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Bad Weather And Poor Judgement?  
User currently offlineHelomech From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 19 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1732 times:

Hello to the aviation community and my fellow aviators, I was just wondering what the final outcome of the Singapore Airlines 747-400 crash at Taipei Intl Airport was? Why did the crew elect to takeoff in an impending typhoon? Surely they would have obtained a weather briefing prior to takeoff or engine start for that matter. I feel it was the pilot's poor judgement that caused this beautiful aircraft to end her life and end the lives of several hundred passengers. I highly doubt this crash would be related to mechanical failure--the Boeing 747 was only a couple years old! I just cannot understand why the crew pressed on knowing that the weather conditions were beyond even the capability of the giant 747. But sometimes in flying, we make decisions that may well be the last one we make and there is nothing one can do to reverse these decisions. My sympathies to the crew, passengers, families of the lost loved ones, and to the aircraft herself of Singapore Airlines.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTop Gun From Canada, joined May 1999, 101 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1585 times:

It will be a long time before the Taiwainese officials release a report on this accident. You statement of

"Why did the crew elect to takeoff in an impending typhoon? Surely they would have obtained a weather briefing prior to takeoff or engine start for that matter. I feel it was the pilot's poor judgement that caused this beautiful aircraft to end her life and end the lives of several hundred passengers."

First off the Pilot attempted to depart because the weather at the time was not below minimums for that airliner. A 747-400 is not the same as the cessna 150 your are used to. Don;t beleive all the information you get off the TV. They are often wrong.


User currently offlineAjaaron From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1563 times:

Well, the latest I've heard was that it was not related to bad weather impeding the performance and operation of the aircraft, but rather that the crew believed they lined up on RWY 05L when taking off (perhaps due to the bad visibility.)

Infact as we now know, they lined up on 05R, [in the NOTAMs they were notified that 05R was closed] (05L was the runway they were cleared to take off by)

and couldn't see far enough down the runway that there were bulldozers on the runway, as well as construction equip. until they were hurtling down the runway - obviously when at substantial speed and therefore momentum.

The wings full of fuel having these construction vehicles clash with them resulted in...well, unfortunately I don't need to say more.

I think the Capt. is being prosecuted.

An sad sequence of events.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1538 times:

Helomech wrote:
---------------------------------------
.>>>I was just wondering what the
final outcome of the Singapore
Airlines 747-400 crash at Taipei Intl
Airport was?


No offical report yet, but it seems pretty clear that they took off on the wrong runway, i.e. the closed 05R, versus the open 05L.



>>>Why did the crew elect to takeoff in an impending typhoon? Surely they would have obtained a weather briefing prior to takeoff or engine start for that matter.


I'm sure they did get briefings, but the "impending typhoon" is a misnomer of sorts. Sure, it was "impending" in the sense that it was continually getting closer to the airport, but the operational criteria for headwind/crosswind
components was what counted. At such time that the typhoon's proximity to the airport became such that these headwind/crosswind limits would be exceeded, that's when the plug would get pulled on the operations, and flight diversions and/or
cancellations would start occurring.

...and stop calling me "Shirley" (Sorry, couldn't resist)  



>>>I feel it was the pilot's poor judgement that caused this beautiful aircraft to end her life and end the lives of several hundred passengers.


Again, not necessarily "poor judgement" to have generally attempted the flight--more so an apparent human factors error of taxiing to and
using the wrong runway in less-than-optimum (but still legally permissible) visibility conditions. Last death toll I heard was 82, not several hundred. Still a sad loss, no matter what the number.



>>>I just cannot understand why the crew pressed on knowing that the weather conditions were beyond
even the capability of the giant 747.


Taking what I've read in the mainstream media with a rather large grain of salt, I haven't seen anything as yet to indicate that the weather was
below takeoff minimums, or that headwind/crosswind limits were exceeded.



>>>But sometimes in flying, we make decisions that may well be the last one we make and there is nothing one can do to reverse these decisions.


