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Author Topic: Gulfstream IV strikes Coyote departing ABQ - Flies all the way to SFO!  (Read 9217 times)
inigo88
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« on: June 16, 2009, 01:22:50 AM »

Hey guys,

This afternoon I read fire rescue units responded to SFO for "Jetspeed 888," a Gulfstream IV that struck a Coyote with the nose wheel on departure from KABQ (presumably post V1?) and continued all the way to SFO! After viewing 5 different 30 minute clips in the archive I was able to put the attached clip together.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/EJM888

The clip starts with EJM888's check in with Norcal Approach, jumps to SFO TWR's coordination with the mobile rescue equipment standing by on the ground, TWR then coordinates a fly-by to check the condition of the landing gear (with the help of a Shamrock pilot), returns to Norcal Departure for his re-sequencing, back to SFO TWR for the landing and finally to SFO GND for his taxi to the Signature Flight Support FBO (and ground's helpful narrative of what happened to another pilot). Despite editing out unrelated radio traffic and dead air, the clip is still 10 minutes long.

I also included an unrelated aborted takeoff by a Skywest pilot for a flight control configuration warning just prior to the G-IV's low approach.

I am curious what the rationale was to continue on a 2 hour flight to the destination as opposed to returning to ABQ to get the aircraft checked out (if the PIC suspected the gear was damaged - if it was why was it retracted in the first place?). I also find it suspect that Norcal TRACON was the one who initiated the instructions to make a fly-by of the tower to check the landing gear, NOT the PIC. I'm glad it turned out to be a non-event but I really hope there's more to the story than just a case of "Get-There-Itis" on the corporate aviation level. I wonder if a NASA ASRS report will be filed and give us more insight?

Anyway, enjoy the clip.  cool

Regards,

Inigo
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 01:42:45 AM by inigo88 » Logged
fholbert
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2009, 09:21:52 AM »

Take the plane to where it can be fixed? Not that uncommon.

In 1975 I saw a C5A that had two fire warning lights. They decided to take the airplane to where it could be fixed as opposed to landing in Kansas City. The crew survived, the plane and the runway didn't.
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Frank Holbert
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olehsysa
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 03:16:36 PM »

And what would be a reason for NASA ASRS report? Is there a violation? There could be 100 different reasons why crew elected to continuie to SFO, what is wrong with that? That particular G4 has video cameras installed on the belly of the airplane, so you get perfect view of the landing gear.
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inigo88
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 08:58:38 PM »

I find it bizarre that airport fire rescue equipment should be rolled and standing by at SFO for an incident that occurred in ABQ. You're right about no violation, however 14 CFR 91.13 prohibits "Careless & Reckless" operation of an aircraft.

That's terrific about the cameras allowing the PIC to inspect the belly of the airplane. HOWEVER, if he was so convinced that the landing gear was fine I fail to see the need to make a low approach of the SFO tower and have the gear inspected (especially if it was already inspected in ABQ). It creates additional workload for SFO ground to control all the fire department ground equipment on the movement areas, for tower to look especially closely at the landing gear and for Norcal approach resequence the aircraft back onto final.

I am absolutely not opposed to this. 14 CFR 91.3 allows the Pilot In Command of the aircraft to break any rule required to meet whatever emergency or situation they may have. If it was a choice between a crash or inconveniencing ATC, I would gladly be in favor of the latter.

The question I was raising is simply whether it could be interpreted as "careless" or "reckless" to fly an airplane several hours to your previously planned destination and meet your scheduling commitments when you don't have 100% confidence in the mechanical integrity of that airplane. Do you choose to land and solve the problem now or put it off until later?

If it were me, I would have landed at ABQ and gotten the airplane checked out on field. If I didn't, I would file an ASRS report explaining why I continued to the destination (should someone interpret my actions as violating 91.13, even if I personally felt they were justified). That might not make me an employer's favorite pilot, but oh well. Ultimately this ended up being a non-event and the PIC made a judgment call to continue and that was his decision to make.

Quote
Take the plane to where it can be fixed? Not that uncommon.

In 1975 I saw a C5A that had two fire warning lights. They decided to take the airplane to where it could be fixed as opposed to landing in Kansas City. The crew survived, the plane and the runway didn't.

