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Jim Young

777 Nearly Slams into Mt Wilson after LAX takeoff

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Wow, thank god it ended ok.

 

I remember Dean Martin's son crashed into the mountains near Big Bear when he was flying an F-4 Phantom out of March AFB in SoCal. Low vis snow storm and crashed into the San Bernardino mountains killing him and his WSO.

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Gotta love LA TV over dramatization.  Anyone got a link to the liveATC of this one.

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Controller was really bad.  Can't understand why she would say turn southbound instead of turn right 180 or some other vector.  Very confusing for the crew.

 

The video below matches up the flight track with audio.  Aircraft basically went around the mountain well below the height of the peak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFdXax7Zh_g&t=21s

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Agree.  She was bad.  I think a real world pilot explained it properly at the following link - http://avherald.com/h?article=4a25c5e6 (see last comment).  He states it is common when taking off from Runways 24 and 25 for the controller to tell them to turn left 180 degrees and she probably automatically gave that instruction to the EVA pilot w/o thinking the pilot took off from the RW 7 instead.

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The initial mistake was one thing and that can happen but the way it was corrected was really unbelievable.  I wonder what the crew was thinking as the Terrain warnings were going off and red Terrain data was taking over their screen.  I am quite surprised they did not declare an emergency and advise the controller they were taking evasive action to either climb or turn or both in order to get to safety.

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According to some calculation based on data publicly available (so not 100% exact), the shortest distance between the 773 and the Mt. Wilson peak was just 0.3 nm (3 sec flying time).
Imagine only the slightest change in conditions and we would have had a crash.
 
Source:
http://avherald.com/h?article=4a25c5e6&opt=0
3 seconds to impact
By justin on Wednesday, Dec 21st 2016 12:08Z

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Controller was really bad.  Can't understand why she would say turn southbound instead of turn right 180 or some other vector. Very confusing for the crew.

 

Quite. Standard RT anyone?

 

Oh no, I forgot, this is the USA. Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just mock them, berate them and keep repeating the same phrase until they do (or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

 

Accident waiting to happen. Just glad it wasn't this time.

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Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just mock them, berate them and keep repeating the same phrase until they do (or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

 

Now that controller was totally out of line!!  I hope he's no longer there!!

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I wonder what the age of the 777 was, in regards to it's navigation/terrain screens. There was a point, about six years ago, in which a 777 pilot/instructor wanted to fly a mountainous cross country in my plane, to check out the Garmin with satellite weather, and full terrain mapping. Without doubt, my Garmin would have been red with flashing X's that I would be seeing as soon as I lifted off the runway. My Garmin also had runway mapping for most major airports, that many commercial airliners didn't at the time.  

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Quite. Standard RT anyone?

Oh no, I forgot, this is the USA. Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just mock them, berate them and keep repeating the same phrase until they do (or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

Accident waiting to happen. Just glad it wasn't this time.

Theres a reason the FAA and the US has and still is the gold standard for aviation around the world.

 

you sound like a complete idiot when you make comments like these. Take your hate for the US elsewhere.

Quite. Standard RT anyone?

Oh no, I forgot, this is the USA. Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just mock them, berate them and keep repeating the same phrase until they do (or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

Accident waiting to happen. Just glad it wasn't this time.

Now that controller was totally out of line!! I hope he's no longer there!!

There was nothing out of line in the way that controller handled that. First off, its JFK. a huge mess of an airport. you guys act like being a controller is a cake walk. Try working ground and having this guy come on the radio who cant even speak english. LEARN ENGLISH! ITS THE ICAO standard language. Its now the controllers problem because he has to repeat aomething five or six times instead of once.

 

Its ridiculous that you two would actually judge and criticize the controller and not even mention the pilot getting every instruction wrong.

 

These controllers dont have time for this kind of crap. They also dont have time for pilots who arent listening. They are juggling at least 6 to 10 fifferent airplanes.

 

When im flying, i want a controller who is going to get things done and not worry aboit other peoples feelings.

 

As for the incident in LA, the controller is extremely lucky. Im glad it didnt end much worse. Its a very good lesson in complacency that both pilots and controllers can use to make themselves better.

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Quite. Standard RT anyone?

 

Oh no, I forgot, this is the USA. Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just

(or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

 

Accident waiting to happen. Just glad it wasn't this time.

 

you mean like DTW?

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Take your hate for the US elsewhere.

