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mtnwest1979
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:58 pm

I did fast search, and came up empty. Plus, I don't remember seeing anything on here about this. What astounds me is this was wo weeks ago...

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/n...t-mistakes-taxiway-for-runway.html

Seems a really stupid thing. Daytime, good weather, and I bet the pilot has transited SEA a time or two. Very dumb IMO.
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
Prost
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:13 pm

I think it's human nature to trust your visuals more than technology. Before we label the anyone, let's let the investigation run its course. I still would not hesitate flying on AS as they have some of the best pilots in the industry.

And I speak as a Delta employee. Agreed, this could have been a tragedy, but it wasn't. Additional training and investigation are in order, yes.
 
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jetblastdubai
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:27 pm

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Thread starter):
Daytime, good weather, and I bet the pilot has transited SEA a time or two.

This happens more than you would think....big airports and smaller airports. Daytime and good weather would make the mistake easier since there might not be visible runway/taxiway lights (blue/green versus white).

When I was on an FAA runway safety committee several years ago, we suggested that when designing parallel runway/taxiway combinations, (space permitting) it might be useful to add some very slight s-turns to the parallel taxiways so that in either daytime or night, they would be clearly differentiated from a runway.

Unless the localizers are operational 100% of the time and all aircraft are assigned precision approaches (no visual approaches) there will probably be more incidents like this.

http://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1513/00232ad.pdf

LNK used to have 35L and 35R but they experienced more than a few pilots landing on the parallel taxiway on the right side of 35R so they renamed 35L to 36 hoping that by then removing the "right" from 35R they could eliminate some confusion.
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G500
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:28 pm

Poor guys. They were probably thinking. "Looks like the guys on airliners didn't catch this, we might sneak through the cracks"

This has happened at this airport four times. Does that taxiway have the big TAXIWAY letters written on it?
 
catiii
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:44 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 1):

I think it's human nature to trust your visuals more than technology. Before we label the anyone, let's let the investigation run its course. I still would not hesitate flying on AS as they have some of the best pilots in the industry.

And I speak as a Delta employee. Agreed, this could have been a tragedy, but it wasn't. Additional training and investigation are in order, yes.

Well put. DL had a similar incident where a crew landed a 767ER from Brazil on a taxiway in Atlanta. It happens, usually when "all the holes in the swiss cheese line up." I'd rather see the outcome of the investigation as well.
 
bluejuice
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:51 pm

At BOS, the centerfield taxiway between runways 4R/22L and 4L/22R has TAXI painted in large, yellow letters. While landings on taxiways are rare, perhaps something as simple as a little paint can prevent a larger incident.
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Q
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:11 am

Las Vegas 1L/R-19L/R has painted taxiway on the west side of runways.

Seattle, I checked Google Earth Map and there is no painted. Not GOOD! How stupid Seattle airport management didn't do anything after 3rd times and now 4th happened again! Duh! Call Seattle airport to get painting on taxiways NOW! Before big crash and killing innocent passengers.



Q
 
Okie
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:28 am

Quoting g500 (Reply 3):
Does that taxiway have the big TAXIWAY letters written on it?

No

Quoting g500 (Reply 3):

This has happened at this airport four times.

This is the first time since 16R/34L was added.
The visual before the additional runway was added was apparently confusing with the taxiway on the outside away from the terminal.

Not sure what went wrong here.

Okie
 
kcrwflyer
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:30 am

If we need paint on a taxiway to get guys to realize it's a taxiway, we have a bigger problem than that taxiway not being painted.
 
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TheRedBaron
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:36 am

MEX has its 2 runways incredibly close to each other WA crash in 1979 was a result of this, also a Continental Md80 landed in the taxiway like 5 years ago…. amazing that one did not end up in a crash since the taxiway is no more than 150 feet form the terminal.

TRB
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IPFreely
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:42 am

Approach end of 19L/19R in Las Vegas...

 
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Acey559
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:46 am

Quoting Okie (Reply 7):

The runway and taxiway surfaces were wet and the pilots claimed the glare made it difficult for them to tell it was a taxiway. The whole thing was predicted by a last minute runway change, which happens frequently in Seattle. Not enough time to throw in the other LOC frequency, I guess. But that's the gist of it.
 
catiii
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:36 am

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 9):
MEX has its 2 runways incredibly close to each other WA crash in 1979 was a result of this, also a Continental Md80 landed in the taxiway like 5 years ago…. amazing that one did not end up in a crash since the taxiway is no more than 150 feet form the terminal.