Agree, but must also add that we have to wait until better-quality info is available before anyone can (or should) make absolute conclusions. In their haste to make deadlines and fill-in airtime, the media usually misses this point, but we can learn some interim lessons until the final cause is established.


User currently offlineStephen007 From Singapore, joined Mar 2000, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 12 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1503 times:

by the way, helomech,
HUNDREDS were not killed during that fatal accident...
there were around 160++ passengers onboard and 81 died in the crash itself. And 2 additional died after complications due to their burn injuries. Come on, give them (the pilots) a break, you think they want such thing to happen. They lost their jobs (for sure) and now are being prosecuted by the (sometimes, unreasonable) taiwanese authorities. They are HUMANS and have wives, children, parents and friends worrying for them. I'm sure even if they are imprisoned, they will be guilt-ridden for the rest of their lives. No one wants this to happen. So let's stop all the finger-pointing, it's childish...we have enough of those sh*t from the taiwanese authorities

stephen
(singapore)


User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2542 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (13 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1477 times:

As stated by a taiwainese airline 'Eva Airlines' the weather (winds) were above minimum requirements for a 744 to take of. The Taiwainese carrier cancelled Three flights due to the winds.
my deepest sorrow go out to the passengers and crew's family on board the ill-fated flight.
haere Ra
Mikey  


User currently offlineAbpechman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 12 months 10 hours ago) and read 1463 times:

It wasn't just the Captain who erred in judgement here, folks. Most countries follow the US's model of having an Aircraft Dispatcher or Flight Superintendant, which is another name for Dispatcher. And since most countries do this, I wouldn't think Singapore Airlines would be any different.

That being said, it is the joint responsibility of the Captain and the Dispatcher -before- the release is signed, to agree the flight can be conducted safely. Granted a 747 isn't a Cessna 150, but it sounds to me like it wasn't that good of an idea to execute this takeoff. Granted, SA probably wanted to get their airplane and crew away from the area, but safety is first and to risk the lives of the crew and customers on board should've been paramount. And taking off in Typhoon conditions where I bet the crosswind limitations of that airplane were close to, if not exceeded, is questionable.


User currently offlineTurbineBeaver From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1429 times:

Roger, Roger.

Whats our vector victor?

Can you give me clearance Clarence?

Surely you must be kidding? I'm not, and don't call me Shirley!!!

That is one of the BEST movies around.

TB


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

>>>but it sounds to me like it wasn't that good of an idea to execute this takeoff.

Retrospectively, taking off on a closed runway with heavy equipment parked on it can support that assessment, assuming they were had legal takeoff visibility and were within crosswind limits. The flip side of this is that If the wx/winds were OK, a takeoff on the proper 05L would have been a non-event.

It's not all that different to having a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, say, 100nm south of Sabine Pass, tracking SE-NW. Winds at IAH will be from 040 or so, and if the storm's track continues SE-NW unabated, the rain and crosswinds will eventually be out of limits for runways 08 and 09.

Obviously, one desires to operate as long as one can (safely and legally) before folding up the tent, and I've seen nothing thus far from the Singapore event to suggest that weather was below minimums. I also don't see any dispatcher involvement here since (1) Singapore may not have them in name (or by identical functionality ala' a US Part 121 Domestic/Flag airline), and (2) the dispatcher isn't responsible for lining the aircraft up on the correct takeoff runway.

I still think that if it turns out (as has been widely reported) that the two other airline aircraft crews witnessed SQ take the wrong runway and didn't say anything on the ATC frequency, I think this will be a sad lapse in CRM.

Later...


User currently offlinePrivate Pilot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1422 times:

Humans are humans. We make mistakes all the time, whenever and wherever. It is the environment or the system within which we made the mistake called the shot. I recall that I made a lot of mistakes while I was flying in the past, but a continually monitored and improvised aviation system saved the day. Any accident that happened was due to a combination of mistakes (or chain events if you will). The SQ006 pilot might have decided to go even he knew that he was risking a marginal condition, a closed but all clear 05R would still make him another perfect flight. Likewise, a fully blocked 05R would probably never have led him to the belief that he was turning into the correct runway. Finally, it may be a coincidence. If we look at the track record in the Taiwan aviation scene (including events that happened outside Taiwan for any Taiwan-related entities), the numbers of events that had taken place in the last ten years may suggest some form of improvements may be needed to fill some holes in the system.

