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NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:06 pm
by smokeybandit
"Boston College was traveling by charter, and the plane’s pilot didn’t feel comfortable landing in College Station (KCLL) on Friday evening, even though other planes were landing at Easterwood Airport during that time, according to an A&M official."


https://www.chron.com/sports/aggies/art ... =sftwitter

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:22 pm
by ikramerica
smokeybandit wrote:
"Boston College was traveling by charter, and the plane’s pilot didn’t feel comfortable landing in College Station (KCLL) on Friday evening, even though other planes were landing at Easterwood Airport during that time, according to an A&M official."


https://www.chron.com/sports/aggies/art ... =sftwitter

"Even though other planes were landing"

Because all planes are the same and all planes are loaded the same.

What's "perplexing" (quote from uninformed person in article) is that anyone would question a safety call by a pilot. Don't they know how many tragic accidents (plane and bus) have happened because coaches and schools insisted that the team has to get there, even if the conditions didn't warrant it?

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:29 pm
by Antarius
ikramerica wrote:
smokeybandit wrote:
"Boston College was traveling by charter, and the plane’s pilot didn’t feel comfortable landing in College Station (KCLL) on Friday evening, even though other planes were landing at Easterwood Airport during that time, according to an A&M official."


https://www.chron.com/sports/aggies/art ... =sftwitter

"Even though other planes were landing"

Because all planes are the same and all planes are loaded the same.

What's "perplexing" (quote from uninformed person in article) is that anyone would question a safety call by a pilot. Don't they know how many tragic accidents (plane and bus) have happened because coaches and schools insisted that the team has to get there, even if the conditions didn't warrant it?


The tragedy of Chapecoence comes to mind. It's better to be cautious and stay safe than cowboy it.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:33 pm
by Armodeen
Forward pictures of the WN 737 off runway this week. Also the 747 in Halifax!

Only someone who knows nothing about aviation would write this article.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:36 pm
by FlyingLaw1
Questioning a pilot's decision NOT to do something because of safety is complete ignorance.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:36 pm
by wjcandee
Did nobody at A&M notice what happened to the WN aircraft landing at Burbank in heavy rain this week? If the pilot doesn't think it's safe to land, I'm with him. Because by the time he makes that call, knowing the blowback he's gonna get for it, it's well past where I think I would want to travel.

As noted above, just because a couple of E145s have landed safely doesn't mean that a heavily-loaded 737 should.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:38 pm
by joeblow10
In fairness to the operator and BC... UAX cancelled its last flight into CLL from IAH last night as well - whether that’s weather related or not I can’t ascertain for certain, but it would make more sense if so

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:39 pm
by alggag
I'm nearby in Houston and yesterday/last night we had very heavy rain. I believe one news site even described it as the heaviest rainfall since Harvey drowned the city last year. Fortunately it was over in a few hours but not landing in that mess sounds very sensible to me.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:44 pm
by DarthLobster
Armodeen wrote:
Forward pictures of the WN 737 off runway this week. Also the 747 in Halifax!

Only someone who knows nothing about aviation would write this article.


Which is basically everyone in the media sadly.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:44 pm
by Karlsands
Better safe than sorry, or in this case I suppose both. No reason to gamble on the possibility of unpredictable down drafts and wind sheer. A ball game can always be reshuffled, an aircraft going down not so much

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:50 pm
by Karlsands
[threeid][/threeid]
DarthLobster wrote:
Armodeen wrote:
Forward pictures of the WN 737 off runway this week. Also the 747 in Halifax!

Only someone who knows nothing about aviation would write this article.


Which is basically everyone in the media sadly.

Exactly , proper journalism has become a lost art. Study up then report, sadly this isn’t common in this age

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:06 pm
by strfyr51
could be the rain was so dense that he couldn't see since I'll bet that college station isn't a cat 3 runway

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:08 pm
by dbo861
I've landed at CLL many times. Runway 16/34 is the longest runway and it's only 7,000’ long. Not ideal in heavy rain.

