lehpron
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:42 pm

That has had to have happened at least once if you landed at a new airport. Furthermore, how does the ATC give directions? Or do you know beforehand?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
DLKAPA
Posts: 7962
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:44 pm

Step 1: Airport maps and Diagrams

Step 2: "United xxx is unfamiliar with the airport, request progressive taxi"
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
DB777
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:49 pm

I saw numerous screwups at MIA where foreign carriers, sometimes with poor English skills, would taxi into the wrong throat between concourses and not realize that their gate was on the other side of the concourse until it was too late and they couldn't turn around. This would block in any departures from nearby gates until someone could get a paymover over there.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
GroundStop
Posts: 607
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:27 pm

Having worked in the Concourse C Tower as a Customer Service Coordinator for AirTran, I can tell you that it happens every now and then. Gate assignments are given to inbound flights when they call 'in-range', typically 15-30 minutes out. The problem is, sometimes changes are necessary between the in-range call and the time the plane is on the ground. Thats where I stepped in. It was our responsibility to relay the changes to the ramp controller. Every now and then, a ramp controller will forget a change simply because of the number of other things that are going on. Sometimes ramp crews don't verify the proper tail number that they should be parking and inadvertently park the wrong airplane. Still other times, I have seen a captain get so frustrated while holding out for their assigned gate, they would just park the airplane in the first open gate they saw, without clearance or marshallers. Of course that results in A) making multiple gate changes or B) trying to get a tail swap to avoid moving too many passengers. On a 180 minute GDP night in ATL, you can imagine the fun we had up there.

JP
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:47 pm

How does progressive taxi work? In FS they use a pink line but something tells me this doesn't quite happen in real life  Big grin
Do they use things like verbal directions from the ground control, or a follow me car...?
 
NWFltAttendant
Posts: 331
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:52 pm

Progressive taxi is kind of like the same as if I were to blindfold you in a room and tell you where to go step by step. Theyll give you verbal instructions step by step as your moving about the ground
Go yakkin !!!!!!
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6806
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:57 pm

Thanks Nwfltattendant, I've always been meaning to ask that question.
 
bobg
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:36 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:36 pm

This might amuse!

A number of years ago, whislt working for the now defunct Zambia Airways and a waiting the arrival of their DC10 at Johannesburg International Airport, a SAA 732 taxied onto the stand. The Captain and those of us on the "bridge" exchanged quizical glances and he then had a word with ATC and reversed the A/C out of the stand using reverse thrust!

I wonder what the PAX must have thought?

Bobg
 
FlyGuyClt
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:02 pm

This made me laugh. I am a flight attendant and many years ago I hear the pilots say to one another, "I don't know" as we were taxing to the gate in CLE. I look out the window figured out where we were, got out of my jumpseat opened the flight deck door and pointed them in the right direction. The look on the captains face was priceless, and one of those moments that even to this day when we see eachother in the airport just smile. I guess it pays to be from CLE now and then.

Safe Flying  Smile
Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
 
cheetajet
Posts: 33
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:20 pm

I have a hilarious one that's still going on!! Harrisburg International has a brand new airport and at least 5 times the Northwest crews taxi up to the old terminal, which has fences and cones all over. They have to turn around and taxi back up the apron!!! I see the ground people laughing all the time now. NWA Airlink does the same thing!! One of the agents told me that he got on a baggage cart and waved the wands to let the Pilots know before they turn off the runway. He got in trouble with the tower and FAA. They said he couldn't do that.....anyway, I commute out of there, so I've been on some of those 'Whoopsie' flights. I just laugh at the guys as I leave and tell them, "No worries".....
Melissa
I push a beverage cart, so don't go break'n my heart!!
 
ntspelich
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:23 pm

I'm not a pilot, but last week while working the ramp, our flight decided to park 4 gates down from where it was supposed to be. We just pushed them out and towed them down to the correct gate. No big deal really. I don't know if the pilot told them what was going on, but if not, I'm sure they were more than a bit confused.
United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
 
isitsafenow
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:35 pm

Answering the lead question, my answer is when I worked for the airlines..."all the time" except when I was with BN..the colors signified the ship number therefore the crew at the gate knew which plane was which flight.
Heres a true story....at CLE years ago, (not BN)we had an equipment service guy park a 727-100 at the wrong gate. It caused mass confusion with the pax at two gates. We marched them from one gate to another while the agent at the other gate did the same. The refuelers and caterers were also screwed up as they go by ship number as you know.
The E S M got three days off for that blunder, came back to work and the first day back did it again!. I am not kidding!!!
Exit one ESM.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:07 am

