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Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:13 am
by Alexbit17
Hello! Long-time lurker, first-time poster here. Mods, please delete if already posted.

Well, I was spotting at SJU today when thunderstorms rolled in around 2PM. All traffic was halted; a B6 A320 holding short runway 8, an NK A321 behind, and AAL395 was put on a holding pattern.

But Swift Air flight 6402 (B734) from LRM attempted the landing, practically 0 visibility.

On short final, the pilots immediately initiated a Go-Around since they were about to crash onto the A321 on the taxiway, similar to the AC incident at SFO a while back. It all happened too fast and none of us were able to capture it.

I do realize some people like sensationalism, but I'm saying all this as I saw it. I'd never seen a Go-Around so sudden and so powerful in my life.

If anybody's got a link to some article by any chance, it'd be awesome if you'd share it.

Re: Swift Air near accident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:45 am
by QXorVX
Hi - Accident is completely 100% the wrong word choice. Thanks.

Re: Swift Air landing incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:48 am
by Alexbit17
QXorVX wrote:
Hi - Accident is completely 100% the wrong word choice. Thanks.


Which is why I used near accident, not accident in itself.

Re: Swift Air near accident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:52 am
by Yonderlust
QXorVX wrote:
Hi - Accident is completely 100% the wrong word choice. Thanks.

I'm confused...What is the correct term? Not arguing, I'm just ignorant of some of the technical aviation language. Thanks.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:27 am
by MGC1191
Doesn’t surprise me. Swift (who is run by what was Xtra (special) Airways) is a disaster waiting to happen. If they had scheduled passenger flights every day they would have lost a plane by now.

I used to deal with them (and by association Xtra) on a weekly basis and it was always something.

Very unprofessional flight crews.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:05 am
by SierraPacific
MGC1191 wrote:
Doesn’t surprise me. Swift (who is run by what was Xtra (special) Airways) is a disaster waiting to happen. If they had scheduled passenger flights every day they would have lost a plane by now.

I used to deal with them (and by association Xtra) on a weekly basis and it was always something.

Very unprofessional flight crews.


Ditto, it is always fun to hear some of the crews operate out of Mesa Gateway but also scary to think that they are in control of a 737.

I have heard better atc communication from some Chinese students that Swift pilots which is really bad for an FAA carrier.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:05 am
by TC957
Visibility couldn't have been " practically 0 " if you saw events unfold as clearly as you did - presume you were a short distance away in shelter from the weather.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:48 am
by BlueberryWheats
I wonder, were you on or near the runway centreline to be able to determine if the 734 was lined up with the runway or indeed lined up with the occupied taxiway?

The eyes can play tricks you know.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:19 am
by Siren
At the very least, we can tell the aircraft did go around.. The lowest it appears to have gotten on the FlightRadar24 playback is 600 feet, but as with anything on FR24, take the playback with a grain of salt - you never know how high the data resolution is: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flig ... 4#20d1d2f0 and also on FlightAware: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWQ ... /MDLR/TJSJ

This is the raw METARs for SJU during the time period mentioned. The aircraft landed at 3:05pm local.

TJSJ 082056Z 11009KT 10SM FEW023 SCT036 SCT055 29/23 A3000 RMK AO2 RAE40 TSE13 SLP159 VCSH W P0002 60088 T02940228 58000 $
TJSJ 082014Z 11009KT 10SM -RA FEW023 SCT036 SCT055 28/23 A3002 RMK AO2 TSE13 TS DSIPTD P0000 T02830233 $
TJSJ 081956Z 10007KT 10SM -TSRA FEW023CB SCT036 SCT065 29/25 A3001 RMK AO2 RAE30B48 TSE01B55 SLP163 OCNL LTGICCG NW TS NW MOV W P0006 T02940250 $

If it genuinely played out as reported, I would expect an investigation to be opened and us to be hearing more about this in the coming days...

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:38 am
by fsclips
What makes me scratch my head is the comment "I have never seen a go around so sudden and fast before".
There are no different kinds of go arounds as such.
The procedure is always the same regardless of the reason for the go around.
Therefore the speed, power and pitch angle are almost always identical.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:36 am
by atcsundevil
SierraPacific wrote:
MGC1191 wrote:
Doesn’t surprise me. Swift (who is run by what was Xtra (special) Airways) is a disaster waiting to happen. If they had scheduled passenger flights every day they would have lost a plane by now.