The only FBO on field, Signature Flight Support, is horrendously expensive and would probably not be a company's first choice for Gulfstream maintenance especially if closer alternatives existed. However assuming this was the case...

I have a counter-example for you, although it's not fair to compare it to the above post since the Gulfstream pilot's judgment wasn't necessarily unsound.

Earlier this year an F/A-18 Hornet pilot departed an aircraft carrier in the pacific ocean inbound to Mirimar MCAS in San Diego. The airplane experienced fuel crossfeed problems that were a known serious event, but the pilot elected to continue to Mirimar and fly over a densely populated city when North Island NAS would do (both airports had maintenance, just because one happened to belong to a different branch of the military didn't mean it would have been impossible to fix the airplane there). The hornet then experienced dual engine flame out and landed on a house, killing an entire family, while the pilot ejected to safety.

Prematurely terminating a flight certainly isn't always the answer either, but the above example should illustrate just how wrong this invulnerability "It can't/won't happen to me" attitude can really negatively influence a pilot's decision making when a more serious emergency exists, with disastrous results (see Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM) attitudes as described by the FAA for further info).

Regards,

Inigo
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 09:03:05 PM by inigo88 » Logged
otto_pilot
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 09:28:23 PM »

OK so this careless and reckless thing we all get ourselves (as pilots) worked up about is a damned if you do and damned if you don't. It can be used against us in any way they so desire. I mean any judgement call a pilot makes that goes wrong could fall under this blanket. Its a good rule but it is entirely too broad and could really be used in the wrong manner. So lets not say he was in violation of 14 CFR 91.13 until we know what happend. We do not know his thought process or the full extent of the situation so lets leave 14 CFR 91.13 out of it.
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tower: right delta ground point niner
pilot: Uh tower did you mean to say ground point 8 or do you want us to try them on point 9.
tower: Oh yea point 8 would work better, wouldnt it
Extra300
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2009, 02:22:28 AM »

Maybe this will shed some light. "Hypothetically" maybe this is what happened... Yes the coyote did run in front of the aircraft at V1. I had no idea if we had hit him or not. I did not hear or feel the impact. In fact I was pretty sure we missed him... positive rate and the gear went up. I asked the Co-Captain to call the tower and have them double check the runway just to make sure we did not hit him. They called us back a bit later and confirmed that we did in fact hit the coyote. (check the tapes from ABQ, I am sure this is what you will find.) Nothing looked out of place on camera system and we had no indications of a problem i.e. brake messages, steering messages, or hydraulic fluid loss. We seriously considered returning to ABQ however we had to consider some things. If the gear was damaged there was nothing we could do about it. Everything looked okay in the camera system. ABQ is 5355' feet in elevation. That particular day the temp was over 31 deg C. Anyone who fly's jets or any aircraft for that matter at these altitudes and temperatures knows the degradation in performance as well as the increase landing and take off speeds and distances. We were tankering fuel as we often do because as you mentioned SFO is very expensive. (recording at 7:03 indicates Jetspeed 888 had 11,900lbs at fuel on board at SFO which would make fuel at ABQ approx 20,000lbs.) Based on this the jet was very heavy. In fact our Vref speed for a return landing at ABQ was close to 150 kts indicated. GIV's fly approach at Vref +10. 160kts corrected for altitude and temp that is a very high landing speed you do the math. Granted ABQ has a very long runway, the last thing I wanted to do was land high, hot and heavy with lots of fuel with gear that was suspect. What if it was the nose gear that was damaged? What if I could not steer after touch down? Barreling though the weeds at close to 200MPH with lots of gas on board did not seem like a good thing. (GIV's cannot dump fuel FYI) After calling maintenance, and operations on our satcom the co captain and I came to consensus that continuing on to destination which has long runways, is at sea level, is a much cooler temperature (approx 18c that day at time of landing), aircraft would be at much lighter weight, and last SFO has good rescue equipment seemed to be the prudent choice. So that is the decision I made. It had nothing to do with get there itis. The safety of my passengers and my aircraft and those on ground is number 1.  The low pass which caused little disruption to SFO airport opts was us covering all our basis. We were confident that the gear was okay but be had no way of knowing for sure till we landed. The low approach gave a different angle to inspect gear than we had with cameras. We elected to use this option. The fact that ATC asked us first is because we had just not got to that point yet. We were just handed off to approach from center and were still many miles from the airport. They asked us before we could ask them.  This is why we did the low pass and had rescue equipment on standby. Better safe than smoldering in the weeds with no one to come get you. When it was all said and done I did question myself a bit and the decision to continue on but after considering everything I think is was the best thing to do under the circumstances. All necessary reports were filed and nothing further has come of it. Hope this answers your questions as to why we did what we did. As it turned out the coyote hit the right main landing gear causing very minor damage. Cannot say the same for Wile-E.... RIP

