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St Maarten, An Accident Waiting To Happen  
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Posted (1 year 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13661 times:

Day after day we see pictures of all different types of Aircraft, from the smallest up to 747's flying as low as possible, barely clearing the fence before touching down.


This is completely unnecessary and downright dangerous.


The runway is not that short and, in any case flying a very shallow approach more often results in a long landing. A normal three degree approach angle and touching down in the touchdown zone is what is required.


It amazes me that professional Pilots would put so much at risk just to look 'cool'



One of these days there will be a price to pay.


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
65 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineak907 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 13628 times:

What makes you think the pilots do it to look cool?

Also, I like how your little quote on the bottom fits your post!


User currently offlinespink From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 317 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 13535 times:

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

The runway is not that short and, in any case flying a very shallow approach more often results in a long landing. A normal three degree approach angle and touching down in the touchdown zone is what is required.


a 3 degree approach is what is used. Do you know how shallow 3 degrees is?


User currently offline77West From New Zealand, joined Jun 2009, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 13503 times:

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
This is completely unnecessary and downright dangerous.

The same could be said of many, many airports around the world. If flown properly there is no issue. I hardly think they do it to look cool, it is just another destination for them.



77West
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21384 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 13424 times:

The distinction is only that there are no approach structures close to the runway but a public beach.

May matter to the bathing people but not necessarily to the safety of the approach.


User currently onlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7497 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13407 times:

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Day after day we see pictures of all different types of Aircraft, from the smallest up to 747's flying as low as possible, barely clearing the fence before touching down.

They do fly a three degree approach.

What you are seeing is basically an optical illusion because of the runway placement.

The threshold is only 285 feet from the roadway. The touchdown zone just 1,000 ft past that.

As a comparison - LHR 09R has 2,500 ft from the road to the threshold.

But yes, I do agree that someday someone is going to land short and hit people on the beach/ road.

I've been a couple places in the world with roads on military bases that close to a runway - and they stop traffic when planes are landing/ taking off. Anything in the area of the beach would be restricted / off limits.

But at SXM - that road and beach make a lot of money. And money talks.


User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3114 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13353 times:

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

I couldn't agree more.

Quoting spink (Reply 2):

a 3 degree approach is what is used. Do you know how shallow 3 degrees is?

About 55' over the threshold if touching down 1,000' down the runway. With the beach about 300' from the threshold, this should put aircraft at least 75' above the top of the beach if following a 3 degree glide path to the fixed distance markers.

Certainly not the case with these:


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Photo © Rotate


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Photo © Thomas Brackx


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Photo © David Takahashi

Quoting 77West (Reply 3):
If flown properly there is no issue.

That is the issue.

Quoting 77West (Reply 3):
I hardly think they do it to look cool, it is just another destination for them.

I've met plenty of pilot personalities who do things because they think it is cool, even though it's not.

Insel Air has a reputation for putting on a show at SXM. How else do you explain taxiing on unusable pavement (the chevrons) simply to increase the jet blast affect on beach goers? JetBlue did the same several months ago, which resulted in a serious injury on the road.


Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
But at SXM - that road and beach make a lot of money. And money talks.

And still will make a lot of money if the few that feel the need to put on a show follow a 3 degree glide path like everyone else. How much money do you think the island would lose if someone clips their landing gear on the fence or a vehicle (or worse) causing the runway to be closed, even if for a short period?

[Edited 2013-07-08 07:50:55]


FLYi
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9697 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13316 times:
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Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):

Insel Air has a reputation for putting on a show at SXM. How else do you explain taxiing on unusable pavement (the chevrons) simply to increase the jet blast affect on beach goers? JetBlue did the same several months ago, which resulted in a serious injury on the road.

Do you have links for those? Just curious as I hadn't heard about that.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 13308 times:

Every time a topic about SXM's low approaches comes up I always remember these:


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Photo © JAR Photography


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Photo © Chris Starnes


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Photo © Trent R Sellers




Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3114 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 13311 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):

Do you have links for those? Just curious as I hadn't heard about that.

Here is a video of the JetBlue injury:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CGqx1Y2T8c

As for Insel Air, there are photos of them in the database taxiing on the chevrons (unauthorized for aircraft movement) to get closer to the fence.


