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EVA Descended Below Safe Height At SFO 28L  
User currently offlinemusapapaya From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1075 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 20906 times:

Folks

Please see this link: http://avherald.com/h?article=465e38db&opt=0

Quite scary to me, same kind of aircraft, same airport, same runway, well, different outcome, any insights anyone?

musapapaya


Lufthansa Group of Airlines
49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemtnwest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2424 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20554 times:
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At least they didn't let airspeed get too slow......


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently onlineKPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2725 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20482 times:

Wow.. Interesting! I had just arrived on UAL1474 and was waiting to deboard, and saw this 77W do a go-around. Had no idea why, though, as I just saw it climbing back up..  Wow!


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User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1843 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19494 times:
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Part of my job I listen to the tower at work all day and I have noticed more low altitude alert call-out since OZ than before. Maybe its just me listening out for them more.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3109 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 18980 times:

Quoting musapapaya (Thread starter):
same kind of aircraft, same airport, same runway, well, different outcome, any insights anyone

Experience, the pilot flying the aircraft, had likely landed this type of aircraft at SFO before, and was familiar with the approach, and the jet he was flying.



AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-CO-CS-DL-EA-EZ-HA-HP-KL-KN-MP-MW-NK-NW-OO-OZ-PA-PS-QX-RC-RH-RW-SA-TG-TW-UA-US-VS-WA-WC-WN
User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 17970 times:

Firstly, the aircraft didn't descend below "safe height" - the title of this thread is sensationalist. The aircraft descended below the glideslope, or was just too low if flying a visual with no gideslope.

Secondly, the reaction of the crew was perfect. If you're not happy with an approach - throw it away and start again. Simple.

Go around procedures are conducted each and every day all over the world.

Quoting musapapaya (Thread starter):
Quite scary to me,

Scary is what happens when the crew don't have the good sense to set up another approach and "force" the one they're on to work.

Let's move on, shall we?


User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 583 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16853 times:

CaptCufflinks

...Firstly, the aircraft didn't descend below "safe height"...

In my opinion, being around 600 feet below the normal approach path in a heavy jet, with less than 4 miles to run to touchdown, qualifies as descending to an unsafe height, even if, as in this case, it was over water.


...Secondly, the reaction of the crew was perfect....

Their reaction to ATC might be described as perfect.

What they were doing - and might have continued to do - prior to ATC's intervention, is unlikely to be described as perfect.


It would be appropriate to learn what the various other flight parameters were (IAS, RoD, lateral alignment, approach stability, equipment failure, etc) during this approach before passing further comment.

However, in the meantime, it appears that this was an excellent "catch" by SFO ATC.

Best Regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1540 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16714 times:

Would be interested to know from flight crew or those with SFO experience, what would the PAPI view be at 3.8nm and on a 1.5 degree glide slope? Three or four reds?

Good days work by the chaps in the tower



L1011 - P F M
User currently offline0NEWAIR0 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 939 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 16580 times:

This happens every day, multiple times a day, around the world for various reasons. The only reason it's remotely news worthy is because it happend at SFO for 28L. Let's move on.


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 16150 times:

Bellerophon,

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 6):
descending to an unsafe height, even if, as in this case, it was over water.

If you had read my post correctly you would have seen that I was pointing out that the aircraft had not descended below a safe height (MSA etc) as the topic title implies.

I'm not arguing that being at that height at that point on the approach was safe. Indeed, as you point out, the situation was probably a little less "hairy" owing to the fact that they were in fact approaching from over the water.

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 6):
What they were doing - and might have continued to do - prior to ATC's intervention, is unlikely to be described as perfect.

You speak as if you know this to be fact, when you go on to state:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 6):
It would be appropriate to learn what the various other flight parameters were (IAS, RoD, lateral alignment, approach stability, equipment failure, etc) during this approach before passing further comment.

You have absolutely no idea, as do any of us, as to why the aircraft was low and therefore you have no basis to asses whether or not the approach was "perfect", there could have been countless factors as to why the aircraft was in the position it was as I am sure a man of your knowledge is only too aware.

