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Author Topic: 767 almost lands on wrong runway at JFK Sunday 9/19  (Read 31603 times)
flyflyfly
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« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2010, 03:10:02 AM »


Quote
Lead in lights go to 13L and 13R... he made a mistake. The tower now has control over turning the lights on/off for 13R.
No way!? Huh  Are you saying tower was not in control of those lights before the incident? It actually took so many years and one close call to figure out this simple, low-tech safety measure? ("Oh, right, we could install a light switch!!cheesy ). You'd assume it to be natural standard, that any tower has control of all its runway lighting...


And what would that do?  We're supposed to shut the lights off as JetBlue rolls down the runway?  Really?  Landing and departing on parallel  runways is something very common.  We can't just shut the lights off for all the runways aerogal or anyone else isn't cleared to land on!  There are other airport operations going on, people crossing and holding short of runways, etc.  You cannot just clear a guy to land and then shut off all the other lights.

The pilot made a mistake, plain and simple.  He brought his plane in to the wrong runway.

Obviously I was refering to the approach and lead in lights - not the main runway lights. There isn't much reason for lead in lights to flash when this runway is currently exclusively used for take off. And, as I understood NY Z Pilot, the controllers were now given control of these lead in lights (after the incident).

I'm not questioning responsibility here. It was Aerogal's fault alone. Full stop. But if you've ever read a report on an aviation incident, you'll know that aviation safety just doesn't stop at this level. It is also about circumstantial factors - be it of first, second or third degree. It's about naming all the details which influenced the occurrence of the incident. The ground radar being out of service, and lead in lights showing the way to a T/O-only runway would absoultely be mentioned as such factors here. Not because they would relief Aerogal of their responsibility - but because they are factors to be improved to even further reduce the chances of this happening again. And switching off approach lights is a pretty simple and cheap method to reduce the risk of misinterpretation, and already used at many/most airports for a long time (they had light switches, well, even in Soviet Russia, I guess... grin).
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svoynick
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« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2010, 03:21:37 AM »

The pilot made a mistake, plain and simple.  He brought his plane in to the wrong runway.
There you go.  

And further, do you know what is supposed to be the primary backup for the pilot in situations like this?  The second pilot.  There are supposed to be two brains and two sets of eyes and ears in the cockpit that back each other up on procedures, checklists, safety issues, and all the important stuff - like approaching the correct runway for landing.  If there's anything to be "looked into" here, I might suggest it would be the effectiveness (or not...) of the CRM in the Aerogal cockpit.

So the question was asked:
Quote from: Heading090
How is possible that ATC did not detect that Aerogal ended up on the final for the wrong runway?
I might suggest that the more relevant question would be:

How is possible that two pilots - who have the primary function and responsibility of working as a team to safely fly the aircraft, and backing each other up in that endeavor - did not detect that they ended up on the final for the wrong runway?
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MCM
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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2010, 04:14:58 AM »

Human factors strike again.

So, you use an approach such as the Canarsie which requires a late (for heavy jets) turn onto one of two parallel runways, BOTH of which are sometimes used, and you're surprised that someone misidentifies the runway when you have the lead in lights for BOTH runways on when only one is in use for landing?

Come on. Get with the times.

Yes the crew made an error. But so did the system. The crew didn't make the mistake on purpose. Its a mistake. And it was made more likely to occur by the way the airport is used. Any half decent risk analysis would have this kind of situation as a high probablity. Mitigators are available, and if you're going to insist on using late-turn approaches, use them.

There's a reason that straight in approaches are preferred - these kind of errors usually get picked up far earlier, and before there's any significant risk.
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Flyingnut
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2010, 07:22:43 AM »

Quote
How is possible that two pilots - who have the primary function and responsibility of working as a team to safely fly the aircraft, and backing each other up in that endeavor - did not detect that they ended up on the final for the wrong runway?

Two pilots?  Since this was an international flight, I'd bet there was at least three crew members on the flight deck, since long haul flight carry an extra crew member for crew relief and breaks during cruise.
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Marty
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2010, 12:12:14 PM »

Obviously I was refering to the approach and lead in lights - not the main runway lights. There isn't much reason for lead in lights to flash when this runway is currently exclusively used for take off. And, as I understood NY Z Pilot, the controllers were now given control of these lead in lights (after the incident).

Well obviously it wasn't obvious.  But the agency typically issues a knee jerk reaction after an incident to show they're doing SOMETHING.  Often those initiatives are later cancelled, especially when they lead to another problem.

If an a/c is cleared for 13L, it would be helpful to see two 13's so he can determine which is right and which is left.  Shutting off lights is NOT a good idea.  The lights are visual aids that help the a/c see the airport and orientate themselves.
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NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2010, 12:17:55 PM »


If an a/c is cleared for 13L, it would be helpful to see two 13's so he can determine which is right and which is left.  Shutting off lights is NOT a good idea.  The lights are visual aids that help the a/c see the airport and orientate themselves.
[/quote]

I do no agree with that, most foreign pilots follow the lead ins, see A RUNWAY, and assume that must be it. This is not the first time this has happened... its never gotten this close tho.


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flyflyfly
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2010, 01:39:14 PM »

Obviously I was refering to the approach and lead in lights - not the main runway lights. There isn't much reason for lead in lights to flash when this runway is currently exclusively used for take off. And, as I understood NY Z Pilot, the controllers were now given control of these lead in lights (after the incident).