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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt


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Photo © Cary Liao - AeroPX


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Photo © Cary Liao - AeroPX




FLYi
User currently onlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7497 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13148 times:

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 8):
Every time a topic about SXM's low approaches comes up I always remember these:

Those are three different pictures by three different photographers of ONE aircraft landing short on ONE day - July 2, 2006.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30397 posts, RR: 84
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13117 times:
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How long as SXM been open?

How many landings per day does it see?

How many planes have hit the fence while attempting to land?


User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9460 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13098 times:

The biggest danger at SXM is the terrain avoidance on departure not the arrival. There’s no ILS, which makes it more challenging, but there are hundreds of airports in the world that receive large jets without an ILS. The uniqueness is a relatively short runway with the public allowed so close to the threshold. If you stand 300ft from the threshold of any 7500ft runway that has large jets, you will see the same low approaches.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9697 posts, RR: 27
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13084 times:
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Quoting roseflyer (Reply 12):
There’s no ILS, which makes it more challenging, but there are hundreds of airports in the world that receive large jets without an ILS

Even airports that have ILS will do visual approaches when able, like LAX and SFO. Although one can back up a visual approach with an ILS, it shouldn't be a necessity by any means.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 12):
relatively short runway

I wouldn't call 7500 feet "relatively short", but I suppose that's my opinion.  



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1284 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12990 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 13):
Even airports that have ILS will do visual approaches when able, like LAX and SFO. Although one can back up a visual approach with an ILS, it shouldn't be a necessity by any means.

You should have qualified that statement by starting with 'In the US ...'.

The main airports of the world outside the US will not, generally speaking, offer you a visual approach when an ILS is available. You may ask for it, and they might even give it to you, but you should expect radar vectors to an ILS - regardless of the severity of CAVOK.

It is my firm belief one main reason visual approaches are so common in the US, is to pass a large portion of the separation bucket to the pilots.



From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21422 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12941 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 14):
It is my firm belief one main reason visual approaches are so common in the US, is to pass a large portion of the separation bucket to the pilots.

That is one reason. It also allows pilots to take more direct paths to the runway. Both of those help move traffic faster.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinedanvs From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 12903 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 14):
You should have qualified that statement by starting with 'In the US ...'.

The main airports of the world outside the US will not, generally speaking, offer you a visual approach when an ILS is available. You may ask for it, and they might even give it to you, but you should expect radar vectors to an ILS - regardless of the severity of CAVOK.

Exactly.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
That is one reason. It also allows pilots to take more direct paths to the runway. Both of those help move traffic faster.

It also reduces workload on air traffic controllers during peak hours.


User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2170 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 12826 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
Those are three different pictures by three different photographers of ONE aircraft landing short on ONE day - July 2, 2006.

And you don't think I know that??? I posted all three to show how low and how short that particular aircraft landed...



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offline77West From New Zealand, joined Jun 2009, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 12808 times:

Looking at those pics more closely I will admit they seem a bit low on the 3 degree angle. I would think more to maximize available runway on a short field, rather than putting on a show. They should NOT be on the chevrons though! Seen planes sink through as the pavement is not always strong enough. Perhaps an ILS should be installed for this approach. Probably to expensive though.


77West
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8840 posts, RR: 75
Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 12789 times:

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 14):
The main airports of the world outside the US will not, generally speaking, offer you a visual approach when an ILS is available. You may ask for it, and they might even give it to you, but you should expect radar vectors to an ILS - regardless of the severity of CAVOK.

Not that uncommon at airports that have PRM approaches to be given a visual when conditions are CAVOK.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9460 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (1 year 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 12781 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 13):

I wouldn't call 7500 feet "relatively short", but I suppose that's my opinion.

I agree. For a 737 it isn't short. For a 747, it is.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9697 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (1 year 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12730 times:
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Quoting roseflyer (Reply 20):
I agree. For a 737 it isn't short. For a 747, it is.

Would depend on how heavy it was, I would think.

Europe-bound 747s take off and land on BOS's runway 9-27 (7000 feet) and 4L-22R (7860 feet) fairly routinely. Whereas the transcon A320s and 737s on which I've traveled seem to usually use 4R-22L (10005 feet) or 15R-33L (10083 feet).



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24643 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12691 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 20):
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 13):

I wouldn't call 7500 feet "relatively short", but I suppose that's my opinion.