ATP 8000TT 2500+ hours GIV PIC Time
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 10:33:17 AM by Extra300 » Logged
inigo88
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 04:28:08 AM »

Quote
When it was all said and done I did question myself a bit and the decision to continue on but after considering everything I think it was the best thing to do under the circumstances.

You've convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt that it was (not that you had any obligation to). Hypothetically, I feel like a complete tool for armchair quarterbacking a very tough decision you made, in what sounds like an extremely thoughtful and prudent manner given the information you had available to you.

I will freely admit that with my limited experience flying small GA I wasn't able to anticipate the undue hazards returning to ABQ would have caused: High Density Altitude -> High Vref (I had no idea it was 160 kts) + Questionably damaged landing gear + degraded climb performance on a go around... well that sounds like the classic "chain of events" prelude to an NTSB accident report.

I really apologize for the critical manner of my initial post. It was written with the San Diego F/A-18 accident - resulting in the dead family and the unscathed pilot - fresh in my mind, but blinded me from seeing the "bigger picture" of other factors that needed to be considered. For what it's worth, your response was more educational than any ASRS report ever could have been and seems like it belongs in an installment of "I learned about flying from that." On the one hand I am incredibly embarrassed for calling you out on an anonymous internet forum on a non-eventful incident. On the other hand, I am incredibly grateful that your explanation exposed an ignorance in my understanding of ADM and that returning to land is not always the safer option (over max landing weight with no ability to dump fuel, high density altitude + possibly unreliable landing gear). While it's very unlikely I'll run into being over max landing weight flying light GA aircraft in the near future, the possibility for degraded go around performance due to density altitude is even more prevalent. Your whole story is one that I will try and seriously take to heart long into the future as a shining example of why not to over-simplify ADM.

Thank you, very much, for taking the time to write that. I am both humbled by and grateful for it. While I will work on keeping my smartass opinions to myself about the actions of those senior to me, any amount of public humiliation on my part was worth it if anyone else has the opportunity to learn as much from your recount of the events as I did. Thanks again, and hypothetically, it sounds like you guys did an outstanding job. Smiley

Very sincerely,

Inigo
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kea001
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 05:28:15 AM »

It might be interesting to note that, despite the characterization presented in the media,  the pilot was absolved of most of the blame in that Miramar incident.

  • it appeared that the jet in question had a known track record of trouble in its left engine for several months.
  • Maintenance was deferred after mechanics detected problems in the fuel flow system, a practice that was allowed at the time under established maintenance rules and procedures.
  • the aircraft had flown 146 times since the problem was identified.


"Squadron officials, however, ordered the pilot to land at MCAS Miramar after a brief discussion, which the investigation deemed "collectively bad decision-making by the duty officer, by the operations officer and by the squadron's commanding officer." The pilot also failed to consult his emergency procedures checklist during the emergency, as well as unnecessarily lengthening his approach to Miramar by making a 270-degree left turn after bypassing North Island, rather than a shorter 90-degree right turn. Specifically, the report criticized Neubauer for not questioning the order to divert to Miramar more forcefully, which he had briefly questioned. The squadron operations officials had underestimated the urgency of the situation, and placed undue emphasis on returning the pilot to his home field, having in mind the pilot's familiarity with that base, the longer runway, and better repair resources."

