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Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:19 am

I looked for this topic, was unable to find it.

CNN is reporting that an Alaska Airlines jet taxied onto the incorrect runway and took-off, yesterday. It was reported that since there were no landing aircraft, the controllers allowed the flight to continue.

It sounds like the flight was cleared for take-off prior to reaching the runway, thus the pilots started their take-off roll before controllers noticed.

Any info on this??
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F9Animal
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In K

Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:39 am

Did they outsource their pilots? LOL! Just kidding. Kind of hard to speculate on the error, as nobody knows the pilots side of the story. I would imagine it was a communications error, or a misunderstanding. AS pilots are some of the best in the industry. <---- I am not sticking up for the situation by stating that by the way.

If the tower allowed the continuance of takeoff and reports that there were no aircraft landing on the runway the AS plane took off from, then I would imagine they should have said something to the flight crew. They could have also been courteious to state that they were approaching the wrong runway, if they did see the aircraft approach the wrong runway.

[Edited 2006-11-01 17:40:33]
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clickhappy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:41 am

http://www.komotv.com/news/4536186.html

So 34 right would be the "busy" runway...sketchy!
 
Mir
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:44 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 1):
They could have also been courteious to state that they were approaching the wrong runway, if they did see the aircraft approach the wrong runway.

The way SEA is set up, it appears that they were supposed to take off on 16R or 34L, but instead took off on 16L or 34R. Since they'd have to cross 16L/34R to get to 16R/34L, ATC wouldn't have known until they started to takeoff.

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beech19
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:58 am

"The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was told by air traffic controllers to depart from Runway 34 Center. The pilots twice correctly read back that they were going from 34 Center, but instead took off from Runway 34 Right."

Actually what worries me most is that according to this story (which is obviously wrong) the FAA thinks that SeaTac has 3 active runways. (34L, C, R). Also it seems like the pilot thought they did too.  Wink

Someone correct me if i'm wrong... but i didn't think our 3rd runway was even close to being done yet...

We do NOT have a 16C - 34C!
16R - 34L
16L - 34R.... thats it.
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clickhappy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:02 am

we do have a center runway now, and have had for about 2 weeks.
 
ASMVPGOLD
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:05 am

SEA just changed their runway designators so i am sure that will be a factor. 34L is now 34C. the new 34L is still under construction.

As a side note... i can't remember the last time i took off from 34L (now 34C). 34R/16L handles most of the tko. 34C/16C is used primarly for landings.
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MEACEDAR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:09 am

Maybe the signs were wrong on the ground? I don't think so because any plane that was going to depart from 34C would have departed from 34R, but it a possibility. Was there a lot of traffic at 34C, maybe the pilots wanted to depart quickly so they choose that runway, sounds dumb but it might be a possibility.

I think it is the control towers fault, they were not paying attention to the runway.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 4):
Someone correct me if i'm wrong... but i didn't think our 3rd runway was even close to being done yet...

While the third one might not be completed yet, they recently re-identified and re-marked the two existing runways to reflect the eventual completion of the new one.
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MEACEDAR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:12 am

Maybe the signs were wrong on the ground? I don't think so because any plane that was going to depart from 34C would have departed from 34R, but it is a possibility. Was there a lot of traffic at 34C, maybe the pilots wanted to depart quickly so they choose that runway, sounds dumb but it might be a possibility. The control tower might also have gave them the wrong way to get to 34C, they might have gave them the way to 34R.

I think it is the control towers fault, they were not paying attention to the runway. The pilots may have wanted to prove a point to show that the control tower and the FAA don't know what they are doing.
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:13 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 8):
While the third one might not be completed yet, they recently re-identified and re-marked the two existing runways to reflect the eventual completion of the new one.

If it's not active, it shouldn't be marked. Oy...
 
MEACEDAR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:16 am

Quoting MEACEDAR (Reply 9):
The pilots may have wanted to prove a point to show that the control tower and the FAA don't know what they are doing.

Not that I think that.  Smile  Smile
 
cvg2lga
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:24 am

Well they are doing better than the CO 757 at EWR. At least they were on a runway rather than a taxiway.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:25 am

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 10):
If it's not active, it shouldn't be marked. Oy...

Standard practice when a new runway is under construction, and they did the same thing at DFW to the existing 17L/17R when the new 17L was under construction. The old 17L was remarked as 17C, and it got folks used to it before the new 17L was even finished.

Quoting MEACEDAR (Reply 9):
The pilots may have wanted to prove a point to show that the control tower and the FAA don't know what they are doing.