I agree. For a 737 it isn't short. For a 747, it is.

For the shorthaul routes operated by KLM 747s from SXM, 7,500 feet is more than enough. If memory correct, KL operated nonstop from AMS to SXM, but the aircraft then continued to other points in the Caribbean before returning nonstop to AMS from airports like CUR with longer runways. SXM-CUR is only 478 nm.


User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12560 times:

Aviation Blvd in LAX is very, very, close to the end of the 25 runways (don't know the exact distance). Close than Sepulveda to the 24s) But there is no beach, just an ugly four lane street.

User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9697 posts, RR: 27
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12533 times:
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Quoting 802flyguy (Reply 23):
Aviation Blvd in LAX is very, very, close to the end of the 25 runways (don't know the exact distance)

It's about 360 feet from the threshold of 25R (about 1300 feet from the displaced threshold), and about 1250 feet from the threshold of 25L. So aircraft taking off from 25R are quite close, but there's a big blast fence between the runway and the road.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 25, posted (1 year 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13357 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 9):

As for Insel Air, there are photos of them in the database taxiing on the chevrons (unauthorized for aircraft movement) to get closer to the fence.

Pretty amazing an Airline crew would not know this, not, perhaps the most brilliant Pilots..



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 26, posted (1 year 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13140 times:

Isn't SXM governed by the Dutch CAA? I'd be surprised if they allowed the public so close to the threshold.


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16975 posts, RR: 67
Reply 27, posted (1 year 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13632 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 26):
Isn't SXM governed by the Dutch CAA? I'd be surprised if they allowed the public so close to the threshold.

That would be EASA now, but ignoring the particular authority, I have no doubt there are strong local interests at play. Maho Beach is a big tourist attraction. Many people choose Sint Maarten as their vacation destination partly or entirely because of Maho Beach. I have been one of those people.

Give or take in the political process, no doubt.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 28, posted (1 year 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 13580 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):

I guess you're right.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16975 posts, RR: 67
Reply 29, posted (1 year 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13593 times:

A compromise solution:
- Block pedestrian access to the parts of the road that are directly behind the runway, plus the flat parts of the beach beyond the road, with fencing. This would decrease the risk of injuries to onlookers by an order of magnitude since the "fence-hangers" would be eliminated.
- Install crossing lights and booms for the vehicular traffic, like at a railroad crossing, and block passage when aircraft are on approach or departing. Perhaps install something like a cow-grate around the booms so passing with cars is fine but walking is difficult.
- Fine people steeply for passing the booms on foot, or getting off cars between the booms. The cost of one officer on duty would more than pay for itself just in fines.

Pilots would/could still come in low, but at least there would be fewer people and cars in the way right on the extended centerline. Onlookers could still stand right under the aircraft, but on the beach, which slopes downward relatively steeply a short distance from the road.

Handing out fines to airlines when their pilots use the blast pad wouldn't be a bad idea either.

[Edited 2013-07-09 04:37:59]

[Edited 2013-07-09 04:43:07]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4668 posts, RR: 50
Reply 30, posted (1 year 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13565 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
Insel Air has a reputation for putting on a show at SXM. How else do you explain taxiing on unusable pavement (the chevrons) simply to increase the jet blast affect on beach goers?

While I agree with you with the part that one shouldn't taxy on the chevrons, but why assume this is to increase the jet blast effect, and not for performance reasons?



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16975 posts, RR: 67
Reply 31, posted (1 year 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13502 times:

Quoting JRadier (Reply 30):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
Insel Air has a reputation for putting on a show at SXM. How else do you explain taxiing on unusable pavement (the chevrons) simply to increase the jet blast affect on beach goers?

While I agree with you with the part that one shouldn't taxy on the chevrons, but why assume this is to increase the jet blast effect, and not for performance reasons?

There should be no need to do it for performance reasons, especially in that aircraft. The runway calculation is done based on the distance available, not including the stopway and includes quite a bit of safety factor already. Furthermore it is hardly a 747 or 340 and should have more than enough runway. While more runway is of course always a plus, an extra 100 feet won't make much difference in this case.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 37
Reply 32, posted (1 year 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13349 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 29):
- Block pedestrian access to the parts of the road that are directly behind the runway, plus the flat parts of the beach beyond the road, with fencing. This would decrease the risk of injuries to onlookers by an order of magnitude since the "fence-hangers" would be eliminated.
- Install crossing lights and booms for the vehicular traffic, like at a railroad crossing, and block passage when aircraft are on approach or departing. Perhaps install something like a cow-grate around the booms so passing with cars is fine but walking is difficult.
- Fine people steeply for passing the booms on foot, or getting off cars between the booms. The cost of one officer on duty would more than pay for itself just in fines.