"Despite criticism, Neubauer was returned to a probationary flight status and allowed to resume training in late April 2009, in a decision made by Lieutenant General George J. Trautman, III, the Deputy Commandant for Aviation."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_San_Diego_F/A-18_crash
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Extra300
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 10:15:49 AM »

Inigo,

Thank you very much for your reply.
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jonnevin
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 06:22:36 PM »

Extra300, that was a great explanation. Job well done.
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otto_pilot
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 10:00:26 PM »

Extra...well great job. Good decision making!  grin
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tower: right delta ground point niner
pilot: Uh tower did you mean to say ground point 8 or do you want us to try them on point 9.
tower: Oh yea point 8 would work better, wouldnt it
joeyb747
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Nothing Like A 747!


« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 08:28:13 PM »

(GIV's cannot dump fuel FYI)

Nice post!

Just a technical note here:

Please correct me if I am wrong here, but the G-IV does not need to posses fuel dump capabilities. Much like several other "smaller" aircraft types, from the Lear 25 all the way up to and including the DC-9/MD80/90 series, and the weight of a fully loaded G-IV with a full fuel load would still be under the aircrafts max landing weight, making fuel dumping capabilities unnecessary.
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Extra300
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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2009, 09:22:31 AM »

It is very possible to be over max landing weight in a GIV. In fact there is nearly a 9,000lb difference between max takeoff and max landing weight.

No the designers of the GIV did not feel the need to have fuel dump for whatever reason. Gulfstream's were built with hefty landing gear and very efficient carbon brakes. I imagine this is why. However...

GIV Max Gross Weight 74,500
GIV Typical Empty Weight 44,000
GIV Fuel load 29,500 + Passenger up to 19 and cargo.
GIVSP Max Landing Weight 66,000
The earlier non SP GIV's without ASC190 have landing weight around 55,000 if I remember correctly. The aircraft this post is talking about is a GIVSP so no it was not over max landing weight at ABQ however it was still very close to max weight with very high landing speeds. So this is all kinda besides the point. Just because you are at or under max landing weight, especially in a GIVSP does not necessarily mean it is safe to land if that is what you are getting to.

You do the math is would be very easy to be over max landing weight in a GIV or GIVSP. According to Gulfstream an over max weight landing is considered an "emergency procedure." Many GIV's are also equipped with a landing G Meter and if a landing is made over max landing weight you must not go over a certain g rating otherwise a very expensive inspection must be done on the aircraft.

On a side note the Lear 35 does have wing tip fuel dump. Apparently Lear thought they should add it to the 35 series which is very similar to the 25's. In fact its the same type rating. Just got some upgrades including turbofan engines. Also everyone should know that you really can't compare a Lear to a Gulfstream just like you can't compare a Gulfstream to a B777.

Lear 35 max gross weight approx 18,000lbs.
GIV max gross weight 74,500lbs






« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 07:28:49 PM by Extra300 » Logged
kea001
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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 10:16:44 AM »

GIV max gross weight 74,500lbs vs. Coyote gross weight 20-40 lbs.
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joeyb747
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Nothing Like A 747!


« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2009, 04:07:13 PM »

Thanks for the info Extra300. I am not challenging the crews decision to fly on. My point was only on the issue of fuel dumping.

Here is something kind of interesting, This is a list of Boeing Commercial Aircraft that can dump fuel.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/faqs/fueldump.pdf

The Boeing 757 and the DC-9/MD-80/90 have no fuel dump capability as its maximum landing weight is similar to the maximum take-off weight.

"FAR 25.1001 -- Requires a fuel jettison system unless it can be shown that the airplane meets the climb requirements of FAR 25.119 and 25.121(d) at maximum takeoff weight, less the actual or computed weight of fuel necessary for a 15-minute flight comprising a takeoff, go-around, and landing at the airport of departure.

To comply with FAR 24.1001[sic, should be 25.1001], the 747 and MD-11, for example, require a fuel jettison system. Some models, such as the 777 and some 767 airplanes have a fuel jettison system installed, but it is not required by FAR. Other models such as the DC-9, 717, 737, 757, and MD-80/90 do not require, or do not have, a fuel jettison system based on compliance with FAR Part 25.119 and 25.121(d)."


From this, also form Boeing:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_3_07/article_03_2.html

 cool...just some neat info... cool


« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 07:24:03 PM by joeyb747 » Logged

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