User currently offlineLeigh pilgrim From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1396 times:

Hi all,

Why is the pilot to be prosecuted, ok the tower is under a lot of pressure, but it is also down to them as well to ensure that planes are on the right runway, this accident just goes to show what can happen it extreme weather, and also triple checks should be made, in extreme weather should planes be allowed to carry on, ok passenders are goin to be angry but surely safety comes first. If the weather was better visibilty wise maybe just maybe the balldosers may have been visible
from a distance close to v1 enaberling the pilots to stop the aircraft.


User currently offlineDG_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1382 times:


Abpechman wrote:
-------------------------------
It wasn't just the Captain who erred in judgement here, folks. Most countries follow the US's model of having an Aircraft Dispatcher or Flight Superintendant, which is another name for Dispatcher. And since most countries do this, I wouldn't think Singapore Airlines would be any different.

That being said, it is the joint responsibility of the Captain and the Dispatcher -before- the release is signed, to agree the flight can be conducted safely.
--------------------------------

I disagree. The pilots, and in the end, the Captain has the final authority. The flight crew has the responsibility of making sure the flight will arrive safely at its destination {see below this for more}. As you probably know, pilots are very protective of their responsibilities and authority. I believe this is the case here as well--I'm sure they would accept themselves as being at fault in the crash.
-------
FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATIONS
Sec. 91.3 Responsibility and Authority of the Pilot in Command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.
(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.
-------
I realize all that was taken from U.S. aviation regulations, and the crash occured in Singapore, but I would bet that both sets of regulations are coherent and parallel in the case of airmen responsibility because it is a pretty universal matter.

I doubt anything happens to the dispatcher as he or she was not responsible and was not the final authority.

Hope this may have clarified something up.
-Dustin Graves





User currently offlineFuture_Pilot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

I don't know why you people feel so sympethetic to some 84 complete strangers who died in a plane crash, people that you most likely have never even met or would meet.........thousands of people die daily in Africa, thousands of people die in car accidents each day, and some are killed by fellow humans on purpose. And all of the sudden an aircraft has a mishap, and everybody talks about it, crying how terrible it is. People die and people make mistakes, its in our nature, it's just the way it is, get over it.

User currently offlineKangar From Ireland, joined Feb 2000, 395 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1357 times:

Futurepilot,
We here are aviation enthusiasts, and this tragedy was aviation related, and so our focus is on this. this doesn't mean we don't have sympathy for other victims of global tragedies. The discussion was in relation to the decision to take off, some people simply felt it appropriate to voice their condolences.
I personally feel that if the aircraft had been on 05L, there would have been no event. If people start cancelling every time a Typhoon approaches in Asia, there wouldn't be much of a schedule , would there?


User currently offlineBlackadder From Finland, joined Dec 2000, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 11 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1342 times:

Do you think that those pilots will ever fly again? Do you think that they will loose their jobs? Would it be right to allow them to fly again if they are not being prosecuted by Taiwanese officials? Stupid questions, when thinking of all that has happened, but i am curious. Dont crucify me for asking these questions, i just want some comments.

User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 11 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1332 times:

The SQ 006 crash was very unfortunate. I happen to fly the SIN-TPE-LAX route vv alot. I have noticed that SIA moslty uses for this flight runway 06. The usage of runway 05R might have been new for the captain and added to that, poor visiblility and bad lighting would have confused him even more. One of my dad's friends works in SIA flying college and he says that there were two CI pilots who allegedly saw SQ006 taxi onto the wrong runway and they didn't say anything or warn the pilots. The Taiwanese had agreed to free the pilots but now they're having second thoughts.

9V-SPJ


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