Except the government of Dutch St Maarten would rather keep the tourism money coming. That road is narrow and busy enough as it is. It's not the US to lawsuits against the airlines or airport aren't going to get alot of traction from people ignoring the huge and multiple signs warning of jetblast. It's an attraction and it's not going anywhere.

People have already been injured from jetblast and "fence surfing", no real changes have occured.

YYZ's runway 23 is only about 700' from Airport Rd, where alot of great pics come from:

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Photo © MaximLezin


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Photo © Phil Debski
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Photo © Nigel Harris-CYYZ Aviation Photography



[Edited 2013-07-09 11:08:27]


Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 33, posted (1 year 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13412 times:

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 32):
People have already been injured from jetblast

I read on Wikpidedia (Dutch) that the lawsuit of a Swiss woman who got injured by the jetblast of an AF 747 is still going on after the Dutch Supreme Court dismissed her case.

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jetblast-arrest



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9460 posts, RR: 52
Reply 34, posted (1 year 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13373 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 22):


For the shorthaul routes operated by KLM 747s from SXM, 7,500 feet is more than enough. If memory correct, KL operated nonstop from AMS to SXM, but the aircraft then continued to other points in the Caribbean before returning nonstop to AMS from airports like CUR with longer runways. SXM-CUR is only 478 nm.

I was considering landing and on a wet 7,500ft runway at sea level and no wind, a 747 is limited to about 565,000lbs. That is not far off what an inbound 747 from AMS should be, so there isn't a whole lot of margin if the plane is coming in high.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6751 posts, RR: 76
Reply 35, posted (1 year 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 13225 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 34):
I was considering landing and on a wet 7,500ft runway at sea level and no wind, a 747 is limited to about 565,000lbs. That is not far off what an inbound 747 from AMS should be, so there isn't a whole lot of margin if the plane is coming in high.

Is that factored landing distance required as per dispatch, or actual advisory landing distance (unfactored) as per QRH?



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9460 posts, RR: 52
Reply 36, posted (1 year 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 13198 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 35):
Is that factored landing distance required as per dispatch, or actual advisory landing distance (unfactored) as per QRH?

The ACAP for airport planning.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6751 posts, RR: 76
Reply 37, posted (1 year 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13157 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 36):
The ACAP for airport planning.

Ah, that'll make it the dispatch numbers, ie: factored landing distance required... which is 1.66 times the actual required landing distance (includes 50ft over threshold).

Still enough margin for a slightly screwed up landings in wet conditions then.   



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineflynlr From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9930 times:

I have never understood why folks want the government to protect them from their own stupidity .
the need for nanny-ism is very strong these days, unfortunately to the detriment of society.
in the past the gene pool was adjusted accordingly as needed.



The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
User currently offlinehivue From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9913 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
How else do you explain taxiing on unusable pavement
Quoting JRadier (Reply 30):
While I agree with you with the part that one shouldn't taxy on the chevrons

You can't (legally) land on the chevrons. If you can't taxi on them either, why the heck are they even there? If the pavement is unusable, remove it. Then no one can use it to try to "show off" blasting people at the fence. And it's also not a temptation to pilots landing (I strongly suspect the infamous incident with the KLM 747 landing on the chevrons after nearly clipping the fence would never have happened if that pavement hadn't been there). On the other hand, if it's legal to use the chevrons for a little extra takeoff performance, then don't second-guess the pilots' decision, and don't begrudge a landing pilot who screws up the approach and doesn't go around that little bit of extra pavement.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2247 posts, RR: 13
Reply 40, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9889 times:

Quoting hivue (Reply 39):
f you can't taxi on them either, why the heck are they even there?

To avoid blasting sand and other stuff into areas where it might harm people or equipment. I thought the name "blast pad" would be self-explanatory.   


