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  • 4

‘Improbable’ events set stage for airport near-disaster, report says

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An old radar, a driverless van, a 7-watt lightbulb and garbled communications all contributed to a near-collision at Pearson International Airport when a landing Air Canada jet passed just 10 metres over a vehicle that had rolled onto a runway, a safety watchdog says. (www.thestar.com) Más...

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Orville1000
Orville1000 1
I haven't been able to see any of my posts on the FA board or why that is, so not ignoring if don't respond to any comment, should there be any.

I heard the tape several times. The Air Canada pilots, as bad as the negligent tech truck, messed up big time. The pilots' TCAS informs of every call sign in the control zone. They would know they were the only AC aircraft in the CZ. Even if ATC flubbed or garbled AC's call sign an alert pilot would heed the warning and go around out of sensible precaution. The landing lights on these jets can illuminate any moving or still obstacle. Had the pilots been focused on the runway and threshold would've easily sighted the wayward truck.

I've listened to hours of late night Pearson ATC and found AC red eye crews to be hit & miss in adequate ATP professionalism. They seem to be push button/glass cockpit clock punchers.
italy430
italy430 1
You clearly don't have much experience in the industry. That was made clear with your comment about the landing lights being able to "illuminate any moving or still obstacle." You definitely haven't been in the cockpit of an airplane during a night landing.

And about the TCAS informing them that they are the only ones in the control zone - the TCAS' purpose is not to do that and figuring out how many airplanes are in the control zone or even if you're the only one in the control zone has no merit for a pilot usually.

The AC pilots did not mess up big time.

I fly for a Canadian airline (not Air Canada).
Orville1000
Orville1000 1
Night-rated aircraft are mandated to carry adequate external lights to safely discern any terrain, obstacles and ground objects in the approach and landing path, excluding poor visibility /w landing decision subject to captain's (and/or flight crew's) discretion. At 3.9 million lumen per bulb the only way a crew can miss a runaway truck crossing the threshold is if neither crew are looking for ground obstacles. This AC crew wasn't looking or paying attention to the tower's go around order. Of course the AC crew erred.

These aircraft have TCAS and ACAS and blindingly bright landing lights, visible up to 100nm away at sufficient altitude/line of sight and weather conditions. This is not 1903. These jets can see every callsign in the CZ and beyond, the same SSR FlightAware uses. When the only AC in the CZ hears "Air Canada" from Tower, it means them, whether or not Tower muffs the numbers in the urgency of the moment.

Pearson is supposed to be a 1st class international aviation facility. If the Twr can't convey an emergency order to an incoming aircraft to go around, what's the point of having a tower?
italy430
italy430 1
"Night-rated aircraft are mandated to carry adequate external lights to safely discern any terrain, obstacles and ground objects in the approach and landing path, excluding poor visibility /w landing decision subject to captain's (and/or flight crew's) discretion."

That's a VERY specific requirement that you claim is mandated. Can you reference the rule that states that? Here is the link to the CARs to help you out: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/regulations-sor96-433.htm

Any other official government document stating that is sufficient too.

I'll be waiting :)
Orville1000
Orville1000 1
Oh, no, no, no, no, italy430. That's your task It's in CARs. You can find it.

Maybe with the airline you fly, adequate night vision during landings is shunned on. Perhaps you don a blindfold after spray painting the windshield in Kryon jet black.

Most real pilots don't do that. They want to see an adequately illuminated runway at night time, or as much of it as possible, to avoid what is called collision. Still able to see the said runway with adequate lumens should the runway lighting unexpectedly fail. It's called being a smart pilot.
italy430
italy430 1
"These aircraft have TCAS and ACAS"

They have both TCAS and ACAS? What's the difference between the two?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Had the lights illuminated all, that U.S. Air 737 wouldn't have landed on the top of that Turboprop awhile back, killing everybody I think. Best I remember, turboprop was at an intersection and the U.S. Air did not see it until just past touchdown, with the CVR recording the pilot say WTF or something similar. Total surprise. Sorry, too long back to remember flight numbers.
allanrbowman
Allan Bowman 1
Let's design a system on a forum. Start with voice to text, aircraft and controllers get both. Text persists after the voice disappears. Voice goes to headsets, text goes to screens. I'm done.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Works for me. LOL
preacher1
preacher1 1
Close don't count except in Atom Bombs and Horsehoes, and in this case doesn't even give you the heebie jeebies until after it's over and you find out about it. LOL
Funk499
Max Power 1
Because asking controllers to talk to some pilots and type to others is more confusing than what we have. Maybe one day.

Its also worth noting that pilots look at lots of stuff, reading instructions could place higher work loads on pilots. The typical format is PNF does the talking to ATC while PF handles the controls and does the scanflow, but with voice comms the PF can hear everything the PNF is saying and receiving. This creates a positive check on instructions. If you make it so that we're dealing with tech communication then a busy PF will now be trusting his PNF with all ATC communications. We end up with a situation where the least experienced member of the crew is now the one in charge of interpreting ATC instructions for the PF. This is a problem of its own.

There are text based ATC instructions but I think those are mostly used in high cruise over Europe, not in high stress environments.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I really don't think that at that altitude and speed that ATC would have had time to type a text, let alone for it to be read by an unsuspecting flight crew. Maybe some other kind of voice transmission as far as frequency but definitely not text.
Funk499
Max Power 1
At that point its clear typing wouldn't be the main feature of those kinds of transmissions, instead you'd have alert macros. A go around would be a single button press to send the whole message. No need to type it out if its all rote.

Still, its not feasible these days. It would basically mean redoing the entire global ATC system from scratch. I don't think there's any money for that.
italy430
italy430 1
There is no reason for ATC to send a text command to the crew. It's a completely inappropriate form of communication in these types of situations. Text commands to change enroute clearances or PDCs (Pre Departure Clearance) are appropriate... but to command an aircraft to make an immediate change needs to be done over the radio.
allanrbowman
Allan Bowman 1
Virtually everything today is digital EXCEPT the primitive communications (AM radios and analog voice) used in aviation. Why for example, are there not digital displays in every aircraft that display TEXT messages and instructions from air traffic controllers? Similarly why are such messages not then confirmed by the the crew that the confirmation appears on ATC screens? Instead, we have short cryptic voice, over AM radio's (primitive), in a high density communications environment that promotes confusion, misunderstanding, missed messages, and that makes the entire system much less safe than it ought to be. Even our children have text messaging. What is wrong with this picture?
preacher1
preacher1 1
What you say is all true, but in this particular case, according to the story, the got the 2nd warning, but it also coincided with an automated call out, and as they couldn't see anything(because of the low wattage beacon bulb), they decide it was not for them and just proceeded normally
allanrbowman
Allan Bowman 1
Text messages such as WTF can be abbreviated and/or point and shoot buttons. Rwy 25 L, txi A, hldshrt 33L. Voice to text can also be deployed. This is not ATC writing a novel.

Metars and TAFs have more and more complex acronyms that most ATC requirements.

A major point is, text stays put until read and cleared, voice is transient.
Funk499
Max Power 0
"A major point is, text stays put until read and cleared, voice is transient."

Ah but then perhaps we lose the impetus to comply immediately.

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