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Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by MarkPDX, Jan 13, 2014.
Southwest Airlines Plane Lands At Wrong Airport, Almost Careens Off Cliff - Forbes
I'm starting to get nervous. I have a very long driveway.
3,700 runway for a 737!
I'm guessing they won't have any problems getting out with an empty plane..... Bob will probably be along any moment with TOLD info.
What I would really be curious about is if the pavement is rated for something like a 737. I think they USAF ended up repaving that field down in Florida that the C-17 landed on.
I'm sure the PIC of this plane wants a do-over in the worst way and is clearly going to be at least partially at fault but I have questions though for you experienced pilots.
What in the world is the Branson ATC doing while this is going on? Certainly, Branson isn't uncontrolled, right? I did a little flying many moons ago and shouldn't the ATC be tracking the 737 on radar? Shouldn't the ATC have a visual on the plane and let it know if/when it doesn't? Shouldn't they be in radio communication with each other?
The fields are pretty close together and runways are oriented relatively similar. It's as simple as they saw Taney which is much closer to downtown than Branson airport is. Once they were cleared to land they had it in their heads that it was the field to fly to and disregarded their instruments. Tower was probably a bit confused that they didn't land quite as soon as expected but by the time they really realized there was a problem it was too late. Ultimately though it's on the crew.
Here is the address for Taney if you want to look on Google Maps.... Branson Airport is just a little southeast.
491 Blue Sky Ln, Hollister, MO
As a side note we had a seminar here last week that brought in some controllers from around the area to talk about what is going on in the local airspace. One of the more interesting things that I didn't know is that the digital radars in use here will automatically flag any close calls and depending on the proximity there are notifications are sent to the appropriate level.
they are kinda similar looking airports, I haven't landed there, but we had a Ferrari event at airport where the 737 landed.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohWB_09Rrks]Raw: SW Jet Takeoff After Wrong Airport Landing - YouTube[/ame]
so what'd they do with the passengers, bus them over to the other airport, have the plane land and reload them?
SWA bussed the passengers over to the correct airport and flew in another plane to take connecting pax to correct destinations.
From memory: couple confusing city airports, El Paso and and the air force base, Tijuana and San Diego Brown fieid.
Ive been tempted, especially at night to start to head for an airport when you get a visual. But as I 'matured', I always back it up with instruments, gps etc.
I don't think the public appreciates how hard it is to find an airport visually and also how many of them look the same.
One of the worst places I have ever been was Al Asad in Iraq when there were dust storms. They have three parallel runways and some additional taxiways and even with instruments it could be extremely difficult to ensure you were lined up with the correct runway. The Russians ended up getting banned from flying in there after several of their planes landed on the taxiway.
Dummy Pro Tip on how to avoid landing on taxi ways:
Look for the skid marks. At night, blue lights are bad.
I've landed at Taney County several times. It's runway alignment and length are dead giveaways that this is not the right airport. Also one has MALSF(rabbit), and a PAPI, the other has VASI, etc.
Is there a pro, or non-pro pilot on here that considers this mistake an acceptable error, and that they should be left to fly comm again?
Smaller fields will not have their own radar. Those fields in proximity to a TRACON facility (Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities) may have a remote feed and can assign landing aircraft a transponder code specific to their airport. Regardless the comm probably went something like this
TWR: Cactus 4013 report field in sight
4013: Twr, we have a visual, Cactus 4013
TWR, Cactus 4013, make straight-in, cleared to land, wind xxx at xx.
4013: Cleared to land, Cactus 4013
5 min pause
TWR: ah, Cactus 4013 report position
Of course it's not an acceptable error. But what should the punishment be?
I would think the FAA will probably pull their certificates for a while (60 days or so), or at a minimum make them do a 709 ride.
Will they be fired? That depends on a lot of things, including potential mitigating circumstances and what their union contract says, and how the union defends them. My guess, and it's just a guess (I don't work for Southwest, nor have anyone close to me who does), is that barring any other stupidity which comes to light, they don't get fired.
Southwest fired the Captain who broke off the landing gear in LGA this summer, but didn't fire the FO...
I've spent some time in nonradar towers visiting friends. The controllers generally try to keep an eye on airplanes they've cleared, but once in a while they get distracted and look away, the phone rings, or they go to record the ATIS, or something like that...
They also occasionally spot the airplane, and then lose sight of them.
Controllers must have good situational awareness, as they only have two eyes and they both point in the same direction. Point being, once they cleared the airplane they do not continuously keep an eye on it. Impossible with other aircraft in the vicinity. Also why they will ask for position reports (e.g. 2 mile final, abeam Twr on downwind). They do have a good sense of where it should be. Of course you know all this, I'm just clarifying my point, which is that TWR will ask an aircraft if they have the field in sight. It is not possible for the controller to know if the pilot has the correct field in sight, at least not until they should be on short final and they do not appear.
Not acceptable. However, that's not to say mistakes on visual approaches aren't made. Luckily, most mistakes are caught long before they result in landing at the wrong airport.
Because this type of thing can happen, airlines require visual approaches to be backed up with instruments (ILS, RNAV, or VOR) approaches. Not sure if this was at night but that makes it every harder. As far as ATC goes, towers at small airports are not open at all hours. So it can happen like this,
SW... "Airport in sight (wrong airport)"
ATC... "cleared for the visual approach, frequency change (to CTAF) approved, call to close your IFR flight plan on the ground.
ATC is vectoring so they see nothing wrong on radar. SW changes to traffic advisories and announces position while approaching the wrong airport. They land and ATC couldn't contact the plane even if they see it going toward the wrong airport at this point because the plane is on the CTAF freq.
Most times that this has happened in the past, the Captain and FO are fired. Union might be able to get their job back, but that can be a long process.
Not sure if this was at night, but night visual approaches are one of, if not the most, prone to pilot error.
Curious why you used "Cactus", since that refers to the old America West Airlines, now it's used for US Air.
Something I don't know, maybe????
Probably because I was confused!
And almost another in Australia - what are these pilots doing up there? Seems like ATC were the saviors here.
Missed Approach: Air India AI301 | carry-on
I agree completely, although controllers get just as complacent as anyone else.
Clear someone to land, 1000 times in a row they land right when you expect them. Easy to get complacent and look away.