They're not the first crew to make an approach to a taxiway, and I'm sorry to have to predict they won't be the last.

I am thoroughly familiar with both SFO and the A320, but I'm not going to indulge in public speculation or hang the crew until we have the facts.

But yes, obviously a nasty incident.
I realize he originally asked about the voice recorder but on the ATC side, the ATSAP report is confidential but the personnel statement, as far as I know, is subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

More details than video

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ing/574964002/
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Gentlemen, it seems this news story sheds more light on how events came to a head.

How a tired Air Canada pilot narrowly avoided a massive plane crash

I had initially suspected pilot fatigue on this very, very close call; and it looks like this news story/video confirms it. It seems that the pilot admitted he was very sleepy, due to his prior flight and being woken up by his children very early in the morning when he should have been sound asleep. Also, what is disturbing is that it seems AC has very different flying restrictions for their pilots. Meaning, the AC pilots are being pushed to the extreme when it concerns how many hours they can go; AC's pilot duty and rest requirements drastically differ when compared to other airlines. Which is not good IMO. Hoping AC will adapt those other major carriers in regards to their pilots Flight Time and Duty Time limitations.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Sounds like Canada needs to sort out it's FTLs. AC also need to emphasise to their crews that if they are unfit to fly then they mustn't (and won't face disciplinary action as a result).

I'm unclear if both pilots flew the previous night or operated together, but something like YYZ/ LGA/ YYZ night 1 followed by YYZ/ SFO/ YYZ night 2 doesn't sound particularly outrageous to me. I doubt that in itself, that busts any FTL scheme.

Last edited by Adour; 05-04-2018 at 11:13 PM. Reason: "New York" rotation probably LGA?
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Wow, that was a lot closer than I thought.
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Old 05-05-2018, 05:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adour View Post
Sounds like Canada needs to sort out it's FTLs. AC also need to emphasise to their crews that if they are unfit to fly then they mustn't (and won't face disciplinary action as a result).

I'm unclear if both pilots flew the previous night or operated together, but something like YYZ/ LGA/ YYZ night 1 followed by YYZ/ SFO/ YYZ night 2 doesn't sound particularly outrageous to me. I doubt that in itself, that busts any FTL scheme.
I agree about your statement regarding Canada on sorting out it's FTLs. The gentlemen Barry W. representing the Canadian Society of Air Safety Investigators told the media/public that Canada has one of the WORST working crew rest time in the world. Canada's pilots have to be on alert for more than 13 hours! That is not good.

About the pilot; after he did the New York flight he went to bed around 2-3am and his kids woke him up around 7am. All this attributed to his sleep cycle being impacted which lead to his fatigue state when flying into SFO. Also, construction at SFO didn't help matters when trying to land at night.

Put those 2 things together and you get this extremely close call. That 1-2 second allowance to abort/pull up was nothing short of a miracle IMO!

Hopefully the government implements some new rules concerning FTLs to align them with the USA and Europe.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Quote:
Originally Posted by T7_4ever View Post
The gentlemen Barry W. representing the Canadian Society of Air Safety Investigators told the media/public that Canada has one of the WORST working crew rest time in the world.

About the pilot; after he did the New York flight he went to bed around 2-3am and his kids woke him up around 7am.
As I say, I inow nothing about Canadian FTLs or the Canadian Society of Air Safety Investigators. They do not give me the impression of being impartial, and I'm dubious of Canada being one of the worst in the world (really, in the world, you're not exaggerating just a tiny bit?). But yes ,if they're worse than Europe, well the new EASA FTLs are in one word [email protected], so they need looking at. 13 hours in itself means little. I seem to recall that number appearing in the UK CAA FTLs that we unfortunately lost to the lowest common denominator philosophy of the European Union.

By pilot I assume you mean Captain as he was pilot flying that night. Personal problems happen to everyone in life. No FTL scheme in the world can know that you're unfit to fly for personal reasons. It's up to the crew member as a professional to decide, and up to the employer not to victimise staff for doing so. I know anecdotally that pilots with young kids often go to work with unacceptably low amounts of quality sleep. Does the industry in any way formally recognise it's a problem? Not that I'm aware of, not any airline or any nation.

So far as I can tell, Canadian FTLs in themselves had nothing to do with this (they may have, but no evidence has been presented).
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

The NTSB's operational factors and human performance report is here:
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61000-61...112/614631.pdf
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Well, both pilots on this 'extremely close call' flight admitted to being very fatigued, and several factors the investigators and the pilots themselves have shared to the public is what almost lead to the worst aviation disaster in history, by a few feet and 1 or 2 seconds.

These 2 AC pilots are very skilled in their profession no doubt, but all their skills and experience can only be applied when they are fully ALERT and cognizant of their surroundings.

You can consider yourself a well seasoned and excellent automobile driver, but all those skills you have acquired on the road are thrown out the window if your brain is half asleep while driving. It's like when you doze off at the wheel during a long road trip and you catch yourself actually falling asleep at the wheel. You jolt yourself awake and hopefully pull over to the shoulder or rest area to get some much needed rest/sleep. That was your 2nd chance to stay alive on that road trip. You also could have smashed your car into another vehicle or driven off the road into a tree.

I've fallen asleep a few times at the wheel during road trips over the course of my 30+ years of driving, and count myself lucky all those times. However, that pales in comparison when you had over 1,000 lives at stake on that night in SFO.

If these 2 pilots were feeling very tired before the flight they had 2 options:

A. notify management that they are fatigued and would pose a risk if they were behind the controls (going to assume that this never, ever happens in the industry based on job security)

B. take a chance to pilot their plane and hope they can complete their flight without any problems (they chose this option and look how it turned out; not good for them (will probably be flagged on their Air Canada HR record; since both pilots were eventually called into a meeting with AC suits after the incident) and Air Canada)


I am sure these 2 pilots are thanking their lucky stars after viewing this terminal video of their plane at SFO that very fortunate night. Along with the passengers/flight crews on the taxiway and on this plane! Heck, they actually flew over a UA plane turning towards the runway.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Sad thing, Adour.

Is that your are very right that this won't be the last type (landing on a taxi-way) of an event to happen, and next time those 1 or 2 seconds that are needed to avert a catrosphe, won't be there for the pilots.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Bottom line is shift work sucks and it’s nearly impossible to not feel fatigued throughout the week.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Video - AC plane almost landing on SFO taxiway

Yeah, shift works sucks. However my experience of airline flying is that it's far worse than "normal" shift work because you never work the same shift and never "get into a groove". OK, perhaps when I was short haul (like these guys) I got into a sort of near groove, but it's totally out of the question on long haul. It's not shifts, it's random work hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T7_4ever View Post
A. notify management that they are fatigued and would pose a risk if they were behind the controls (going to assume that this never, ever happens in the industry based on job security)
I wouldn't say that, it depends on the pilot and operator, and it's a legal requirement that a licence holder does so. I've never officially done it myself (I've gone "sick" instead), but I know guys that have at my current company with no career consequences. However, you have to have iron clad grounds. You have to have tried to rest and not just blown it off. So getting woken up early (it happens) and not going back to bed later is no excuse. Wife has jobs for you? Tell her respectfully to ram it, she married an airline pilot. Having gone back to try and nap but completely failing (seeing every hour on the hour of your alarm clock, it also happens) - may be.

It's not helped either by the industry trying to draw a line between tiredness and fatigue (tiredness that a good night's sleep won't fix). To me they have the same effect. And it's not helped by the fact that fatigue impairs your judgement, including your assessment of whether you're fatigued or "merely" tired. I can say that if airline pilots refused to fly (or diverted) when they became tired, the industry would be in chaos.

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