Again, by reading carefully, you would have discovered that I called the crew's reaction to the situation perfect - namely, making the decision, calling a go around and executing it properly.

Regards,

Cufflinks


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8860 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (12 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 16049 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 6):
In my opinion, being around 600 feet below the normal approach path in a heavy jet, with less than 4 miles to run to touchdown, qualifies as descending to an unsafe height, even if, as in this case, it was over water.

I agree with your sentiments for a nice stable approach, I believe 28L is around 2.85 deg, not 3 deg as stated by Avherald.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 583 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (12 months 1 day ago) and read 13308 times:

CaptCufflinks


...I'm not arguing that being at that height at that point on the approach was safe...

Good, then it appears we agree. It wasn't safe. The aircraft had descended too low.

The reasons why it descended to an unsafe height are not relevant in deciding whether that height was, or was not, unsafe.

I trust we will learn of those reasons in due course. They could vary from one extreme of a sudden and total loss of thrust on both engines which was well handled by the crew to the other extreme of a badly planned and poorly managed approach that was allowed to continue well beyond the point at which a go-around should have been initiated by the crew, with all sorts of variations of circumstances in between.

Let me be clear, I am not casting any doubts on the crew or imputing any blame to them. I do not know whether they had any options to avoid this situation or whether they had lots of options to avoid this situation.

I am saying that, given how far out on approach it was, the aircraft had descended to an unsafe height.


...You have absolutely no idea, as do any of us, as to why the aircraft was low...there could have been countless factors as to why the aircraft was in the position it was...

Good, again, we agree, and I have never stated otherwise.


...therefore you have no basis to asses (sic) whether or not the approach was "perfect"...

I believe I do.

With around 4 miles to touchdown, the aircraft was very low, around 600 ft low, and I believe that is ample basis to say the approach ...is unlikely to be assessed as perfect....

Why and how it got so low remains to be discovered. The crew may well have been doing a magnificent job with a damaged aircraft or they may possibly have been in severe windshear, who knows, we must wait and see.


...I called the crew's reaction to the situation perfect - namely, making the decision, calling a go around...

From the information in the quoted report, it would appear that the crew did not make the go-around decision. It appears that they reacted to an ATC instruction.

Perhaps you have better information on this point?


Best Regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineNorcal773 From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1446 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (12 months 22 hours ago) and read 11603 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 11):

Haha, I've always liked how you handle folks making assumptions on A.net over the years. Always good to read your posts  



If you're going through hell, keep going
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 753 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (12 months 20 hours ago) and read 9433 times:

As I understand the purported facts so far, the aircraft in question was at about 600 feet while at about 4 miles from the TDZ. Looking at the localizer chart, the conditional MDA for the localizer is 460'. The last altitude constraint prior to the MDA is 1800' at DUYET intersection (7.7 DME). While he was low on what would be an RNAV or ILS path, if he was doing an old fashioned Dive and Drive localizer, he was above the MDA (assuming he met the conditional MDA) and in a perfectly safe piece of airspace. The only story here is that the approach looked different than the way an approach looks 99% of the time with the advent of modern avionics.

User currently offlinewingnutmn From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 637 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 months 20 hours ago) and read 9068 times:

Deleted.....same point as above but beaten by 3 minutes about the LOC 28L approach criteria.

Wingnut

[Edited 2013-07-26 12:22:57]


Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19363 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (12 months 19 hours ago) and read 8824 times:

Wait a minute.

An aircraft had a poor alignment on final approach, aborted the landing, and then landed safely on the second attempt.

What happened here that merited a thread?


User currently offlineSpeedbored From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2013, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 months 19 hours ago) and read 8708 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
What happened here that merited a thread?

You seem to be working under the mistaken belief that for a thread to be on a.net, it needs to have merit.  


User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20337 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (12 months 19 hours ago) and read 8708 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
What happened here that merited a thread?

