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PW100
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UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 6:50 am

This weeks Flight International [FI] reports that on 17 Dec 2002 a Philippine Airlines [PAL] A330-300 came incredibly close to flying into Nimitz Hill; the very same site were sadly 229 people lost their lives as a Korean Airlines [KAL] 747-300 flew into rising terrain in 1997.

The A330 left Manilla for a scheduled flight to Guam, approaching the airport in the early hours of 17 Dec 02. On approach, its GPWS [Ground Proximity Warning System] was activated and the crew initiated an immediate go-around procedure, following by an uneventful landing later on.

Not until the next day, it was realised how close the aircraft actually came to disaster. Only after the return flight to Manila, ground crew discovered "dents and scratches" to the underside of the fuselage and cargo door!

"The NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] confirms the aircraft was on an instrument approach, got very low on the approach and hit some electrical wires . . . on nearby Nimitz Hill as the go-around was being performed."

FI has a full editorial on how unbelievable/astonishing/appalling it is for modern day aviation, to have such a tragic event as the KAL 743 crash almost being repeated. Have there been any lessons learned, have they been forgotten, or did nobody bother taking account of the Guam-accident report. It seems that the only persons taking note of that report was the chief pilot at KAL, the aircraft manufacturer and most certainly the lawyers representing the bereaved families...

FI concludes:
"There are so many similarities between the circumstances surrounding the Agana [Guam Airport] on 6 August 1997 [KAL] and on 17 December five years later on [PAL], that it begs the question as to why agencies like the NTSB bother to investigate and report in detail on accidents."

Quite amazing...

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
brons2
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 7:22 am

Geez.

Sure it came close, but the GPWS saved them, and they went around.

So SOMETHING must have been learned, because an accident was averted. At the bare minimum it was learned that it's a good idea to have GPWS on the plane.

As for FI, well they are certainly entitled to their opinions, however, I don't think it merits questioning the charter of the NTSB.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
Guest

RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 7:50 am

I have to agree with the article. If lessons have supposedly been learned, aircraft approaching Guam airport should not in theory be able to get into a situattion in which they barely scrape the brow of Nimitz hill on course for a landing. If this is still indeed happening, something/someone is obviously not working as it/they should.

I don't believe the article is questioning the NTSB's charter, merely stating that the NTSB may as well not bother publishing reports on such accidents, as no one seems to bother reading or learning from them.

This sort of thing should not be happening, and it peeves me off to learn that the approach into this airport is STILL a safety issue after the KAL tragedy! Is human life so cheap these days? Perhaps that's a rhetorical question...

Rgds
 
aa61hvy
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 8:34 am

Phillipines isn't the safest airline around, but it was just a matter of time something was going to happen at Guam. Good thing nothing happend.
Go big or go home
 
ben
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 9:31 am

you mean a mountain jumped up and hit them? amazing!  Insane

Its easy to be smug, in my position, as never having been hit by the ground...
 
cloudy
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 9:43 am

Is there a list somewhere of EGPWS "saves" ?

 
777236ER
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 9:46 am

If you don't fly near a mountain in Guam in a 747, you're safe.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
jcs17
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:01 am

Its the mountain's fault, the damn mountain keeps getting in the way! Big grin
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:12 am

Why does this happen ?. When the KE hit there was talk of some of the beacons being switched OFF.

I don't understand how ATC can let an aircraft get so low ??. Whats wrong with them.

As for PR being a bad or unsafe airline.... WHY ??
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:55 am

Well the crew is ultimately responsible for the positioning of their aircraft, not ATC. If anything happens to the aircraft in the air, it is just about always the crew fault. Contributing factors may be ATC, weather, other traffic etc...but the crew is usually ultimately at fault.
I was beginning to think maybe PAL are ok to fly on....maybe not.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 11:38 am

I think if I was the pilot or co-pilot of a plane flying into Guam I would pay special attention to the approach after the KAL accident. Or any airport with a hill near there, or an airport with a plane hitting any natural landscape. It reminds me of the Cali, Colombia AA 757.
Go big or go home
 
a380jet
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:23 pm

Philippine Airlines is a Safe Airline. They hardly had any accidents. sometimes i hear that people shouldn't fly PAL because its a Airline from a Developing country that has a bad image and isn't safe. one of PAL's Major flaw is terrorism like when the terrorists in 1990's bombed a PAL B747-200 from MNL-NRT. thats the only sort of problem PAL Needs to fix. but generally though Philippine Airlines is a Safe and modern airline and would fly them ANY DAY than China Airlines for obvious reasons
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:27 pm

I would definately fly them over China Airlines. PAL is one of the better airlines in Asia, but don't forget the brand new A320 they wrote off by ploughing it through a village.
 
9V-SPK
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:48 pm

PAL used to have a very very bad name in the old days and a lot of accidents happen to be related to PAL. Things have changed a lot in the 90s as their safety record became a lot better. However the strike in the mid 90s led to another downfall for PAL and the financial crisis. Luckily PAL managed to regroup however uptil now they have not yet fully recovered.

I reckon there are many more airlines that are much better than PAL, examples are like OZ, MH, SQ, CX, BR, NH etc. Service on PAL does not seem superior comparing to other airlines and their safety record overall are actually not impressive. Indeed airlines from developing countries never seem to be safe but this doesn't really suit PAL for now.

However unless i don't have an alternative choice there are tonnes of airlines I prefer more than PAL.

Best Regards
 
a380jet
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:49 pm

Yea. But i heard that was because of problems of the Computer and not nesassarly their fault. i could be wrong though
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 6:42 pm

I'll get on any PAL aircraft before I fly half the airlines in asia !!. As for the PR A320 (RP-C3222 22/03/1998) was it the pilot in command that forgot to put engine 1 to idle or was it a tech problem ??
 
POSITIVE RATE
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Fri Jan 17, 2003 8:04 pm

Talking about accidents repeating themselves i read in Air Disaster Volume 3 about a Thai Airways A310 which crashed into a mountain in Kathmandu in July 1992. Barely 2 months after this accident a Pakistani Airlines A300 slammed into a mountain virtually in the same location as the Thai crash. In fact investigators were still retieving the wreckage of the Thai A310 when the A300 crashed! In both instances the aircraft were below LSALT and the pilots were found to be at fault.
 
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PW100
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RE: UNBELIEVABLE: Almost Another Guam Disaster!

Sat Jan 18, 2003 10:31 pm

Apparently the PAL A330 made the approach with "bare-minimum navigational aids available". A recent typhoon disabled the runway approach lighting system, middle marker, glideslope, sequenced flashing lights and the VORTAC on Nimitz Hill.
Basically the same defficiencies were present during the KAL 743 accident. In addition, at the time the ATC radar-based minimum safe altitude warning system was also out.
Approach at night, with limited visual clues, with such minimum aids can be quite tricky for large transport aircraft. Off course the crew is ultimalety responsible for safe operation of the flight. However one may wonder what combinations of legal minimums [to airfield, aircraft, flight crew, ATC] would need to apply to carry out these types of operations with "acceptable" level of safety.

@Brons2
FI is not questioning the charter of the NTSB. They just make an [irronic] point that why should the NTSB bother going through years of intensive investigations, if nobody but lawyers seem to be interested in their report.

The very basic of aviation safety has been to thoroughly investigate accidents and incidents and learn from in in every aspect applicable. FI suggests that the [aviation] industry might reconsider how these types of reports are distributed and how we can apply all the lessons learned. Off course this needs to be applied world wide.

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"