Well, marshallers tend to mess up sometimes as well. We more than once ended up taxiing all over the place at VLC because the guy in the follow me car mixed up things... especially during rush hour at 9 pm it can get quite interesting.
 
airgeek12
Posts: 725
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:35 am

Here's a story for ya!-

In Colorado, I forgot what airport(s), there was a new pilot that accedentally landed at this old airport- about 100 miles south of the airport he was SUPPOSED to land at. Anyways- he was flying a 767, and that airport had too short of a runway to be able to take them off! So the airline had to may millions of dollars to pay to get the 767 stripped down- so that it was light enough to be able to take off the short runway.

So obveously- this pilot was fired...BIGTIME!!!
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:14 am

This actually happens more often than you might think. I have been working on the ramp at SJC for only 3 weeks and I have already seen this happen to us at least twice. It's rather funny at first, until you realize how messed up it can make things. SJC's terminal A has some lengthy jetways and the plane sits significantly over to the side of where the jetway actually meets the terminal. ( I realize this is common at many airports) On the outside of the terminal the gate number is posted in two places. There is a large gate number posted on the wall above where the jetway meets the building, and the other location of the gate number is at the end of the jetway where the plane meets. Ok now picture this. Lets say you are talking about a plane that is supposed to pull into gate 4 but pulls into gate 5 instead. Most likely, the pilot was looking at the number posted on the terminal rather than the one posted on the jetway as a parked plane points directly to the number of the gate next to it. Think of it from a passengers perspective. Ever sat at a gate and had a plane to look at directly in front of you that is not your plane? Instead, you are looking at the plane parked at the next gate over. Anyway, that is one explaination I have heard as to why pilots pull into the wrong gate. Of couse, the pilots always tell you it's the ground ops fault, or a last minute gate mix-up in the terminal. Heh.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
moman
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:34 am

Here's one experience I had:

Flying AA from STL-TPA Sept 2003, the pilots must have been TWA pilots who have not been to TPA in a long time. TWA was in Concourse C and AA is in F. TWA used the AA gates after 2001. Well the pilots landed and taxied over towards C which was torn down and being rebuilt. As they were between C & D, the plane stopped for about 20 seconds, and then they turned around and taxied back to the AA gates in F which we had just passed. I sure got a chuckle out of it. A couple other passengers also noticed. Maybe they were wishing it was still TWA...

Moman
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
flpuck6
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:42 am

I am not a pilot either, but one of our planes pulled into gate E-7A (ALPHA), having pulled in without any marshaller or wingwalker.

He was supposed to go to gate E-7B (BRAVO) next door. We pulled him all the way in (in order not to block traffic on the taxiway) and then moved him next door.

So there makes 2 mistakes of pulling in w/o any guides and pulling in to the wrong gate.
Bonjour Chef!
 
mm320cap
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:19 am

I have never in my life heard an airline pilot ask for a progressive taxi. We might ask for clarification of instructions, but most times we just look hard at our 10-9 pages (airport map) and do the best we can. I have certainly gotten lost before - gotten a good scolding from ATC, and moved on. As for parking at the wrong gate. I've done that once, and luckily it wasn't that big of a deal. They just moved the next departure to the gate we were parked at.

Now about that passenger last night that was giving me flying lessons from the back....
 
Cory6188
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:21 am

I would think that this could be especially difficult at night in an airport where a pilot has never flown to before. Considering the fact that there are so many different sets of lights on the tarmac and surrounding taxiways, I wonder how pilots manage to figure out where they're going at night.
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4260
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:25 am

Thomas Cook does it fairly regularly at YYC  Laugh out loud

Funny thing is some of their pilots are total snobs! Even though they're flying a charter airline that's almost never on time.

Kris
YYC
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3960
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:41 am

I've never done it...we've been a bit confused before as to where we were supposed to park....but then just look for the marshaller waving frantically at you. Makes it pretty easy.

