Tuesday, April 12, 2011

From around the web

I was just poking around the web and ran across a couple of items that seemed worth sharing:

I guess you could say that he wanted to get a little tail . . .

And here's a sad story with a happy ending that happened to take place at LAX (and not just because I worked that plane):

SWA pilot holds plane


  1. Un-lurking again momentarily...

    The AF/Comair[?] incident highlights (sorry!) differences between daylight, dusk, dawn and night operations.

    Perhaps you could do a future post on the time of day affects you? Some taxiway that is hidden by day, but is "visible" at night because of the flashing beacons?

    Good stuff

  2. So, CV, who's fault was it? AF pilots, Comair Crew, or ATC? or all of the above?? I would love to hear your opinion. You speak of what a pain the Super is at LAX and now the world can see why....


  3. At this point, I've insufficient data. It could be any or all of the above, as you suggest.

    I will say that here at LAX, we have issues with Delta aircraft getting to their assigned gate only to have no ramp crew available to get them that last fifty feet into the gate. And so there they sit, close to the gate but not yet on it, with the tail of the aircraft still crowding or obstructing the taxiway behind. Delta's not the only one to do this; for a while American was really bad about it too, and Alaska has also done it to us. In all these cases, it's become part of our ground controllers' techniques to not bring the offending airline's planes up to the gate unless and until there's a ramp crew waiting to park it. So, having said that, it may have been that the Comair crew was waiting for a ramp crew to guide them into their gate, and the position of their gate forced them to stop where they did. Or they may have stopped there because somebody in back got up out of their seat. But since there were no reported injuries, I doubt that was the case, since a person standing in the aisle when the impact occurred would have at least been thrown off their feet.

    The tail of a CRJ is not particularly visible at night, although some have logo lighting installed. From the video I can't tell. So it may have been difficult for the Air France crew to see that the CRJ wasn't clear of the taxiway (if that was in fact the case - I don't know that either). That said, it is the responsibility of the respective pilots to "see and avoid" other aircraft regardless of what a controller may have said.

    I'm assuming that the intersection involved had been determined adequate for the A380 to pass through - something that would have been done by the airport authorities, not the controllers. At LAX, we have reference maps at each position that show what routes are permissible for use by the A380. Some runways and taxiways can accommodate it, others not. Same for intersections; the A380 can turn in some and not in others, and a few only allow turns in one direction. All of that was dictated to the control tower by Los Angeles World Airports, who owns and operates the airport.

    I've no doubt that all aspects of this incident are being closely scrutinized, but we'll probably all have moved on by the time the results are in.