Av Hazard publicizes safety and operational concerns to help prevent accidents but it works only if we hear from you. Use the postage-free Av Hazard card to describe the hazard and return it to Pro Pilot. To obtain an official FAA review send NASA an ASRS form. For immediate action, call the airport, FBO, ATC, FSDO or the 24-hr FAA Safety Hotline at 800-255-1111. Note: Telephone numbers for all US Towers and ARTCCs are published in Ac-U-Kwik and Pilots Express Airport/Heliport/FBO directories. To report safety concerns outside the US, contact ICAO HQ at 514-954-8219 or via fax at 514-954-6077. ICAO has worldwide telephone and fax numbers to expedite Av Hazard reports to civil aviation authorities.
Upset with July Av Hazard
I take issue with the critique given to the crew of the CRJ200 which avoided a PC12 at CLT during takeoff (Pro Pilot, Jul 2009, p 24). It was stated that the crew “could have paid more attention to knowing what the next aircraft in line behind their aircraft was” and noted that the PC12 was not behind them in line for takeoff but was holding on Rwy 18L. Since when is it part of a pilot’s situational awareness to note what type of airplane is behind them in line? What if there was a PC12 behind them in line, and one also waiting down field? Should the pilot also note the tail number of the plane behind them so they don’t get the two confused? Where would you draw the line? Also, Rwy 18L at CLT has a takeoff power point that puts the aircraft well past the position where a pilot could look over to see what type of airplane is behind them. I think the comments that you made were arrogant and unrealistic. You should have stopped at “the CRJ crew did a good job aborting the takeoff and avoiding a collision.” They were not the ones who made the mistake—the controller was.
__ ATP. Bombardier CRJ200, Dornier 328
- This comment is well taken and the writer offers an apology. The intent was not to cast aspersions on the CRJ flightcrew, which did an excellent job in averting a catastrophe. The point being made was that, regardless of whose fault an occurrence may be, all pilots in the cockpit must do everything they can to avoid possible collisions. The number of serious runway incursions is increasing and it is shear luck that there has not been a major loss of life due to this unsettling trend. Not all events have been caused by ATC, although this particular case was definitely an operational error by ATC.
The point I was trying to make is that all flightcrews must be diligent when arriving and departing airports. We can’t narrow our focus in the cockpit to just our call sign and clearance. We must know what is going on around us and be aware of the bigger picture. An excellent example to illustrate this point is the outstanding professionalism and situational awareness demonstrated by the crew in a double near miss at PVD (Providence RI) on Dec 6, 1999.
The crew of USAir Flight 2998 refused to take off in near-zero visibility after the tower had insisted the runway was clear. They had been monitoring the radio transmissions from United Airlines Flight 1448, which was lost and wandering around the airfield in the fog. A FedEx Boeing 727 which followed tower instructions took off from Runway 5 and moments later nearly collided with the United aircraft which had wandered onto that runway. The USAir crew stood their ground and refused to take off until the United Airlines flight called at the gate, thus avoiding another possible catastrophe.
An NTSB animation with actual radio transmissions can be found on the NTSB website and on YouTube at www.youtube. com/watch?v=5BvgSS6kBdU. Had the USAir flight started its takeoff roll, it would have collided with the airliner down the runway. The crew could have claimed to be following directions, said it was not their fault, and quite possibly cost the lives of hundreds of people.
They did more than just listen for their own call sign and follow tower instructions—they were aware of their surroundings and were alert to other radio traffic, especially the fact that an aircraft was lost on the field and that the United crew just reported an aircraft taking off directly over them. The point this writer is trying to make is all crews must listen to more than just their call sign. We must listen to the radio traffic going on around us and, when possible, be aware of the aircraft around us and how we expect the movement of aircraft to take place.
Possible higher minimums at HQM
Aeronautical study 2009-ANM-1014-CE deals with the erection of a crane near HQM (Hoquiam WA). If the erection is allowed it will require an increase in the approach minimums at HQM. Responses are being sought. Please contact alice.yett@ faa.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This Av Hazard report has been forwarded to the e-mail addresses provided.