That plus the 10-9 pages and its a piece of cake.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:58 am

Is there anyone that can verify Airgeek's story. Sounds ridiculous to me.
 
neilalp
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:16 am

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 9:35 am

The only Colorado thing I remember was when a TWA MD-80 landed at Craig and slip off the runway into the mud instead of landing at Steamboat Springs Haden (HDN). But Airgeek's does sound out there.
 
deltabobo
Posts: 163
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:07 am

One time a US Airways Express (Piedmont) Dash 8-300 taxiied into our gate (DL's gate B-3 at GSP). He came in too far, and couldn't turn around (without hitting the jetway), so he had to reverse the props and back out and went down to his proper gate at A-1.
Dispatchers...saving pilots from themselves and their egos since 1938!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:36 am

When I was still working in pax handling for LH in TXL, often when there was no work, I would go up and visit the tower, just sit there, enjoy the view and watch the ATC controllers work. One day a pilot taxied the wrong way around out of the gate and ended up nose to nose with another plane on a taxiway... he got some corrosive remarks about his beverage from the ATC controllers. It caused quite a mess until they got a tug in to move one plane out of the way...

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
asuflyer05
Posts: 2053
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:42 am

It used to happen all the time at Mesa. Normally it wasn't a huge deal because pilots would be off by one stand so moving passengers wasn't a big issue.

The problems start when a CR9 would park at B26B and block the alley way for WN or when they would park a Trash 8 at B18A and block B20. Sometimes it was my fault for an on the ground gate change but often times HP would clear the aircraft into the wrong alley way.

One time a B1900 called ramp control for clearance in to 5A. Well the ramp control agent misheard him and cleared him into A5. If you are familiar with PHX you'll know why about 15 HP rampers came flying out of the break room and started waving their wands for the pilot to turn back onto the line!

Matt
 
flyer737sw
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:17 pm

It happens more often than you would think...I have been working at KSJC airport for 3 years and it probably happens a couple times a year...When the pilots call operations over freq 131.70 they say there arriving fuel and ET of arrival...Our grounds ops then lets the pilots know what gate they are going to pull into...Either the pilots write down the wrong gate assignment or they look up at the gate number on the building instead of the number on the end of the jetway...Since the jetways are angled it can be easily mistaken for the right gate...

Kevin
 
cancidas
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:36 pm

i've parked aircraft at the wrong gate sometimes. when working two spots at once you just park the damn thing to get it serviced and out of your hair asap. OPS doesn't really like it when we do things like that though.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
TWA902fly
Posts: 2869
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:29 pm

There was a Northwest A319 that landed at some air force base i think a bit east of Rapid City, South Dakota, where it was headed. but anyways in response to Airgeek's story - i dont remember hearing that, but i do remember hearing of a United DC-10 landing at DCA in some sort of emergency, it was parked there for awhile until they stripped it down to pretty much the fuselage and ferried it out of the airport...

if no one can varify the DC-10 at DCA... maybe its not true, but i do remember hearing it , so sorry if its incorrect.

TWA902
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:37 pm

Golly, I didn't know it happened that often, of course the impression I am getting from all the stories so far was what did it.  Smile Blame stress?  Laugh out loud

Joking aside, would it be that the plane is ever forced to go to the wrong gate just because another delayed flight is still at the your gate when you get there? With all the flight delays and cancellations at airports thesedays, the ripple effect has got to screw things up.

[Edited 2004-10-28 06:39:48]
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
ckfred
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:39 pm

A friend of mine who flies for AA nearly had this situation. He was a 727 F/O and was taxiing in at ORD, which is his crew base.

I don't know if the plane was to park on H or K, but the flight was assigned a gate close to the terminal. After turning onto the throat apron, the ground crew at another gate started to signal for a turn into a different gate. So the captain stopped the plane, and my friend called the AA tower and inquired if there has been a gate change.

The answer was no, so the captain throttled up and taxied down to the assigned gate.