Seemingly a sensible question as to whether the current setup at SFO is encouraging approaches lower than what had normally been experienced. I don't quite get why people are commenting that the OP's interest represents a fail at starting a thread. At least he opened it with a topic for discussion.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 753 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (12 months 18 hours ago) and read 7771 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 17):
Seemingly a sensible question as to whether the current setup at SFO is encouraging approaches lower than what had normally been experienced. I don't quite get why people are commenting that the OP's interest represents a fail at starting a thread. At least he opened it with a topic for discussion.

If you are going to do a dive and drive vice a VNAV path approach then yes, the approach will be lower than "normal". That said, this guy went around from a point in space that he really didn't have to. If the distances and altitudes cited are correct, EVA was in a perfectly safe piece of airspace, and got to that piece of airspace in an acceptable fashion. Doing some math shows a decent rate from DUYET (assuming he crossed at the minimum 1800) to that point would be a decent rate of about 800 feet a minute. About the same as any ILS or VNAV. The only difference is on a constant rate decent such as an ILS or VNAV DUYET would be crossed between 2200 and 2400 feet.

I'll state it, EVA never descended below a safe height.


User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 753 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (12 months 18 hours ago) and read 7693 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
An aircraft had a poor alignment on final approach, aborted the landing, and then landed safely on the second attempt.

What happened here that merited a thread?

Nothing. I'll go one further and suggest that a go around was not even needed if he was at that distance and altitude (assuming he didn't bust the MDA which he was above)


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19363 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (12 months 18 hours ago) and read 7084 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 17):
Seemingly a sensible question as to whether the current setup at SFO is encouraging approaches lower than what had normally been experienced.

Are flights at SFO doing go-arounds for this issue more often than at other airports? I don't know, but the answer to my question will answer yours.

Quoting DualQual (Reply 19):
Nothing. I'll go one further and suggest that a go around was not even needed if he was at that distance and altitude (assuming he didn't bust the MDA which he was above)

Probably not, but given recent events at SFO, I don't blame him for not wanting his name mis-represented on KTVU, either.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (12 months 18 hours ago) and read 7002 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 19):
I'll go one further and suggest that a go around was not even needed if he was at that distance and altitude (assuming he didn't bust the MDA which he was above)

Kind of depends on where the glideslope indicators would have been had he been following the ILS - if he was in a full deflection below the glidslope, then he was in a very unsafe position and should have been undertaking a go-round on his own. However, if he still had a dot to go, then he should have been showing some kind of sign to correct.

The guys in the tower apparently didn't think he was doing enough to deviate from his low altitude, so (having seen an aircraft crash, three people die with hundreds of injuries barely three weeks ago in a very similiar situation) they made the very sensible call out to let him know and to correct. The fact that the pilots initiated a go-round makes it seem like they weren't prepared for the warning and were surprised by it - otherwise they should have already been making a correction.

I'm wondering if those of you chiding the original poster on making a thread about this event would be the same people wondering why the tower didn't let the Asiana 777 know they were too low a few weeks ago?



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 753 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (12 months 17 hours ago) and read 6714 times:

Quoting planespotting (Reply 21):

Except there is no glide slope in this case as it is out of service. So it's VNAV if you have it and are trained on it or dive and drIve non precision. In any event, assuming the posted distances and altitudes are accurate, he was never below ANY published altitude. A tower advisory about altitude is just that, an advisory. Again, he was in a perfectly safe piece of airspace according to the charted LOC procedure. Further, if you are below glide slope as long as you don't bust LOC mins you can descend to LOC mins.

[Edited 2013-07-26 14:35:12]

User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 634 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (12 months 17 hours ago) and read 6652 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 22):
Except there is no glide slope in this case as it is out of service. So it's VNAV if you have it and are trained on it or dive and drIve non precision. In any event, assuming the posted distances and altitudes are accurate, he was never below ANY published altitude. A tower advisory about altitude is just that, an advisory. Again, he was in a perfectly safe piece of airspace according to the charted LOC procedure.

You are comical. If everything was so safe and the pilots had everything under control, why did they go around? Do you have any idea how little height 600 ft is in a 77W? To make a normal landing, he should have been 1.8nm from the threshold at that point. Instead he was more than 2 miles further away from it....


