Talk about an "oh shit! moment - Air Canada 759 at SFO last year

#1
..there was an "interesting" brown underwear moment last year (on birthday actually!) for all of those involved when an AC759 tried to land on a parallel taxiway at SFO where there were 4 planes - a 787, a A340, another 787, and a 737 were waiting for takeoff from runway 28R - the rwy for which AC759 was cleared to land on. A last minute go around saved the day, after being hollered "where's this guy going? He's on the taxiway!" at by the pilot of the waiting UAL1, and ordered by the controller.

Would've been a hell of disaster had this actually happened with all those planes involved. Gives me the chills thinking about it.

Anyways, the NTSB just released a synopsis of their report: https://ntsb.gov/news/events/Documents/DCA17IA148-Abstract.pdf

The ATC conversation:
Overflight video:
Gotta love how cool the UAL1 pilot comes across as - yeah, just another day!
 
#2
Mentioned this before but as we flew into al udeid(sp) on the charter from brize we were just coming into land (rougky building height) when pilot went full throttle and started banking away and gaing height to go around again.

Wtf says i then for all to be informed apologetically for the manoeuvres but there way a herc sat on the runway under us.

******* airforce
 
#3
Sitting on the right side of a BA aircraft heading for the runway to leave Dhahran airport(late 70's) when the pilot performed what I can only describe as an emergency stop, looking out of the window I saw 2 Saudi Airforce Phantoms coming in to land on the runway were just going to turn onto.
 
#4
Has that pilot been given an Ishihara test, what with runways being lit with white light and taxiways with blue and green n'all...?
 
#5
Has that pilot been given an Ishihara test, what with runways being lit with white light and taxiways with blue and green n'all...?
Might have had to do more with fatigue than with anything else, "the first officer had no significant rest for 12h, and the captain for 19h - he could not fly under US pilot fatigue rules. Transport Canada plans to bring its pilot rest rules in line with international standards later in 2018. " (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada_Flight_759)
 
#6
Might have had to do more with fatigue than with anything else, "the first officer had no significant rest for 12h, and the captain for 19h - he could not fly under US pilot fatigue rules. Transport Canada plans to bring its pilot rest rules in line with international standards later in 2018. " (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada_Flight_759)
Yep. It clearly states that in the NTSB summary. The CVR was erased since it was on a loop so all the actual data from the flight was gone.
 
#7
There also appears to be a specific problem at that airport, as this was not the only such incident there.
U.S. safety board faults Air Canada pilots for near disaster in San Francisco | CBC News
In May, federal officials blamed pilot error for three other close calls in the previous 16 months at the San Francisco airport. Pilots say that the airport, with parallel runways close to each other, requires special attention during landings.
The Air Canada crew was cleared to land on 28R, to the right of 28L. According to a preliminary NTSB report, the pilots thought the lighted runway was 28L — not theirs — and they aimed their jet to land to the right of that, on a parallel taxiway where the other planes were waiting to take off.
There is apparently a problem with lighting and marking so when one of the runways is shut down, it isn't always easy to see which the runway and which is the taxiway.
It also said the Federal Aviation Administration should consider better lighting and markings to warn pilots about closed runways.
Like a lot of accidents and near accidents, this appears to have multiple problems which came together.
 
#8
There also appears to be a specific problem at that airport, as this was not the only such incident there.
U.S. safety board faults Air Canada pilots for near disaster in San Francisco | CBC News




There is apparently a problem with lighting and marking so when one of the runways is shut down, it isn't always easy to see which the runway and which is the taxiway.


Like a lot of accidents and near accidents, this appears to have multiple problems which came together.

Always wondered why they can't use illuminated 'X' signs when a rwy is closed? I know they paint that stuff when a rwy is no longer active at an airport. But why can't they put some lights in the X shape on all runways on both ends. So that if they have to close one, they can just activate those.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#9
Always wondered why they can't use illuminated 'X' signs when a rwy is closed? I know they paint that stuff when a rwy is no longer active at an airport. But why can't they put some lights in the X shape on all runways on both ends. So that if they have to close one, they can just activate those.
They do. It is even stated in the report you provided...

1538040433412.png


The issue was how visible it was when not directly approaching the closed runway.
 
#10
They do. It is even stated in the report you provided...

View attachment 354747

The issue was how visible it was when not directly approaching the closed runway.
Perhaps something which can be picked up the onboard systems? Kind of like when your car recognizes the speed limits on the road. So if a rwy is closed and info sent in a NOTAM, it automatically flashes a big "hold on! Do you really want to do this?" sign when trying to land on that specific closed one.

Anyways, just a thought.
 