The crew at the other gate started to wave their wands like crazy. Apparently, they never bothered to verify the ship number and just assumed that the next 727 in their vicinity was due into their gate.
 
gregviperrt
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 12:17 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:43 pm

While working as an Air Traffic Control Trainee in Saskatoon, I instructed an Air Canada A320 to taxi RIGHT on Alpha, left Fox to runway 27. He then repeated RIGHT on alpha to Fox Air Canada xx. To my amazment, he turned left right into the path of a taxing cessna. Lucky it was only a cessena I got him to do a 180 and get out of the way for the Jet to turn around. Just simply amazing though that little mistakes could turn out to be much worse. What if it were another Airbus or a Boeing? I doubt they could turn around on the little 75' wide taxiways. There are no other turn offs so maybe they'd have to bring a push tug out to help if that problem happened.
 
Tiger119
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 2:39 pm

"Joking aside, would it be that the plane is ever forced to go to the wrong gate just because another delayed flight is still at the your gate when you get there?"

- I have seen this happen a few times. An example would be a plane at a gate which is ready for push back but the arrival city has a ground stop. A flight on the ground is the arriving flight for that gate that is occupied by the ground stop flight. If it is an airport like IND where there are only a few gates per carrier, it can keep people on the ground hopping. Sometimes they find a gate that is supposed to be empty for a while and sometimes they will push the aircraft back and park it out of the way for a while (during the ground stop at the arrival city) and let the arriving flight into their gate.
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
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RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:13 pm

Whoa! Kevin (Flyer737SW), since when have you started posting here? haha, bout time. You realize we shared the same information/story in this thread right? HAHA.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
EnviroTO
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:11 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:28 pm

What I don't understand is why some airports seem so inflexible and others have no problems moving gates around with ease. For example if the gate directly beside the scheduled one is unoccupied and there is a delay getting the preceeding aircraft out of the gate, some airports seem to quickly move the gate and some others have the aircraft wait around for 10-20 minutes. I can understand not using gates on the other side of the airport because that is a serious inconvenience to passengers waiting for the next flight, but moving an aircraft two or three gates seems like such a trivial exercise.
 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2615
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:43 pm

In Melbourne, australia around 1998, an Olympic Airways flights from ATH via BKK landed in Melbourne.

instead of proceeding to the international terminal, gate x, the pilot parked in front on the Ansett Domestic terminal.

Now u can imagine this aircraft (a B742 back then, later replaced by an A340) towering over the single storey terminal building made for A320/B737 and B767.

anyway, aircraft had to be towed off Ansett's gate 4 and relocated to International Gate 4.
 
oly720man
Posts: 5740
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:03 pm

My parents had the opposite at MAN recently when their AA 757 from BOS was about an hour early, but another aircraft was on stand from the previous night. They had to wait nearly 40 mins for the morning shift to arrive and for someone to clear the stand.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
VSlover
Posts: 1860
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:36 am

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:19 pm

ha ha, i was wondering about this! i flew DEN-MKE two weekend back on F9, and since i have been flying in and out of MKE 4 times a week on AA, we would always pass by the only F9 stand.

but this time we landed in MKE, and we turned in to an area and i was thinking this was not at all the right place. we were between two terminals, and sat there for a minute, i was thinking "why are we at a non-frontier stand?"

sure enough, five minutes of sitting there, we do a 180 and turn around and drive to our gate. meanwhile, i could see all the midwest express ground crew pointing at the plane as we drove back.

was amusing, and only a few days later i got to do my first go around when landing in ORD on AA!
 
ktachiya
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:54 am

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:20 am

This is interesting because when I was spotting a few days ago, this happened to CA at YVR. The plane landed and was directed to taxi into the apron via M (Mike) and P-4 (Papa-4) but ended up going to a completely different gate. So there had to be a towing truck attached to it and pushed out again. I think it accidentally tried to taxi into D-69 where a JL plane that just landed was supposed to taxi into.

Yes, I agree. I can happen more with foreigners. But vice-versa can happen. I mean at NRT, what if the pilot is unaware of which terminal to go to? 1 or 2 and he gets lost?
Flown on: DC-10-30, B747-200B, B747-300, B747-300SR, B747-400, B747-400D, B767-300, B777-200, B777-200ER, B777-300
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6806
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:55 pm

Wow, looks like it is a very common occurence. I can not recall it happening at AKL though (although AKL is a small airport)
 
daddad525
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:51 pm

RE: Pilots: Ever Arrive At The Wrong Gate?

Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:04 pm

The wrong gate is 41 at terminal 3 at LHR. It's so far away from the main terminal I am not even sure which country it is in.

Best wishes to BAA from a shareholder.