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlinehivue From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9875 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 40):
To avoid blasting sand and other stuff into areas where it might harm people or equipment. I thought the name "blast pad" would be self-explanatory.

Here is a blast pad (or at least the barrier for one):
http://www.airliners.net/photo/South...d=2095d3ac6cf7cb5c21f75f592a0ba2c4

But I suppose if a hundred ft of flat asphalt can actually keep jet blast debris from a 747 300 ft away from reaching the road or the beach, it should stay.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16975 posts, RR: 67
Reply 42, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 9850 times:

Quoting hivue (Reply 39):
On the other hand, if it's legal to use the chevrons for a little extra takeoff performance,

They may be used for accelerate-stop distance. They may be used for take-off distance available. They may not be used for take-off run available. All in the opposite direction.

There are crucial differences.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2247 posts, RR: 13
Reply 43, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9840 times:

Quoting hivue (Reply 41):

I always understood that chevron markings at the end of a runway designated blast pads.

This is a blast fence (or blast deflector) to me:


Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runway#Sections_of_a_runway


David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineB747400ERF From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2013, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 9801 times:

Quoting flynlr (Reply 38):
unfortunately to the detriment of society.

Such as?


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 45, posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8991 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 6):
JetBlue did the same several months ago, which resulted in a serious injury on the road.

The woman's own stupidity caused her injury.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinehivue From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8805 times:

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):
I always understood that chevron markings at the end of a runway designated blast pads.

I believe you are correct. I looked up the same Wikipedia article -- unfortunately, after my last post.   

It sounds like the blast pad is intended as much to protect the structural integrity of the runway threshold as to prevent blast debris from harming people or equipment. I suppose at SXM whatever protection they can provide between the rumway and the beach is good. That sort of gets defeated though if pilots are using the chevrons during takeoff (for showing off or for any other reason). I wonder if the tower can recind their takeoff clearance if they see them operating on an unapproved part of the runway?


User currently offlinetrav110 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 47, posted (11 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8472 times:

Who cares. God forbid somebody fall and hurt themselves when they are standing directly behind a plane as it's taking off. Let them do what they want, there's no need to legislate protection against absolutely everything that could cause injury- while we're at it why don't we ban swimming in the ocean? Far more people die in it every year compared to those who die being hit by planes.

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 48, posted (11 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 8475 times:

The stupidity of bystanders is one thing.


The stupidity and recklessness of Pilots deliberately taxiing on part of the runway not approved for operations and exposing these spectators to a far higher level of danger by bringing their breakaway thrust much closer than planned by the airport authorities is another.


Like wise with the cowboy Pilots deliberately approaching lower than necessary just for the hell of it.


Those Pilots really are stupid, and should know better.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 49, posted (11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7838 times:

Quoting hivue (Reply 46):
I wonder if the tower can recind their takeoff clearance if they see them operating on an unapproved part of the runway?

The tower most likely does not care.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3556 posts, RR: 2
Reply 50, posted (11 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7673 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 48):

You're an interesting character. As I recall you are or were a pilot for a major US airline, yet we find you constantly talking down about some of your peers and how they are "stupid" or "not brilliant"...

I always thought there was some kind of honor amongst you all. Guess not!



A,G,A...nobody rides for free
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2541 posts, RR: 25
Reply 51, posted (11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7478 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 48):
Like wise with the cowboy Pilots deliberately approaching lower than necessary just for the hell of it.


Those Pilots really are stupid, and should know better.

Come on, why would they do this deliberately and endanger their own lives? What do they gain? What thrill do you imagine they get from it? Any low threshold crossing height is much more likely to be inadvertent.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
just to look 'cool'

Are you being serious? The pictures of such a landing are very dramatic and so will get public attention, but how on earth will the pilot concerned be able to get any "cool" points for this?

You appear to claim these low approaches at SXM are commonplace. I would suggest you are only noticing the low ones as these are the pictures that get published. And not noticing similar low approaches at less frequently photographed airports.

The threshold area is clearly quite dangerous, but you are devaluing your argument by making out pilots are deliberately landing low to show off. It's the public on the beach who are putting themselves in that position, not pilots of landing aircraft. They could displace the threshold but that reduces the stopping distance available and there might be terrain clearance issues for go-arounds. They could extend the blast pad into the sea on reclaimed land. But that would cut the beach in two, ruining it. Or they could employ security guards to keep people away from the vicinity during aircraft movements.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 52, posted (11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7287 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 50):


You're an interesting character. As I recall you are or were a pilot for a major US airline, yet we find you constantly talking down about some of your peers and how they are "stupid" or "not brilliant"...