#11
Surely if a runway is not operational its lights are switched off and the pilot on approach merely aims for the centre of the long strip of parallel white lights, ignoring the strips of parallel blue lights with a strip of green lights between them that sits to the side...?
 
#12
Surely if a runway is not operational its lights are switched off and the pilot on approach merely aims for the centre of the long strip of parallel white lights, ignoring the strips of parallel blue lights with a strip of green lights between them that sits to the side...?
The problem is apparently when there are two parallel runways relatively close together with taxiways parallel to those. Theoretically it should be "easy" to tell which is which, but this is all happening while the plane is moving at speed, and the pilots don't have a lot of time to sort out what is going on in the dark. Other pilots are also saying there is a problem, and apparently there is a recommendation to improve the lighting and marking in those circumstances. I'm not familiar with that particular airport, but there may be some specific local problems there which need to be addressed.

The pilots certainly made a mistake, but apparently there also needs to be some changes made to make mistakes less likely.
 
#13
The problem is apparently when there are two parallel runways relatively close together with taxiways parallel to those. Theoretically it should be "easy" to tell which is which, but this is all happening while the plane is moving at speed, and the pilots don't have a lot of time to sort out what is going on in the dark. Other pilots are also saying there is a problem, and apparently there is a recommendation to improve the lighting and marking in those circumstances. I'm not familiar with that particular airport, but there may be some specific local problems there which need to be addressed.

The pilots certainly made a mistake, but apparently there also needs to be some changes made to make mistakes less likely.
Theoretically and actually it is easy to tell the difference between the runway and the taxiway. Different coloured lights and your ILS screaming at you being two major give aways. The very calm US pilot pointing out this cannuck cnut is about to land on me in this case being the third and crucial hint that your short finals are about to be terminal.
 
#14
The problem is apparently when there are two parallel runways relatively close together with taxiways parallel to those. Theoretically it should be "easy" to tell which is which, but this is all happening while the plane is moving at speed, and the pilots don't have a lot of time to sort out what is going on in the dark. Other pilots are also saying there is a problem, and apparently there is a recommendation to improve the lighting and marking in those circumstances. I'm not familiar with that particular airport, but there may be some specific local problems there which need to be addressed.

The pilots certainly made a mistake, but apparently there also needs to be some changes made to make mistakes less likely.
How do they cope at Chicago O'Hare then, there are 8 runways, including a similar set of parallel runways with taxiway.

ATL has two sets of parallel runways, with parallel taxiways. As does LAX and Dallas/Ft Worth.
 
#15
How do they cope at Chicago O'Hare then, there are 8 runways, including a similar set of parallel runways with taxiway.

ATL has two sets of parallel runways, with parallel taxiways. As does LAX and Dallas/Ft Worth.
Google planes landing on taxiways, and you will see that this wasn't an isolated incident. This happens on a regular basis. For example only a couple of months later: Delta Jet Nearly Landed on Occupied Atlanta Taxiway, Officials Say
Federal authorities are investigating an incident in Atlanta last month that had a Delta Airlines plane nearly touching down on a taxiway with another plane on it.
or: Plane lands on taxiway: Will FAA review cockpit recordings?
PULLMAN, WASH. — Last month, a Horizon Air plane mistakenly landed on a taxiway at a small airport in Washington. It was serious enough that the flight crew was suspended, but federal aviation officials have kept most of the details under wraps.
or: Passenger plane lands on the TAXIWAY instead of runway in fourth incident of its kind at Seattle airport | Daily Mail Online
An investigation has been launched after an Alaska Airlines pilot accidentally landed on a taxiway instead of the runway.
The alarming incident took place at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport involving a Boeing 737 that had set out from Chicago O'Hare.
This was the fourth time this happened at that airport.

There's more if you care to look. This was not a one-off. There is evidently a wider problem that needs to be taken more seriously.
 
#16
The problem is apparently when there are two parallel runways relatively close together with taxiways parallel to those. Theoretically it should be "easy" to tell which is which, but this is all happening while the plane is moving at speed, and the pilots don't have a lot of time to sort out what is going on in the dark. Other pilots are also saying there is a problem, and apparently there is a recommendation to improve the lighting and marking in those circumstances. I'm not familiar with that particular airport, but there may be some specific local problems there which need to be addressed.

The pilots certainly made a mistake, but apparently there also needs to be some changes made to make mistakes less likely.
Presumably that airport lights its runways and taxiways in accordance with the same international standard as every other airport? Heathrow has two parallel runways, with taxiways either side. Have we had the same problem here? Up-thread someone cited the pilot's hours of rest, or lack of them. Sounds like the blame lies with their airline working them too hard. Aren't there international standards and requirements in that regard, too...?
 

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