And risk a FAA violation/fine/certificate action? Sorry, but I think your theory defies simple common sense.

It was a plain old human error folks... They happen...
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Boeing7E7
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:27 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 13):
Standard practice when a new runway is under construction, and they did the same thing at DFW to the existing 17L/17R when the new 17L was under construction. The old 17L was remarked as 17C, and it got folks used to it before the new 17L was even finished.

Standard practice is an "X" on the non-active, this is done by the airport. While the old runway may be re-marked a new one cannot be marked until flight checks are scheduled.
 
mcdu
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:29 am

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 4):
We do NOT have a 16C - 34C!

Better check your 20-9 page. 34C does exist.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:33 am

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 14):
a new one cannot be marked until flight checks are scheduled.

OK, I'll buy that. Heck, a new one can't be marked until it's done being constructed, but the "new" runway isn't the point/issue here.
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beech19
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:35 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
we do have a center runway now, and have had for about 2 weeks.

http://www.portseattle.org/news/press/2006/10_31_2006_55.shtml

The new runway is not open yet. Did they already re-label the other runways?
The new one isn't supposed to open for another year+. Why would they do that already?
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F9Animal
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:39 am

I got it!!!

Was it Menzies? Maybe the pilot was confused with the grafitti on the runway signs. We can't leave any stones unturned here.
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potomac
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:39 am

read the previous posts, folks! the runway has been redesignated as 16C-34C even though the new 16R-34L isnt completed yet. this is a common change at a certain stage of the new runway's construction.
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:49 am

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 17):
The new runway is not open yet. Did they already re-label the other runways?
The new one isn't supposed to open for another year+. Why would they do that already?

So when it does open, pilots are used to it and you don't have planes taking off from the wrong runway. Like that would ever occur.  Wink
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:52 am

Quoting Potomac (Reply 19):
read the previous posts, folks! the runway has been redesignated as 16C-34C even though the new 16R-34L isnt completed yet. this is a common change at a certain stage of the new runway's construction.

I guess they just don't believe us...  Wink

For those who need to see it to visualize it: (The dashed outlines are the new 16R/34L and associated taxiways. Changing the old 16R/34L to 16C/34C now avoids confusion in the future when the new runway actually opens, since folks will have gotten used to the new 16C/34C by then.)

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Kevin777
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:43 am

In the recent thread on the CO 757 that landed on the taxiway at EWR a few days ago, it is mentioned that SWA apparently have had their fair share of problems with the new runway at SEA too (regarding landings in this case apparently). IIRC WN had landed on the taxiway (or at least the wrong runway) three times...

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Boeing7E7
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:48 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 16):
OK, I'll buy that. Heck, a new one can't be marked until it's done being constructed, but the "new" runway isn't the point/issue here.

After reading again, we were saying the same thing.  

Quoting Beech19 (Reply 17):
The new one isn't supposed to open for another year+. Why would they do that already?

Maybe the paint contract was due and they had some extra...

[Edited 2006-11-01 20:50:49]
 
md80fanatic
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:29 am

Although 34L was changed to 34C, 34R has always been 34R. The runway the aircraft took off from wasn't changed, it's always been 34R. Two sets of two pilots (this and LEX) making the same identification mistake, in the span of a few months....is a bit disturbing.

What's the deal? Do we need to bring back the 3-man flight crew?
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:34 am

Quoting Md80fanatic (Reply 24):
Two sets of two pilots (this and LEX) making the same identification mistake, in the span of a few months....is a bit disturbing.

Disturbing yes however I don't believe this and LEX are all that similar, at least these 2 were heading in the right direction rolling down the runway unlike LEX.
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walter747
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:42 am

geeze whats going on this weel planes landing on taxi ways, hitting eachother and taking off on the wrong runways. what a week.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting Md80fanatic (Reply 24):
Two sets of two pilots (this and LEX) making the same identification mistake, in the span of a few months....is a bit disturbing.

In the sense that it appears that both the LEX and SEA crews took off from the first runways they came to, yes, but even the SEA crew doing a heading check wouldn't have indicated anything amiss since 34R and 34C would have showed the same heading.

Quoting Md80fanatic (Reply 24):
Do we need to bring back the 3-man flight crew?

Why? So three people can make the same error?

Quoting Md80fanatic (Reply 24):
What's the deal?