I used to deal with them (and by association Xtra) on a weekly basis and it was always something.

Very unprofessional flight crews.


Ditto, it is always fun to hear some of the crews operate out of Mesa Gateway but also scary to think that they are in control of a 737.

I have heard better atc communication from some Chinese students that Swift pilots which is really bad for an FAA carrier.

At least in my experience, I haven't found their crews to be remarkably different from crews at other carriers. The only particular annoyance I've found with them are their aircraft limitations, specifically their inability to fly RNAV procedures (I only ever see them operate B734s). These days, RNAV is the standard, so aircraft not technically equipped to fly the standard procedures is certainly a bit annoying. In any event, I'm not disputing that they may very well have some unprofessional crews, but laying out a blanket statement probably isn't fair or accurate. There are plenty of lousy and unprofessional flight crews out there, but I've never found them to be endemic to any particular carrier (well, at least for US carriers).

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:47 pm
by Alexbit17
BlueberryWheats wrote:
I wonder, were you on or near the runway centreline to be able to determine if the 734 was lined up with the runway or indeed lined up with the occupied taxiway?

The eyes can play tricks you know.


I'm referring between the Swift Air flight and the runway/other aircraft. Though I guess the wording can change a bit between places, so my mistake.

The weather was extremely tricky yesterday. It was mostly clear towards the east of the airport but there was nothing to be seen past the NK and B6 planes to the west. I'd post pictures but I've yet to learn how to do that.

Anyway, I was right beside the taxiway to see everything. The plane was not lined up with the runway centerline since it flew directly over me after going around.

This is what a typical go-around looks like at SJU. They always happen in front of the on-lookers rather than over us.

https://youtu.be/tU5OdsSkYtM

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:53 pm
by Alexbit17
Siren wrote:
At the very least, we can tell the aircraft did go around.. The lowest it appears to have gotten on the FlightRadar24 playback is 600 feet...


It got much lower than that, probably 200 feet. It was already on short final. If it was lined up properly, it would've landed fine given how close it was.


Siren wrote:
If it genuinely played out as reported, I would expect an investigation to be opened and us to be hearing more about this in the coming days...


I'd definitely like to hear more of it, too.

And to everyone, thank you for your patience with this new poster ;) :duck:

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:24 pm
by KCaviator
Lol........ How do you know they were going to “crash” into an aircraft on a taxiway, and not just initiating a go-around at the missed approach point (MAP)?

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:30 pm
by Alexbit17
KCaviator wrote:
Lol........ How do you know they were going to “crash” into an aircraft on a taxiway, and not just initiating a go-around at the missed approach point (MAP)?


They flew over the taxiway, not the runway. They were way too off to the right to be aligned with the centerline, but rather aligned with the taxiway in which Spirit's A321 was on.

You see, there's a plane spotting building adjacent to runway 8 and the taxiways, right beside American Eagle's ATR's used to park back in the day. The plane flew right over the building, therefore completely off the runway centerline.

In case you missed it, I was there.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:44 pm
by mjzair
It is almost impossible to tell which runway planes are lined up with at SJU. The thresholds of both 8 and 10 are so close, it creates an illusion. I doubt what you saw was anything to even talk about. I would guess that per usual ops at SJU, Swift was on approach to 10 and the others were holding for 8, which means, they were nowhere even close.

If there is any doubt about this illusion, listen to ATC in SJU, if there is an aircraft departing 8 with someone on approach to 10, they will advise that the traffic on the approach is going to 10.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:53 pm
by Alexbit17
mjzair wrote:
It is almost impossible to tell which runway planes are lined up with at SJU. The thresholds of both 8 and 10 are so close, it creates an illusion. I doubt what you saw was anything to even talk about. I would guess that per usual ops at SJU, Swift was on approach to 10 and the others were holding for 8, which means, they were nowhere even close.

If there is any doubt about this illusion, listen to ATC in SJU, if there is an aircraft departing 8 with someone on approach to 10, they will advise that the traffic on the approach is going to 10.


The building is between the runways, right beside runway 8 (only divided by a fence), and the approach difference is very noticeable; it is my home airport after all.

And as I've said, the plane flew over the building and the taxiways adjacent to runway 8, nothing to do with runway 10.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:30 pm
by BlueberryWheats
They may have drifted off centre during the go around manoeuvre, who knows.