Also, you have to ask which would be worse, negative publicity due to erring on the side of caution and safely landing somewhere else, or the publicity of pictures all over the internet of the aircraft off the end of the runway.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:16 pm
by lightsaber
DarthLobster wrote:
Armodeen wrote:
Forward pictures of the WN 737 off runway this week. Also the 747 in Halifax!

Only someone who knows nothing about aviation would write this article.


Which is basically everyone in the media sadly.

I definitely back the pilot.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:20 pm
by Flaps
Perhaps it was a "high minimums" captain who felt he could not get in due to that restriction. I've seen that plenty of times with new captains.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:28 pm
by Btblue
What a load of nonsense. He's a pilot for a reason, experience, knowledge, skill and appreciates the parameters required to land an aircraft in a variety of scenarios. This sounds like a snippy comment fed to the media. Pilot did what he thought was right, I'd totally go with that.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:34 pm
by XT6Wagon
dbo861 wrote:
I've landed at CLL many times. Runway 16/34 is the longest runway and it's only 7,000’ long. Not ideal in heavy rain.

Also, you have to ask which would be worse, negative publicity due to erring on the side of caution and safely landing somewhere else, or the publicity of pictures all over the internet of the aircraft off the end of the runway.


Or the game is canceled because one team in in the morgue. Literal tons of metal at speed isn't a thing to take lightly.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:51 pm
by deltairlines
The article doesn't even give the full story.

BC was supposed to fly earlier in the day on an Elite CR7 which went mechanical. BC ended up getting a Via Air ERJ-145 at the last minute.

Given that BED-CLL is a 1600 flight, that alone is pushing the range of that plane. Add in the weather at CLL and the need for alternates (which were likely a decent ways away), I wouldn't want to accept that plane for that flight.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:25 pm
by 32andBelow
So did via just fly them to another airport within driving distance? That’s what I would have done if I was in the charter department of that airline.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:47 pm
by ikramerica
32andBelow wrote:
So did via just fly them to another airport within driving distance? That’s what I would have done if I was in the charter department of that airline.

Iah is less than 2 hour drive and plenty of buses to charter from IAH. A&M offered to move the game by 2 hours which would have been a net zero, but BC declined. Probably because with the other delays, the team would be tired and surely lose anyway. A&M declines a Sunday makeup game because when a visiting team is well rested the home team loses some of the home court advantage.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:48 pm
by stratclub
Sloppy journalism.
["Boston College was traveling by charter, and the plane’s pilot didn’t feel comfortable landing in College Station on Friday evening, even though other planes were landing at Easterwood Airport during that time, according to an A&M official".] Exactly which A&M official is being quoted here? Mr. Magoo maybe?

Actually, this is what collage official(s) said in the article.

[In a statement on Saturday, Boston College pointed to "mechanical and logistical issues" concerning travel and said A&M wouldn't agree to a 9 p.m. Saturday game or playing any time Sunday.

["The safety and well-being of our student-athletes is paramount," Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. "Under no circumstances will we put our student-athletes in harm's way."]


Good for you Martin. You could have elaborated some on the pilots safety concern but it does look like in theory you supported the pilot's decision.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:08 pm
by seb146
I was on a WN flight OAK-SAN when the captain suddenly ordered the flight attendants to sit down and buckle in. The weather at that point over the central California coast, near Big Sur. The plane started bumping and shaking for about 15 minutes or so. We eventually did get snack service. Another WN flight I was on OAK-PDX we descended into fog, made some turns, and landed safely. At one point, I think we came close to another airplane because we went sharp down and to the right in the fog.

Any landing you walk away from is a good landing.