Doubtful a CO MD80 had that incident 5 years ago...they left the fleet in 2005.
 
mtnwest1979
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:45 am

Quoting Acey559 (Reply 11):
The runway and taxiway surfaces were wet and the pilots claimed the glare made it difficult for them to tell it was a taxiway. The whole thing was predicted by a last minute runway change, which happens frequently in Seattle. Not enough time to throw in the other LOC frequency, I guess. But that's the gist of it.

Well I would assume that: All surfaces were probably about the same wetness, with same glaring, and having landed at SEA
many times ( I am guessing), would you not have capacity to remember the layout of the place? Not like it is a difficult layout.
Just seems like a thought up response post incident on the pilots part.
At least the stories I heard when working there about Russian airliners lining up for landing on 1st Ave So next to airport made
SOME sense due to lack of familiarity of airfield. I always took that story with a grain of salt, but who knows.

Anyway, I guess in my mind it comes down to two words: Poor piloting, by both.

Also, I wish I would have seen that I missed the S in title. That's my poor editing!!
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
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Acey559
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:56 am

As with anything, I'm sure it boiled down to multiple factors. I wasn't there so I can't comment personally. As was mentioned before, this has happened before so as much as I'd love to think it couldn't happen to me, I know that's not the case. Always a lesson to be learned! And it was taxiway T, to be clear.  
 
OMP777X
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:07 am

While this is interesting and potentially dangerous, it isn't as much of an issue IMO as that one time when an Aeroflot crew mistook the highway for the runway there at SEA in the late 90's. IIRC, they came very close to touching down on it, or so I heard.

Best,

OMP777X
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A332DTW
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:15 am

I just don't understand how you don't initiate a go-around when you fail to see touchdown-zone markings. Unless you're landing on some VFR strip at a small-town airport, the differences between a taxiway and a runway are pretty glaring at that height.

[Edited 2015-12-29 19:16:25]
 
Prost
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:40 am

What exactly is EA taxiway? I assume the S is missing from the title, or did I miss something?
 
catiii
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:44 am

Quoting A332DTW (Reply 16):
I just don't understand how you don't initiate a go-around when you fail to see touchdown-zone markings. Unless you're landing on some VFR strip at a small-town airport, the differences between a taxiway and a runway are pretty glaring at that height.

We weren't there so we dont know what they were seeing.
 
A332DTW
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:00 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 18):
We weren't there so we dont know what they were seeing.

Well that's my point. If you don't know what you're looking at, do not land, period. I'll be the first to step up and defend pilots from scrutiny (I am one), but landing on a taxiway or anything else instead of a runway I find unjustifiable unless there is an emergency.

If you do not see the numbers and touchdown-zone markings, DO NOT LAND. It doesn't matter if it's less than a 1/4 mile visibility and 100 foot ceiling, or 10 miles and clear, those touchdown-zone markings are there for a reason.
 
seven3seven
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:29 am

You quarterbacks are lucky to be so perfect
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hOMSaR
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:48 am

The article says the runway was just resurfaced a few days earlier and didn't have the accumulated tire markings of planes touching down, which probably meant the runway and taxiway looked very similar.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
mtnwest1979
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:57 am

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 20):
You quarterbacks are lucky to be so perfect

Well I know the difference between a taxiway and a runway, even at SEA. But, you know, I guess concrete is concrete.
I suppose if a plane had been taxiing on it, that might have given them a better clue, or not....
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
A332DTW
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:05 am

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 20):
You quarterbacks are lucky to be so perfect

It's not a matter of being perfect. It's a matter of being attentive and alert of what you're doing. I don't know what the policy is at Alaska, but calling out "runway in sight" or "runway XX in sight" on final is common across the industry.
 
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Web500sjc
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:13 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 17):

What exactly is EA taxiway? I assume the S is missing from the title, or did I miss something?



At large airports (with more than 24 taxiways) taxi ways will get a double letter designation.

In this case the pilots landed on Taxiway T, there is no taxiway EA at SEA. The Published airport diagram has a note for pilots to not mistake Taxiway T as a landing surface. At SEA, there are 5 long strips of pavement, one has terminals attached to it, 3 of the other 4 are landing strips and the fourth is taxiway T.

I am sure everyone who uses the airport knows Taxiway T is not a landing strip; but a crew that flies out of SEA multiple times a day will be complacent and not be as diligent about airport gotchas.
 
mtnwest1979
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:21 am

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 24):
Quoting Prost (Reply 17):
What exactly is EA taxiway? I assume the S is missing from the title, or did I miss something?

Yes, I accidentally omitted the S. Realized it much later...  
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
b747400erf
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:39 am

Once again if only pilots today had real flying skill and not "follow the magenta line"... wait...
 