Not true, with respect to my peers I have nothing but the utmost respect, for those that conduct themselves professionally, I have no respect for those that don't.


If that makes me 'interesting' so be it.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 51):

Come on, why would they do this deliberately and endanger their own lives? What do they gain? What thrill do you imagine they get from it? Any low threshold crossing height is much more likely to be inadvertent.

Pretty simple human behaviour, it's called 'showing off' and Airline Pilots are not exempt.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 51):

You appear to claim these low approaches at SXM are commonplace. I would suggest you are only noticing the low ones as these are the pictures that get published. And not noticing similar low approaches at less frequently photographed airports.

Er, ok that doesn't make my premise any less valid.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 51):

The threshold area is clearly quite dangerous, but you are devaluing your argument by making out pilots are deliberately landing low to show off. It's the public on the beach who are putting themselves in that position, not pilots of landing aircraft. They could displace the threshold but that reduces the stopping distance available and there might be terrain clearance issues for go-arounds. They could extend the blast pad into the sea on reclaimed land. But that would cut the beach in two, ruining it. Or they could employ security guards to keep people away from the vicinity during aircraft movements.

The public don't realize the danger they are putting themselves in here. The Pilots do, they should and do know better.
The threshold is already displaced which should prevent the kind of cowboy behaviour in some of these pictures.


You imply there is a 'need' to approach that low, nothing could be further from the truth. A normal approach following a conventional 3 degree slope whether visual or electronic will provides far safer clearance for the Aircraft and the sightseers on the beach.


It will also allow a more predictable and earlier touchdown on the runway, a flatter approach will nearly always produce a longer touchdown

[Edited 2013-08-09 22:02:10]


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1051 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (11 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6980 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting Max Q (Reply 52):
You imply there is a 'need' to approach that low, nothing could be further from the truth. A normal approach following a conventional 3 degree slope whether visual or electronic will provides far safer clearance for the Aircraft and the sightseers on the beach.

No he is not. He is questioning your premise that this is a deliberate conscious action on the part of the pilots, for which you have yet to provide any credible evidence. You also fail to provide evidence that the rate of low approaches at SXM is higher than for a NPA at any other airport. You only assert an opinion which others here are rightly dismissing.



DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 54, posted (11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6902 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 53):

No he is not. He is questioning your premise that this is a deliberate conscious action on the part of the pilots, for which you have yet to provide any credible evidence.

The evidence is in the pictures !


A normal approach has you crossing the threshold (not the extended threshold) at 50 feet, the aircraft in these photographs are so far beneath this normal profile it is obviously a deliberate, conscious action on the part of these
Pilots unless we assume they are so incompetent they cannot fly an approach at the correct angle.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 53):
You also fail to provide evidence that the rate of low approaches at SXM is higher than for a NPA at any other airport.

Not discussing other Airports so that is irrelevant.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 53):
You only assert an opinion which others here are rightly dismissing.

I am asserting an opinion backed up by over thirty years as a professional Pilot, in this case it cannot be 'rightly dismissed'



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1051 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (11 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6803 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting Max Q (Reply 54):
The evidence is in the pictures !

So the most photographed airport in the world has a handful of pictures of low approaches and that's evidence of a deliberate ploy by pilots to be irresponsible? So should I infer by listening to ATC at Kennedy that all ATC are arrogant picks who are irresponsible because a couple of them had a meltdown and one let his kid in the tower once? No. It's ridiculous. So is this evidence.

One or two pilots might have been being irresponsible but you cannot infer that it is a broad trend from a few outliers.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 54):

Not discussing other Airports so that is irrelevant.

Actually completely relevant. If the number of low approaches in SXM is in line with low approaches on NPAs at other airports then we can draw the conclusion that it is likely just the occasional pilot screw up and not a broad trend at SXM. And if we could see a trend that there are MORE low approaches there then it lends evidence to your claim that all of these professional pilots are reckless cowboys.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 54):

I am asserting an opinion backed up by over thirty years as a professional Pilot, in this case it cannot be 'rightly dismissed'

Ah the 'Appeal to Authority' fallacy.