If the pilot says weather was too bad to land, then weather was too bad to land. I don't even understand why he is being questioned about his safety procedures. I think we can all agree we would rather be whining about a cancelled basketball game than discussing an accident with possible fatalities.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:25 pm
by Antarius
First thread on a.net with a unanimous consensus:)

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:57 pm
by smokeybandit
I'm not sure what the plane was but it's common for those charters to be ERJs. I wouldn't think that long of a flight would be an ERJ, would it? Despite only like 30 people on board?

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:01 pm
by SurlyBonds
Armodeen wrote:
Only someone who knows nothing about aviation would write this article.


I realize journalist bashing is de rigeur 'round these parts, but did you actually bother to look at the article? It's a "just the facts, ma'am" approach and does not attack the decision to abort the landing. Indeed, it quotes the athletic director as supporting the decision to abort.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:07 pm
by CanadianNorth
Dumbest article I've read in a long time.

1) I wasn't in that cockpit at the time but I'm 99% sure it wasn't "the plane's pilot" that decided not to land, but the crew. Crew Resource Management is basically mandatory when operating transport category airplanes these days, and for good reasons.

2) I can't figure out why these people find the decision "perplexing". It looks pretty obvious to me that the flight crew looked at the situation and came to the conclusion that they did not feel it was safe for them to land that airplane at that airport at that time. Their job is a pilot is to fly the airplane from point a to point b <i>safely</i>. The truely perplexing part is why in heck would someone even suggest risking a bunch of lives for a basketball game? If you have a kid who's going to die if you don't get them to a hospital asap then yeah do what you need to do, but for frick's sake people it's just a basketball game, your fine, get over it.

3) Yeah other airplanes probably were landing at the time. .Happens here all the time too, two aircraft arrive minutes apart and ones gets in while the other diverts. Many simple reasons...
- Different aircraft types have different capabilities. You wouldn't expect a base model Tercel to go to all the same places and do all the same things as a Tacoma TRD, airplanes are no different really, they each have their features and limitations.
- Different crews have different levels of training and experience. Not every airline pilot in the world is fully trained on every type of approach in the world, and even if they were there'd be a fair number of them who would have no problem saying "with my level of experience flying these approaches in these aircraft I don't feel comfortable doing it in this weather". It doesn't make them a bad pilot by any means, it makes them a pilot who understands their level of training and knows what they can and can't do with it.
- Different aircraft have different equipment installed. Just like when you order a new truck there are lots of options you can check or skip on. Two airlines can both have airplanes that look just like on the outside but have significant differences in the avionics package, and that will directly affect what kinds of approaches they can do, what the minimums will be, and at which airports. Generally an airline will look at the options and prices and pick which one is the best overall deal for them.
- Different operators have different policies and approvals. For a particular procedure the published rules might say 300 feet, but if an airline has lots of pilots who are inexperienced at that type of flying and/or has had more close calls than they are comfortable with and/or decides they don't want to invest that much in training that won't get used enough in their operation to justify the cost and/or whatever else, there's no reason why that operator can't put out a company policy saying screw it we're going to round up that minimum to 500 feet to be safe. Next thing you know there's 400 foot weather and they turn around while the company next door proceeds to land. It does not by any means make one operator more or less safe than the other, or some crews better or worse than others, it's just a matter of each crew considering their training and experience combined with the equipment available to them and knowing what they as individuals can and can't safely do with the tools they have at that time.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:22 pm
by portcolumbus
E145 went off the runway last night at IAH as well. It was a nasty night weather-wise.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:41 pm
by jumpseat67
If anyone doubts the Captain's/FO's decision not to land...please watch the movie "We Are Marshall".