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EA CO AS
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Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:39 am

Quoting Prost (Reply 17):
What exactly is EA taxiway? I assume the S is missing from the title, or did I miss something?

That's what I'd guess; there's no taxiway Echo-Alpha, and the one in question could only have been Tango....
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:37 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 12):
Doubtful a CO MD80 had that incident 5 years ago...they left the fleet in 2005.

My memory is not as Good, maybe it was before 2005 or an AA flight but it was very commented, because of the sheer luck nobody was taxiing...

TRB
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C767P
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:50 am

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 28):
My memory is not as Good, maybe it was before 2005 or an AA flight but it was very commented, because of the sheer luck nobody was taxiing...

If someone had been on the taxiway they wouldn't have landed on it.

This kind of thing happens at the end of a long duty day or after not getting a good nights rest.
 
Brewfangrb
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:20 am

Quoting homsar (Reply 21):
The article says the runway was just resurfaced a few days earlier and didn't have the accumulated tire markings of planes touching down, which probably meant the runway and taxiway looked very similar.

Ok, fine. But why wouldn't the pilots have found it odd their runway didn't have the piano keys? Glare/marring due to rain, etc wouldn't obscure the piano keys.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:42 am

It's happened at OSL a few times, I think the last time was 2014 when an Aeroflot flight took off from the taxiway.
 
mcoatc
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:35 pm

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 22):
Well I know the difference between a taxiway and a runway, even at SEA. But, you know, I guess concrete is concrete.
I suppose if a plane had been taxiing on it, that might have given them a better clue, or not....

I'm going to go out on a limb that the cockpit crew knows that difference as well. Seeing that this happens with more regularity than people seem to realize, can you imagine how many airliners are being flown by complete morons on a daily basis, around the world?
  

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 20):
You quarterbacks are lucky to be so perfect

Funny, I was thinking the same thing. The thing is, when they mishandle baggage, it doesn't make the news, so no opportunity for public shaming.

At my facility there is a 4 lane road that runs between two of the parallels, which are themselves 4300' apart. If I had a dollar for every time someone lined up with the road instead of the runways while on a visual, we'd all have a great night at the bar free of charge. People would be equally surprised how often the wrong runway, or wrong side of the airfield is lined up with. Just because they go around or are corrected by ATC and it's only known internally doesn't mean it never happens. I just love the perception of how infallible everyone is.

Anyone remember a certain C-17 crew who landed on a 3600' runway at TPF instead of the 11400' runway at Macdill AFB just a few years ago? With the leader of CENTCOM in the back no less?
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:45 pm

In the end, what SEA needs to do is put special markings on Taxiway Tango that clearly differentiate the taxiway from Runway 16C. They were very lucky there wasn't another plane taxiing on that taxiway.
 
burnsie28
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:55 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 34):
In the end, what SEA needs to do is put special markings on Taxiway Tango that clearly differentiate the taxiway from Runway 16C. They were very lucky there wasn't another plane taxiing on that taxiway.

When wet (which seems to be a good chunk of the time in Seattle) any glare makes it difficult to see any markings. Similar to trying to see the lane marking when driving your car in wet conditions with just the right angle of light.
 
Passedv1
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:08 pm

Glare could definitely be a problem...last minute runway change, also 16C had been closed for months and had recently re-opened.

I think some distinct markings on taxi-way T are an obvious preventive measure.
 
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Classa64
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:10 pm

Instead of the big TAXI letters how about one big 'T', might be easier to see from a distance?
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:12 pm

Quoting Q (Reply 6):
Seattle, I checked Google Earth Map and there is no painted. Not GOOD! How stupid Seattle airport management didn't do anything after 3rd times and now 4th happened again! Duh! Call Seattle airport to get painting on taxiways NOW! Before big crash and killing innocent passengers.

This is the first time it's happened since the addition of runway 16R/34L several years ago. Prior to the opening of that runway, taxiway T was marked with a large, illuminated "X" as a result of the previous three incidents, which IIRC, were spread over a period of roughly a decade. This isn't something that happens with regularity, but I'd agree that some precautions need to be taken.

Quoting OMP777X (Reply 15):
While this is interesting and potentially dangerous, it isn't as much of an issue IMO as that one time when an Aeroflot crew mistook the highway for the runway there at SEA in the late 90's. IIRC, they came very close to touching down on it, or so I heard.

I'm pretty sure that was one of the taxiway T landing attempts. There really isn't a highway around SEA that could conceivably be mistaken for a runway.
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
trnswrld
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:18 pm

Quoting C767P (Reply 29):
This kind of thing happens at the end of a long duty day or after not getting a good nights rest.