"
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html
Also Known as: Fallacious Appeal to Authority, Misuse of Authority, Irrelevant Authority, Questionable Authority, Inappropriate Authority, Ad Verecundiam
Description of Appeal to Authority

An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form:

1. Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S.
2. Person A makes claim C about subject S.
3. Therefore, C is true.


...

3. There is an adequate degree of agreement among the other experts in the subject in question.

If there is a significant amount of legitimate dispute among the experts within a subject, then it will fallacious to make an Appeal to Authority using the disputing experts. This is because for almost any claim being made and "supported" by one expert there will be a counterclaim that is made and "supported" by another expert. In such cases an Appeal to Authority would tend to be futile. In such cases, the dispute has to be settled by consideration of the actual issues under dispute. Since either side in such a dispute can invoke experts, the dispute cannot be rationally settled by Appeals to Authority. "

So what we have here is no evidence of an abnormal trend in low approaches in SXM, and an appeal to authority fallacy. Sorry. Not convincing, and illogical, and totally worthy of being dismissed out of hand.



DHC1/3/4 MD11/88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 56, posted (11 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6619 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 55):

So the most photographed airport in the world has a handful of pictures of low approaches and that's evidence of a deliberate ploy by pilots to be irresponsible?

Actually I think that some of these Pilots mistakenly believe they will touch by approaching beneath the correct glide slope and others are indeed just 'showing off'



Wadrs YYZ, how much experience do you have as a Pilot ?

[Edited 2013-08-11 11:37:00]


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4313 posts, RR: 19
Reply 57, posted (11 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6418 times:

(Cont'd) A good Pilot has the training and experience to recognize a bad approach and correct it.


Wadrs as a non Pilot it is very difficult for you to make this judgement.


As a result you have come to some misinformed conclusions of your own making.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 430 posts, RR: 2
Reply 58, posted (11 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6287 times:

I'm going to step into the fray here and say both sides are right.

I've been to St. Maarten and I've seen plenty of pilots blatantly showing off. There is no justifiable reason for the many light aircraft which skim the beach and end up adding power to make the runway. There is also no reason for Insel Air to taxi onto the chevrons, wave to the crowd, and scour the beach with jet blast. Those type of pilots know exactly what they're doing and want to put on a show.

On the other hand: yes, it's a non-precision approach and pilots can make mistakes. I've seen plenty of pilots in Atlanta and other major airports end up either high or low on approach and land a few feet from where they want to be. Look at the tire marks on any major runway, there are always plenty of outliers far from the standard touch down zone.

SXM's runway is relatively short and relatively "exotic", it's not surprising that some pilots end up low. That's no excuse for those who scrape the fence with their tires, but the entire runway is "fair game".

Finally, to those of you who claim that SXM is unsafe, that there should be a wall or that the beach should be closed: why is SXM any worse than Burbank or Midway or other congested short-runway airports? In those cases you have populated structures very close to the runway end, and a much much higher frequency of landing traffic. What are the odds that an aircraft will land short on the beach? Unlikely. What are the consequences of such an accident? Severe, but no more catastrophic than a similar event at many other airports.

St Maarten knows the risks, but it also knows that the airport has become a major tourist attraction and brings a lot of attention to the island. As a fan of aviation, I say we need more airports with close public access to the runway rather than more concrete walls and fences. When I stand under a landing plane, I know there are risks of something going wrong, but that's a risk I'm willing to take, because honestly the St Maarten experience is unique and pretty awesome.



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2541 posts, RR: 25
Reply 59, posted (11 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6153 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 52):
Pretty simple human behaviour, it's called 'showing off' and Airline Pilots are not exempt.

Who are they showing off too? The people on the beach have no idea who the pilot is, and the other pilot is not going to be impressed. I've met enough pilots to know they are not all perfect, but generally speaking line pilots are not risk takers. They talk a good story in the bar, but on the flightdeck why would they risk their own lives (and careers) to "look cool" so anonymously?

Quoting Max Q (Reply 52):
Er, ok that doesn't make my premise any less valid.

I'm sorry but it does. You claim approaches to SXM are deliberately low on the basis of a few photos which show low approaches. How representative they are of all approaches to SXM and of visual approaches to other runways near roads is very relevant.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 52):
The public don't realize the danger they are putting themselves in here. The Pilots do, they should and do know better.
The threshold is already displaced which should prevent the kind of cowboy behaviour in some of these pictures.