User currently offlinegolfradio From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 748 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (12 months 17 hours ago) and read 6620 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 23):
You are comical. If everything was so safe and the pilots had everything under control, why did they go around? Do you have any idea how little height 600 ft is in a 77W? To make a normal landing, he should have been 1.8nm from the threshold at that point. Instead he was more than 2 miles further away from it....

1.8 nm is 2 miles. Many airlines' SOP is any abnormal call from any one during approach whether valid/invalid is to go around. Get to a safe height and then decide if the call was valid or not.


25 AeroWesty : Obviously, no one yet knows, which reinforces the validity of the OP's question. Again, I don't understand why all of the negative commentary and att
26 DualQual : You keep thinking ILS. If you choose to ignore the math and explanation above I can't help you.
27 zeke : The other plausible reason is they were using the runway threshold or SFO DME for the distance to go, instead of ISFO which is at far end of the runw
28 PassedV1 : Probably not true... They were probably VMC, if so, they would have been required to maintain a path at or above that of the PAPI. 14CFR91.129
29 CX Flyboy : This is subjective. What is safe? Is there a recogno]ised meaning of the word applied in this case? Lets say it was a cessna 172 coming in low. Is th
30 Post contains images Mir : There's no reason the aircraft couldn't have safely been there if they were flying based off of the localizer-only approach (as opposed to the RNAV a
31 Bellerophon : CX Flyboy ...This is subjective. What is safe?... Yes, I agree, it is subjective, which is why I used the words "...in my opinion..."! Others may disa
32 tommy525 : EVA has a good safety record. I am surprised if they disregarded procedures here or mis-handled the approach to the point of jeopardizing the aircraft
33 trex8 : They leave as most expat first officers have minimal to zero chance of getting promoted to captain and they often get screwed on their contract terms
34 zeke : Not sure how either the RNAV or LOC fits in with the Quiet Bridge Visual. In my view this was clearly a undesired aircraft state. They hire pilots wi
35 CX Flyboy : I agree that a go-around was very appropriate. The approach was clearly not ideal. What I am trying to counter is the sensationalism around this whol
36 Speedbird128 : And what was the aircraft state when the tower ordered the missed approach? As an approach controller I would be telling tower to instruct the traffi
37 PassedV1 : I was trying to save you a step...they were required to follow the rule. 91.131 (operations in Class B Airspace) states that you shall follow 91.129.
38 tommy525 : Good job on the tower to wave them off. It appears, the EVA jet was not at a desirable altitude and had busted the proper descent angle. They were hea
39 CX Flyboy : Things like this happen everywhere....the media only hears about a very very small % of 'incidents' of this magnitude....I would say less than 1%.
40 B747400ERF : Will you stop flying Southwest because of all the accidents they have had, unable to properly land an airplane?
41 PassedV1 : I wouldn't go that far just yet. The energy state of their aircraft was different from Asiana. In a nutshell it was still flying at 500', where the A
42 Speedbird128 : As an ATC I believe that it is - I am responsible for everything on my frequency. I always drilled into every student of mine that aircraft on approa
43 wowpeter : To be honest, I agree with CX Flyboy, this shouldn't be in the news in the first place... But I understand 600ft at 4nm is way low to a lot of people
44 tommy525 : Long thread on this at pprune.org. Everyone seems to think EVA is in the wrong. And apparently because of the recent Asiana crash even the FAA is look
45 planespotting : Appropriateness and etiquette go out the window in a safety situation, especially if a similiar situation RESULTED IN A FATAL ACCIDENT mere weeks bef
46 Speedbird128 : Yes. It is very hard - and we err on the side of caution, not the side of risk. And if I had to make a snap decision regarding a 77W at or heading un
47 wowpeter : Sorry if I come across the wrong way on my previous reply, it wasn't my intention to make my reply sound like I think the ATC is wrong... in fact, it
48 Speedbird128 : Not a problem! I will advise the crew when they are even a couple hundred feet below glideslope. I will just caution by saying "I observe that you ar
49 Post contains images 727forever : If we are going to split hairs, let's take it a step further. VASI and PAPI systems only guarantee obstacle clearance to 4 statute miles from the run
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