Well obviously it wasn't obvious.  But the agency typically issues a knee jerk reaction after an incident to show they're doing SOMETHING.  Often those initiatives are later cancelled, especially when they lead to another problem.

If an a/c is cleared for 13L, it would be helpful to see two 13's so he can determine which is right and which is left.  Shutting off lights is NOT a good idea.  The lights are visual aids that help the a/c see the airport and orientate themselves.

Of course, the runway itself should be lit (still obvious to me  smiley ). This is what helps pilots identifying the left and right runway.
But it is already standard that only the approach lights on the active end of a runway are lit. Not because pilots aren't smart enough to use a compass, but simply to help with visual orientation and reduce another (highly theoretical) risk.

About the JFK 13 R/L lead ins, have a look at this video (at linked time).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnEtr6Ei1sc#t=3m14s

You'll hear the captain say "second set of lights... JFK 3miles...".
These lead ins are quite far away from the actual runway. These sets of blinking lights aid pilots by marking the ground track of the right turn. Not much reason to mark the ground track of a forbidden turn to an inactive or t/o-only runway...
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TC
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« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2010, 04:12:43 PM »

Plenty of reason.  Might want to transition an a/c over to that runway and in order to clear him for the visual to that runway, he's gotta see it.  Do it all the time to maintain separation, which is after all, why we are there.  You want to believe that shutting off lights is going to enhance safety, you go right ahead.  I'll rely on my 20 yrs experience in atc that tells me otherwise.
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svoynick
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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2010, 04:37:19 PM »

Another reason is that, as a pilot, I want to see and orient myself to the airport as I know it from the approach plate.  I use everything from runway heading to the presence of parallel runways to confirm my orientation, position, etc.  It's my job to know that there are parallel runways out there, and my job to orient myself to the correct one.  I would rather have them both lit up as visibly as possible so I can satisfy myself that I'm in the correct position, rather than have my mental image expecting two parallel runways, and when I roll out on final, I only see a single one lit up.  I want ALL the information available for me to confirm my position matches what I'm cleared for, including selection of the correct parallel.

Now, I'll freely admit, I only fly dinky planes for fun - "real" pilots, feel free to set me straight as to what you prefer.

Quote from: NY Z Pilot
most foreign pilots follow the lead ins, see A RUNWAY, and assume that must be it.
Really?   Wow.   They don't use heading to confirm, or confirm that they're on the correct parallel, or....    Not that it hasn't happened before, as you assert, but you're not giving "foreign pilots" much credit here...
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darlyn
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« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2010, 05:50:33 PM »

That clip was too funny, and more so in light of a recent experience I had. I was in a Cessna (as a pax) that nearly taxied into the path of a landing heavy fifteen seconds before touchdown... we were first in the line-up. Just as I happened to glance around behind us I noticed something. It took me a few seconds to register that the guy behind us was frantically flashing his landing lights and waving a phone in an attempt to keep us off the runway.

All this because ground gave us the wrong tower freq., and this was the pilot's first trip to that airport, so he assumed the perceived radio silence was SOP.
Just a clarification...  For the situation you described, are you saying this happened "because" the pilot got the wrong freq. from ground?  Respectfully, am I off-target to suggest that it happened because the pilot entered an active runway without a clearance?  

Are there controlled airports where it's "SOP" for silence to represent an implicit clearance?  (This is rhetorical...)

Clearance was not given, but the plane was still slowly inching towards the runway. Now that I think about it, the plane should have come to a full stop at the yellow lines. I'm actually listening to the ATC right now. Tower makes numerous attempts to contact the plane, all while it's on the wrong frequency given by ground.
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NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2010, 06:04:55 PM »

I put foreign pilots because theyre the only ones that ever do it, no disrespect.  I guess since domestic pilots are familiar with the approach and on the INTL flights they dont do it often at all.
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MCM
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« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2010, 09:22:47 PM »

The job of the strobes is to lead to the runway.

Why add confusion unnecessarily?

Turn OFF the strobes not in use.

Step two - don't have unfamiliar airlines flying the Canarsie. Its a very high workload approach (particularly in poor weather when it is still used) and there are safer alternatives available.

« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 09:26:19 PM by MCM » Logged
kenadams
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« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2010, 12:21:39 AM »

The job of the strobes is to lead to the runway.
Why add confusion unnecessarily?
Turn OFF the strobes not in use.
Step two - don't have unfamiliar airlines flying the Canarsie. Its a very high workload approach (particularly in poor weather when it is still used) and there are safer alternatives available.

Strobes can add to the situational awareness even if they lead to the wrong runway. Pilots who brief the approach must know that there are four clusters of lead-in lights to line up with 13L, and only two clusters to line up to 13R.
Once they reach the first cluster of lights (altitude approximately 1000 feet) on the 041 heading the visual transition calls for, 13R is to their 3 o'clock, while the second cluster of lead-in lights is 12/1 o'clock. Having runway 13R in sight helps confirm their position relative to the airport and to the second cluster of lights to follow. All visual references are important when performing a visual approach.
As to the unfamiliarity of crews, the problem starts with the FAA. The whole Parkway Visual Approach is biased in that it has straight-in weather minimums instead of circling minimums. The coupling of tight room over Queens to allow regular operations at both LGA and JFK, with the concern for noise abatement has created an approach procedure that leaves little margin for error.
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