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:26 am
by FlyBitcoin
Since when is someone in the Texas A&M athletic department an aviation expert? Kudos to the crew for a great decision. And for BC for looking out for their kids first.
College basketball this time of year with mostly non-conference games in sparsely-filled arenas (I know Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky could sell out playing anyone, but they are not the norm) is really a glorified pre-season.
The home team AD should just thank them for their effort, be glad that everyone is safe, and look forward to meeting again in the future. They are students first. And finals are right around the corner. Lots of stress on those kids.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:44 am
by lightsaber
Antarius wrote:
First thread on a.net with a unanimous consensus:)

As a moderator, it is weird to have a thread with everyone in agreement.

a.net members recognize the role of the pilots.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:15 am
by aemoreira1981
The typical commercial plane that would land at CLL is the E145 or E45X. I would presume that this charter plane was mainline-sized (MD-80 series, 737 Classic/NG, A319, or 757-200, which is likely the largest plane the airport could handle; given a college team, I'd expect a 737-300/400/800). And what was the wind like last night? It had to be bad enough to be an east-west wind to make 16/34 unusable, given that United canceled the last flight of the day into CLL, meaning that it's unreasonable to expect a mainline-sized plane to land. The Aggies are being unreasonable here.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:38 am
by 7673mech
I think what gets lost on college athletics is they are still young adults - somebody's children - barely old enough to vote, most haven't been out in the world yet.

Glad the pilots we're doing their job properly.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:25 am
by PlanesNTrains
aemoreira1981 wrote:
The typical commercial plane that would land at CLL is the E145 or E45X. I would presume that this charter plane was mainline-sized (MD-80 series, 737 Classic/NG, A319, or 757-200, which is likely the largest plane the airport could handle; given a college team, I'd expect a 737-300/400/800). And what was the wind like last night? It had to be bad enough to be an east-west wind to make 16/34 unusable, given that United canceled the last flight of the day into CLL, meaning that it's unreasonable to expect a mainline-sized plane to land. The Aggies are being unreasonable here.


It’s stated up-thread that it was an ERJ-145.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:32 am
by wjcandee
I think what is missing here is that they never made the trip. It wasn't a matter of deciding not to land given the circumstances directly in front of them. It was a decision not to make the flight. And therefore saying that the "pilot" didn't want to fly is really an unfortunate shorthand. The suggestion is that the pilot was a wuss. There's no other way to read the way he's constructed the article. The fact is that a decision like that is going to be made along with a dispatcher based upon current weather. An earlier poster made it quite clear that the trip is a stretch for an e145 to begin with. I'm sure it simply didn't meet company requirements to dispatch it with the likelihood that it might have to go around several times or divert. Everything else is posturing by teams who are seeking either an advantage or no disadvantage or not to lose the home-court advantage. The correct article would be that due to Mechanical difficulties followed by an inability of the replacement aircraft to make the trip, Boston didn't come down. The game was canceled. End of story. But instead somebody took something that some A&M person said and turned it into this stupidity.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:50 am
by ikramerica
wjcandee wrote:
I think what is missing here is that they never made the trip. It wasn't a matter of deciding not to land given the circumstances directly in front of them. It was a decision not to make the flight. And therefore saying that the "pilot" didn't want to fly is really an unfortunate shorthand. The suggestion is that the pilot was a wuss. There's no other way to read the way he's constructed the article. The fact is that a decision like that is going to be made along with a dispatcher based upon current weather. An earlier poster made it quite clear that the trip is a stretch for an e145 to begin with. I'm sure it simply didn't meet company requirements to dispatch it with the likelihood that it might have to go around several times or divert. Everything else is posturing by teams who are seeking either an advantage or no disadvantage or not to lose the home-court advantage. The correct article would be that due to Mechanical difficulties followed by an inability of the replacement aircraft to make the trip, Boston didn't come down. The game was canceled. End of story. But instead somebody took something that some A&M person said and turned it into this stupidity.

I read the entire article and it made no mention of the fact the trip was canceled. What a horrible article. I assumed they diverted to IAH or Austin.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:05 am
by mapletux
Flaps wrote:
Perhaps it was a "high minimums" captain who felt he could not get in due to that restriction. I've seen that plenty of times with new captains.