If the visibility was so poor, surely they were much more likely to be on centre during the approach as they would be following the ILS. IIRC the Air Canada incident in San Francisco was a visual approach, hence the pilot's confusion.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:39 pm
by AWACSooner
atcsundevil wrote:
These days, RNAV is the standard, so aircraft not technically equipped to fly the standard procedures is certainly a bit annoying.

On behalf of all us military flyboys operating antiques, sorry ;)

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:03 pm
by rtspr787
Very common to see Swift Air at SJU on summer. They fly in and out of Dominican Republic which had become a favorite place for graduated students from Puerto Rico schools. If you ask me, I will fly my kids on B6.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:06 pm
by atcsundevil
AWACSooner wrote:
atcsundevil wrote:
These days, RNAV is the standard, so aircraft not technically equipped to fly the standard procedures is certainly a bit annoying.

On behalf of all us military flyboys operating antiques, sorry ;)

Oh no, no complaints there! I was thinking more along the lines of the Maddogs...it's a little tricky trying to fly an RNAV procedure using a sextant :bouncy:

Alexbit17 wrote:
And as I've said, the plane flew over the building and the taxiways adjacent to runway 8, nothing to do with runway 10.

Interesting. It did that while it was still down low? Most missed approach procedures involve flying runway heading until reaching a specific altitude because that's what's been flight checked, so if he was low and flying over taxiways and buildings adjacent to the runway, then I'd imagine there will have to be a little explaining to do.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:21 pm
by Alexbit17
atcsundevil wrote:
Alexbit17 wrote:
And as I've said, the plane flew over the building and the taxiways adjacent to runway 8, nothing to do with runway 10.

Interesting. It did that while it was still down low? Most missed approach procedures involve flying runway heading until reaching a specific altitude because that's what's been flight checked, so if he was low and flying over taxiways and buildings adjacent to the runway, then I'd imagine there will have to be a little explaining to do.


It was on short final, seconds from touching down, if it would've been aligned with the centerline. Once the pilots realized what had gone wrong, they made the go-around, flying over Aeroparque (the spotting building) and the old American Eagle Ramp. Obviously climbing, though.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:32 pm
by Alexbit17
Dropped pin
Near AeroParque, Carolina, 00979, Puerto Rico
https://maps.app.goo.gl/UboKGYsMywzsYpTAA

Here's the pin. It's dropped on exactly where I was (the balcony).
The American B738 is where the Spirit A321 was, the Jetblue E190 is where the A320 was, and the Swift Air B734 had definitely crossed Highway 26. As I've stated before, it was on short final on runway 8, not runway 10.

And it was no illusion, no mistake. That plane was way too close to the right to be aligned to the runway centerline.

And as I've also stated before, it flew EXACTLY OVER the building (where the pin is dropped).

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:47 pm
by MGC1191
SierraPacific wrote:
MGC1191 wrote:
Doesn’t surprise me. Swift (who is run by what was Xtra (special) Airways) is a disaster waiting to happen. If they had scheduled passenger flights every day they would have lost a plane by now.

I used to deal with them (and by association Xtra) on a weekly basis and it was always something.

Very unprofessional flight crews.


Ditto, it is always fun to hear some of the crews operate out of Mesa Gateway but also scary to think that they are in control of a 737.

I have heard better atc communication from some Chinese students that Swift pilots which is really bad for an FAA carrier.


One of my fondest memories is trying to reach the flight deck before pushback via headset. Finally the Mechanic (Flight Engineer) popped on and said the Captains headset wasn’t working and he would relay all messages between him and I. I jokingly asked if the captain could talk to ATC and the reply was “No, but we got it. Done this many times.”

That’s the moment when you mentally bless off the airplane and what ever happens happens.

Re: Swift Air near accident at SJU

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:28 pm
by Jouhou
Yonderlust wrote:
QXorVX wrote:
Hi - Accident is completely 100% the wrong word choice. Thanks.

I'm confused...What is the correct term? Not arguing, I'm just ignorant of some of the technical aviation language. Thanks.


Where I work, an accident that came too close to happening is called a "near miss" which is a very confusing use of the English language but as you can see here people react strongly to the word "accident" even if the word before it indicates it didn't happen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_miss_(safety)

It's apparently the official OSHA term.

Re: Swift Air near incident at SJU

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:40 am
by Moosefire
The sensationalism here feels like a “Seconds from disaster” episode.