Wow really? I can only hope me and my family aren't on that plane. Apparently this seems like a normal thing to some people.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:33 pm

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 39):
Quoting C767P (Reply 29):
This kind of thing happens at the end of a long duty day or after not getting a good nights rest.

Wow really? I can only hope me and my family aren't on that plane. Apparently this seems like a normal thing to some people.

Fatigue certainly is a factor to be considered. We don't know how fatigued the crew was or not, but fatigue is often a contributing cause to incidents and accidents. The flight was Alaska 27 which departs Chicago at 6am central time. I don't know how the crew schedules work for this flight or Alaska and how long the pilots had been in Chicago, but the 4am Pacific time departure means that the duty day is starting around 3am Pacific time which is where the crew would be based and accustomed to. Getting a good night rest before a departure time like that is very difficult.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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scbriml
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:35 pm

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 13):
All surfaces were probably about the same wetness, with same glaring, and having landed at SEA many times ( I am guessing), would you not have capacity to remember the layout of the place?

Isn't that what charts and checklists are for - so pilots don't rely on memory?
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ndhair37
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:07 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 2):

A very plausible idea.

Perhaps another option which people haven't looked at in great detail would be the colouring of Runways in Black Tarmac with Green and White lighting and Taxiways in Red Tarmac with Red and Yellow lighting (or something similar) so that in day and night the 'Red for Danger' comes through as a visual signal either in daytime or night.
 
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wilcharl
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:20 pm

I love how the experts on the forum call the crew "dumb" or say they know the difference. Events are never caused by a single action. Its always a series of actions that lead up to the event.

At face value, they were cleared to land on one runway, and a last minute change was made to a different runway. Human factors can be at play there.

Another factor was the recent repaving.

Fatigue may or may not be a factor

Glare, seat position, and an infantine number of things could have caused the event.

Lets not play Monday morning Q-back on this one
 
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ro1960
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:26 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 2):
we suggested that when designing parallel runway/taxiway combinations, (space permitting) it might be useful to add some very slight s-turns to the parallel taxiways

This is probably smarter than painting "TAXIWAY" which won't be visible until it's time to do a go around.
Do not compensate for the lack of skills with a surplus of opinion.
 
IADCA
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:40 pm

Quoting Classa64 (Reply 37):
Instead of the big TAXI letters how about one big 'T', might be easier to see from a distance?

In certain lighting conditions, a single T could be mistaken for an arrow pointing to the end of a displaced threshold on a proper runway. That could make confusion worse, not better.
 
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par13del
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:26 pm

Quoting ro1960 (Reply 44):
Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 2):
we suggested that when designing parallel runway/taxiway combinations, (space permitting) it might be useful to add some very slight s-turns to the parallel taxiways

This is probably smarter than painting "TAXIWAY" which won't be visible until it's time to do a go around.

The issue with that is that the taxiway can never be used as a runway of last resort if for some reason the actual runway is not available.

It does illustrate another issue, where as taxiways were usually a bit narrow compared to the runways, due to increasing a/c size especially wings, taxiways are now expanded that just seeing them at a distance does not differentiate, the piano keys are now much more important.
How about a bright colour wind sock at the ends of taxiways, they would be much more visual from a distance, no one will think to land on an obstructed runway.....
 
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ro1960
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:36 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 46):
How about a bright colour wind sock at the ends of taxiways, they would be much more visual from a distance, no one will think to land on an obstructed runway.....

This cancels out your suggestion of using the taxiway "as a runway of last resort".
Do not compensate for the lack of skills with a surplus of opinion.
 
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par13del
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:59 pm

Quoting ro1960 (Reply 47):
This cancels out your suggestion of using the taxiway "as a runway of last resort".

Not really, if it is to be used as a last resort take down the wind sock, no way you can do anything with a bunch of S turns in the runway in any reasonable time frame in an emergency.
As a last resort one would also have to re-route any traffic on the taxiway, so as a option of "last resort" some preparation should / would be required.
 
ezalpha
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:10 pm

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 10):
Approach end of 19L/19R in Las Vegas...

And 24L/R at YYZ

 
OMP777X
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RE: Alaska Lands On SEA Taxiway

Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:36 pm

Quoting gunsontheroof (Reply 38):
I'm pretty sure that was one of the taxiway T landing attempts. There really isn't a highway around SEA that could conceivably be mistaken for a runway.

According to someone in this thread, it was WA509 that the Aeroflot crew lined up to land on. Airliner Landing On Interstate 190 (by Birdwatching Feb 9 2004 in Civil Aviation)
I suppose another time they could have tried landing on T. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if they had also done that.
"Happy Flighting!"

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