Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's wrong with this picture: Revealed

A bunch of sharp eyes out there - a number of you wrote in on this one!  This Singapore A380 has, as many of you noted, taxied beyond the entry point for runway 24 Right. The taxiway beyond that point is not rated for an A380, and so the only available course of action is for a tug to come out and push the aircraft back sufficiently for it to be able to negotiate the turn onto the runway.

This is not the first time that this has happened; I personally witnessed a very similar thing happen with another carrier earlier this year. Then, as in this case, the A380 pilots had to shut down their engines before the ground crew would approach and hook up the tug. Meanwhile, other aircraft on the taxiway behind have to depart from the intersection. If an intersection departure is not an option for them, then they have to wait for the tug to reposition the A380 so that it can then take the runway and depart. As you might imagine, this takes a little while to accomplish.

Thanks again to CG for catching this last week!


  1. Thanks! Big Time Thanks for posting the correct answer (ahem - where it can be found). Saw your reply and I'll look with a bit more care. I don't know the ground at LAX that well and the taxi patterns have change - a lot - since I was last there.
    TIP to Others: Explode CV's pix to as large as possible before attempting to solve these teasers. They are great fun, but the solution/answer often required more than is shown in the conforming pic.
    I suspect that A380 captains are used to this sort of thing and probably remove their "Egg Facial," with some attempt at grace. I've never heard the radio chatter from an event like this, but - after-the-fact, it must be hilarious. Thanks for providing the solution!

  2. Quick question for you ???
    Yesterday early afternoon a MD90 flew fast and low over our beloved domicile. I didn't see it at first as we have tons of old growth in the neighborhood but I saw it make a very fast turn towards the 25's. I ran in and clicked on the webpage for the 25's and saw it come in. Was there something going on with it? We don't usually get west to east over the house for landings. Just wondering. Thx.

    Wonder if the A380 pilots were chatting away when they realized oops?
    Someone's gonna have to fill out a bunch of paperwork somewhere.

  3. Perhaps cumbersome, but I guess it is time for the Jepp folks (or others?) to publish an A380-specific edition of ground plates. No harm done here, save time, fuel and equipment costs, and this is not the first time that an A380 has 'taxied beyond its means.' Perhaps hilarious for the reader, these events are probably a 'Three Aspirin Headache' for you ATC folks as well as the ground tenders. Ouch! Thanks for providing the resolution.

  4. What I find curious is that the ground crew is not allowed to approach the aircraft while the engines are running. I was under the impression that pilots start engines during pushback all the time. The thrust of the engines of the A380 should not be a problem here, Boeing 777 have more powerful engines.
    A while ago on another site, I saw that Turkish Airlines carries a ground engineer on some flights with the Airbus A330. He climbs aboard via the avionics hatch behind the nose strut. Presumably this happens with engines on (idle).