The deal is that as long as human beings are part of the process, errors will occur, and they do every single day. They usually get caught, either by the error's perpetrator, the other pilot or F/E, the controller, or someone else, and thus don't end up as national news "events." I dare say that had the first error (CO landing on the taxiway at EWR) not caught the media's attention, you'd probably not heard of the CO/LH wingtip deal at EWR or this deal at SEA, since their antenna wouldn't have been up. If somebody blows a tire at East Podunk later this evening, you can be assured of a media helo being quickly overhead with live shots of the "breaking news"...  Yeah sure

NTSB announced today that they're investigating all three incidents, BTW...
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Ward86IND
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:02 am

IMHO ATC has to be at least a little bit at fault here. Are you telling me that after the plane failed to turn off of taxiway B onto Q, which leads to 34C, they didn't see as he taxied ALL the way down to 34R, lined up and took off? Was no one watching???
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:17 am

Quoting Ward86IND (Reply 28):
Are you telling me that after the plane failed to turn off of taxiway B onto Q, which leads to 34C, they didn't see as he taxied ALL the way down to 34R, lined up and took off? Was no one watching???

You're assuming that they used 34R at its full length. There are such things as "intersection takeoffs" where the full length of a runway is not used.

If they turned off Bravo onto Quebec, but then turned early, they could have been rolling on 34R quickly. If there was no landing traffic on 34R and thus no conflict, I think ATC was correct in letting him continue the takeoff on 34R. You don't want to initiate an abort (especially a high-speed one) if you don't have to, and as there was no conflicting traffic, there was no need to.
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MEACEDAR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:21 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 13):
And risk a FAA violation/fine/certificate action? Sorry, but I think your theory defies simple common sense.

That made me chuckle a bit.
 
71Zulu
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:51 am

Since the original 34L/16R & 34R/16L was in use for so long, why would they not just call the new runway 35/17?

Seems like it would be less confusing and would have eliminated just this kind of thing from happening.
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deltamike172
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:59 am

I'm guessing the reason they relabeled so far in advance to the new runway opening is because the new runway has been paved for the most part. There IS A RUNWAY THERE, its just not painted correctly or tested for use (something that is VERY difficult to realize on a 3 mile final). I bet when you're turning final for a visual, it APPEARS that SEA has three runways from afar, so when you get cleared for 16C/34C, it makes the line up much more obvious (fly towards the middle strip of concrete). You don't realize the other runway isn't open until you get much closer to the airport.

DM
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:10 am

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 31):
Since the original 34L/16R & 34R/16L was in use for so long, why would they not just call the new runway 35/17?

They usually use the L/R/C designations when there will be only 3 parallel runways, and when two pairs of parallel runways exist (LAX is a good example), then they use slightly different numbers that are off 1 (ten degrees).

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 31):
Seems like it would be less confusing and would have eliminated just this kind of thing from happening.

In the context of what appears to have happened here, I think whatever that 2nd runway is/was called is a moot point. If they had your 17/35, and the old 16R/34L and 16L/34R, and they cleared the guy to takeoff on 34L but he takes off from 34R, that would suggest, to me anyway, that the confusion wasn't with the signage or what the runway was called, but with the pilot.

I've said this before, but mistakes happen, every day, and by every airline, and most are caught. If one goes to the NASA ASRS site and searches their database for "readback" or "hearback" errors, you'll get a wealth of reports. Obviously, this incident could have been worse (if certain other factors had been present), but it wasn't, and I think the media needs to get off Alaska's back.
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flyboy2001
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:18 am

I think it comes down to due dilligence, on the part of all involved. As a private pilot, the reading of runway and taxiway markings is drummed into us during basic training, as is the compass and heading indicator confirmation of correct runway direction after lining up (not an issue at SEA but it was at LEX). ATC has a role in this too but I think it's more up to the pilots to move the aircraft around the airport, reading signs, markings, what have you, as well as following the instructions from ATC.

The majority of pilots DO correctly maneuver their planes on the ground and so, after two correct readbacks from the AS crew, ATC would be reasonably confident that that aircraft was going to do the right thing. However, with the newness of the runway markings, perhaps someone should have been watching a bit more than usual?

This incident had a benign result but could have been worse, had it happened at a busier time or another airport with non-parallel runways.
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sanjet
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:34 am

Sorry for asking this, I've never been in this situation. Would they call it runway 34 Center or 34 Charlie? (ie: UAL341 clrd to land 34 Charlie...)
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:39 am

Quoting Sanjet (Reply 35):
Would they call it runway 34 Center or 34 Charlie?

Center.
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AlexPorter
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting Sanjet (Reply 35):
Sorry for asking this, I've never been in this situation. Would they call it runway 34 Center or 34 Charlie? (ie: UAL341 clrd to land 34 Charlie...)