A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgement to avoid a situation where he would have to use his superior flying skills.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:39 am
by wjcandee
Here's the non-snarky version from the Northeast: https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/12/08/ ... her-plane/

And of course the Chron comments are calling the pilot and/or the team wusses. Entirely because of the way the article was written. Also amusing to see the A&M officials saying they're "perplexed" that Boston wouldn't play when the Boston article says that BC was willing to play later on Saturday or on Sunday and A&M declined. NOW who are the chickens?

In any event, as I noted above, it wasn't the "pilot" that didn't want to fly in light of the deteriorating weather. It was the airline: pilot, co-pilot, dispatcher, management. All of whom made the right call.

A major problem in general aviation, as opposed to airlines, is the get-there-itis that routinely kills bossy CEOs and their families and co-workers when they intimidate pilots to try to make it in when they otherwise would be disinclined to do so. Aspen more than once, for example. And various government officials in the US and other countries.

I also echo the poster who said essentially that these athletes' parents have to be happy that this was the decision that was made. It's bad enough that the kids routinely fly on crap charter airlines that I wouldn't put my dog on. Bravo to this one for doing the right thing.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:10 am
by tcfc424
Given the recent developments at Via Air, could this also be something completely unrelated to weather as the reason for the cancellation?

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:20 am
by stratclub
Way to many people are reading way to much into the article. The pilot based on his training and experience decided to divert to an alternate. Get over it. If the pilot erred in the name of safety, so what? The most important part is that nobody died because the pilot took a chance that he should not have taken.

A good landing is one that you can walk away from, so I guess the pilot met that criteria with flying colors. My hat is off to you sir for doing the right thing. If I'm on a flight where conditions are marginal, I want this guy in command of the aircraft, not some guy that has no problem taking a chance on a favorable outcome. In aviation we ALWAYS err to the side of safety.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:32 pm
by n6238p
Splitting hairs here but it’s pilots. There are two pilots. They both are in the decision process.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:51 pm
by stratclub
n6238p wrote:
Splitting hairs here but it’s pilots. There are two pilots. They both are in the decision process.

Very true. With proper CRM, decisions are agreed upon, however one of the pilots is Captain in charge.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:01 pm
by Midwestfly
If also read that BC offered to play the next day and A&M rejected that option. Obviously a number of reasons, just like the pilot had in this case for declining to play a day later.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:00 pm
by CanesFan
Given the range of the 145, I'm surprised they didn't at least dispatch to someplace like Nashville and refuel and reevaluate there. I wonder if the school told them that they only wanted to go if they could make it nonstop.

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:57 pm
by mercure1
Based on this flight https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N84 ... /KSFB/KBED the bird was N841HK, a 17yo E145LR that started its life as a Crossair 145.
Normal 85% wind airway distance on BED-CLL during DEC is over 1850nm. The normal useful range of a E145LR w/ ~30 pax and normal reserves is about 1400nm due to fuel tank capacity (11,300lb).

Probably was looking at a tech stop enroute just to operate the mission.

BR,
Mercure F-WTCC

Re: NCAA basketball game canceled due to charter pilot not wanting to land in rain

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:18 pm
by aemoreira1981
CanesFan wrote:
Given the range of the 145, I'm surprised they didn't at least dispatch to someplace like Nashville and refuel and reevaluate there. I wonder if the school told them that they only wanted to go if they could make it nonstop.


An E45X has 2000 nmi of range with reserve. United Express used to have routes like OMA to EWR on the E45X (Embraer 145XR). The E145LR, without winglets, has 1550 nmi of range with reserve. BOS to CLL is 1410 nmi, if the flight was being dispatched from BOS. (I suspect that HOU would have been the alternate for this E145.) That said, I'm surprised they didn't, as you say, plan a fuel stop at BNA or maybe even STL or LIT.

As for articles, the CBS Boston article is much more level-headed. The original plane (which would likely have made it in before dark) was grounded and a replacement plane was sent, but before the replacement plane could leave, the weather in Texas was awful, requiring flying through heavy rain or a wintry mix.