I think the public probably do know the kind of danger they are flirting with but they think "it won't happen to me". It wouldn't be exciting without an awareness of the danger element.

The threshold at SXM is not displaced.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 52):
You imply there is a 'need' to approach that low, nothing could be further from the truth. A normal approach following a conventional 3 degree slope whether visual or electronic will provides far safer clearance for the Aircraft and the sightseers on the beach.

Where in my post did I say anything of the kind? I certainly have not implied there is a need to approach low. However, flying visually there is bound to be a variation in threshold crossing height and some approaches may well be lower than they should be. You are assuming this is deliberate, on the basis of absolutely no evidence whatsoever, apart from your assumptions concerning human nature.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3114 posts, RR: 4
Reply 60, posted (11 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6166 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 45):

The woman's own stupidity caused her injury.

You won't find me riding the fence. Having said that, stupidity is not illegal. Maneuvering an aircraft on airport surfaces marked as unusable is. I would not expect the average person to know that the JetBlue aircraft was in an illegal position, and that jet blast increases exponentially the closer one gets. The "professional" pilots in that cockpit should have known this.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 53):
You also fail to provide evidence that the rate of low approaches at SXM is higher than for a NPA at any other airport.
Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 55):
So the most photographed airport in the world has a handful of pictures of low approaches and that's evidence of a deliberate ploy by pilots to be irresponsible?

I think the evidence is at our fingertips, right here in the A.net photo database. SXM is hardly the most photographed airport. It is not nearly the busiest runway either. But I can't think of one other airport that has photos of so many unsafe low approaches. There is TGU and St Baarts, but in those cases the issue is rising terrain, not flying below glide path.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 55):
If the number of low approaches in SXM is in line with low approaches on NPAs at other airports then we can draw the conclusion that it is likely just the occasional pilot screw up and not a broad trend at SXM. And if we could see a trend that there are MORE low approaches there then it lends evidence to your claim that all of these professional pilots are reckless cowboys.

   Considering the high number of photos and witnesses of very low approaches at SXM compared to other much busier airports, I think the trend is clear. Otherwise, that is a lot of "pilot screw ups" at one place.

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 59):
The threshold at SXM is not displaced.

Yes it is. Not by much, but it is displaced and I don't mean the blast pad.



FLYi
User currently offlineapfpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 61, posted (11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6121 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 59):

The threshold at SXM is not displaced.

Yeah it is, at both ends. Not by much but it is.

[Edited 2013-08-12 14:31:46]


Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
User currently offlineapfpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6126 times:

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 53):
No he is not. He is questioning your premise that this is a deliberate conscious action on the part of the pilots, for which you have yet to provide any credible evidence. You also fail to provide evidence that the rate of low approaches at SXM is higher than for a NPA at any other airport. You only assert an opinion which others here are rightly dismissing.

How else do you explain the usage of the blast pad for take off and taxi other than a deliberate conscious action?



Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2541 posts, RR: 25
Reply 63, posted (11 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 61):
Yeah it is, at both ends. Not by much but it is.

You're right, I was looking at photographs of the runway markings and the displacement isn't obvious. I should have checked before posting. The displacement for runway 10 is listed as 98 feet. That would only add about 5 feet to the height of the wheels crossing the beach, for a 3 deg flight path angle. You'd have to displace it by more than that to make any significant difference to beach safety.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineacidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 64, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4411 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Folks, it's getting a bit contentious in here. I've gotten a bunch of Suggest Deletion requests in this thread. The problem is that if I had to delete the posts there would be too many and it would make the thread look too jumbled and hard to follow. I have one request for everybody: please DEBATE the TOPIC and not the PERSON. Thanks!


Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineapfpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2013, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3994 times:

Quoting acidradio (Reply 64):
Folks, it's getting a bit contentious in here. I've gotten a bunch of Suggest Deletion requests in this thread. The problem is that if I had to delete the posts there would be too many and it would make the thread look too jumbled and hard to follow. I have one request for everybody: please DEBATE the TOPIC and not the PERSON. Thanks!

Why did this come up now? Last post was almost a month ago this thread was essentially dead.



Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
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