I believe they'll say 34 Center (they don't say 34 Romeo or 34 Lima).
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baw716
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:11 am

16R/34R was redesignated 16C/34C as earlier reported. This was in a NOTAM I saw about two weeks ago, if memory serves.

Frankly, I'm a little surprised they did the redesignation, since the third runway has not started being setup for concrete. I can understand once the concrete is started that the designation would be changed, but before?

It's going to make things very confusing...I imagine we'll get a lot of "say again runway for takeoff..."

baw716
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N754PR
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:13 am

CI A340 departs from a taxiway..

CRJ departs from wrong runway and crashes...

CO 752 lands on a taxiway....

now this..... so much for the FAA telling other countries and airlines how to run their shop!! Lots of work to do back home boys.
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Bobster2
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:24 am

Isn't 34R normally used for takeoff? Why would ATC send them to the landing runway for takeoff with no other traffic on 34R? Or maybe I have this backwards?
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We're Nuts
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:32 am

I love people trying to blame the controllers for these mistakes.  Yeah sure

ATC doesn't exist to hold the pilot's hand!
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JetBlueAUS
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:37 am

It seems like AS has a lot of technical errors with its planes and employees...
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OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:42 am

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 42):
It seems like AS has a lot of technical errors with its planes and employees...

With local news there every time they fart, not to mention CNN Headline News regurgitating the same item over and over, it probably does seem like alot, but that's not necessarily the case. Stuff happens all the time, at all airlines.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
flyboy2001
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:49 am

Quoting We're Nuts (Reply 41):
ATC doesn't exist to hold the pilot's hand!

I agree, to a point. As I poster earlier, it's the pilot's responsibility to ensure that the plane goes where it should, the way it should - but ATC includes the word "control" and there should have been a little more of that in this case.

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 42):
It seems like AS has a lot of technical errors with its planes and employees...

I think that AS will always be under a bit of a microscope, given their history. BTW, what exactly were you refering to?
And you... Revolution, or just resistance?
 
Boston92
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:00 am

Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but for all of you asking why the existing runways are all ready re marked, wouldn't it be because the rnwy that is under construction looks like a runway from the air. If they had not remarked the runways, it might be confusing. For example (If the runways were not remarked), if a landing a/c is cleared to land 34L, the runway that is 34L (now 34C), looks like the center runway, so the landing a/c might think to land on the runway that is under construction, the left-most runway.
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alaska737
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:02 am

Quoting ASMVPGOLD (Reply 6):
As a side note... i can't remember the last time i took off from 34L (now 34C). 34R/16L handles most of the tko. 34C/16C is used primarly for landings.

well almost every time i fly out of SEA we use either 34R or 16L, so maybe the pilot was just going through his routine and just figured it was 34L

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 18):
I got it!!!

Was it Menzies? Maybe the pilot was confused with the grafitti on the runway signs. We can't leave any stones unturned here.

i was waiting for something like that

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 42):
It seems like AS has a lot of technical errors
with its planes and employees...

this is the first in a while and if you are refering to menzies, then those are not direct AS employees
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:23 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 40):
Why would ATC send them to the landing runway for takeoff with no other traffic on 34R?

I read where this was something like a 0630 am departure, and if so, perhaps with hardly any arrival traffic they gave the Alaska flight the west-most of the two runways (34L) since their destination (JNU) was also to the west of SEA. This would have allowed ATC to launch another departure off 34R, perhaps to a destination east of SEA. (Separating departures by direction of flight while they're on the ground can avoid having their paths conflict once they get airborne, since the aircraft can turn away from one another, i.e. their paths diverge.) That's all a guess, but if the crew was expecting 34R "as usual" and got 34C, well, I'm sure whatever really happened will come out at some point.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3941
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:30 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 43):
Stuff happens all the time, at all airlines.

Very true as well as with ATC.

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 42):
It seems like AS has a lot of technical errors with its planes and employees...

I would offer that AS puts airplanes in very difficult situations such as Juneau, between lots of rocks with extremely tight standards and now problems with hitting those huge rocks on either side of the approach path. IMHO, I think it is very simple, complacency not tech errors with airplanes.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
OB1504
Posts: 2985
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

RE: Alaska Airlines Takes-off On Wrong Runway In Ksea

Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:30 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 40):
Isn't 34R normally used for takeoff? Why would ATC send them to the landing runway for takeoff with no other traffic on 34R? Or maybe I have this backwards?

From what I can gather, 34R is normally used for departures. Perhaps the crew (I'm assuming they were based in SEA) had become so accustomed to hearing "Taxi runway three-four-right via..." that when cleared to 34L, they mistook it for 34R.

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