 

No hate for the USA here. But there is a reason ICAO have established standard RT phraseology -- so that communication is clear and unequivocal. I get that many pilots in much of US airspace are native English speakers, but where international pilots whose first language is not English operating the non-standard, rapid-fire nature of US ATC causes problems, time and time again. And here is yet another example.

 

Are you seriously suggesting that standard RT would not have improved the outcome of this incident?

 

The whole thing could have been prevented -- yes, by the controller -- before it came anywhere near causing any sort of incident. The LiveATC recording is slightly clipped in places, but the first opportunity came as soon as the first instruction was issued:

 

Eva 015 Heavy, fly heading 090.

 

Left heading 090, Eva 015 heavy.

 

If the controller had actually listened to the readback and corrected it -- no incident.

 

Instead, we then got a stream of increasingly incoherent comms. Instructions to stop climb with no level to stop at, turn left, no right, no left, no "southbound", climb 7000, no 5000, stop your climb, and stop your turn, no actually expedite your climb (where?) and expedite your turn. Confirm which heading? "Southbound". Maintain 5000, no climb 6000, no 7000. I see you going southbound, no northbound, turn...

 

Chaos. 

 

I am not saying that the crew had no part in this, and there are lots of questions to be asked about their SA. But the RT played a significant part in this incident.

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Theres a reason the FAA and the US has and still is the gold standard for aviation around the world.

 

you sound like a complete idiot when you make comments like these. Take your hate for the US elsewhere.

There was nothing out of line in the way that controller handled that. First off, its JFK. a huge mess of an airport. you guys act like being a controller is a cake walk. Try working ground and having this guy come on the radio who cant even speak english. LEARN ENGLISH! ITS THE ICAO standard language. Its now the controllers problem because he has to repeat aomething five or six times instead of once.

 

Its ridiculous that you two would actually judge and criticize the controller and not even mention the pilot getting every instruction wrong.

 

These controllers dont have time for this kind of crap. They also dont have time for pilots who arent listening. They are juggling at least 6 to 10 fifferent airplanes.

 

When im flying, i want a controller who is going to get things done and not worry aboit other peoples feelings.

 

As for the incident in LA, the controller is extremely lucky. Im glad it didnt end much worse. Its a very good lesson in complacency that both pilots and controllers can use to make themselves better.

Totally disagree with your comments but then I have never been a pilot of any sort.  When the controller said "Air China" that should have given him a clue there may be a language issue.  This is getting off topic from the OP so I'll leave it at that.  Just wanted to make sure you know I disagree with your comments totally for whatever its worth.

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It seems to me that the first mistake was telling them to "Stop your climb." Had she not said that, they would have easily cleared the summit of Mount Wilson. Note that the Air Canada flight was already above 7000' by the time they reached that range of mountains.

 

I also agree that sticking to standard RT phraseology would have possibly reduced confusion.

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No hate for the USA here. But there is a reason ICAO have established standard RT phraseology -- so that communication is clear and unequivocal. I get that many pilots in much of US airspace are native English speakers, but where international pilots whose first language is not English operating the non-standard, rapid-fire nature of US ATC causes problems, time and time again. And here is yet another example.

 

Are you seriously suggesting that standard RT would not have improved the outcome of this incident?

 

The whole thing could have been prevented -- yes, by the controller -- before it came anywhere near causing any sort of incident. The LiveATC recording is slightly clipped in places, but the first opportunity came as soon as the first instruction was issued:

 

Eva 015 Heavy, fly heading 090.

 

Left heading 090, Eva 015 heavy.

 

If the controller had actually listened to the readback and corrected it -- no incident.

 

Instead, we then got a stream of increasingly incoherent comms. Instructions to stop climb with no level to stop at, turn left, no right, no left, no "southbound", climb 7000, no 5000, stop your climb, and stop your turn, no actually expedite your climb (where?) and expedite your turn. Confirm which heading? "Southbound". Maintain 5000, no climb 6000, no 7000. I see you going southbound, no northbound, turn...

 

Chaos. 

 

I am not saying that the crew had no part in this, and there are lots of questions to be asked about their SA. But the RT played a significant part in this incident.

I agree with you that the controller is completely at fault here. However, i was talking about the video you linked in your post. Not the actual event in LA. my apologies, i should have been more clear on that one.

 

Having said that...theres other factors that any pilot could take from this even though it wasnt their fault.

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Dean Martin's son was a low time pilot who had never been thru the AF flight training program but had been granted wavers that allowed him to fly with the AF.  Frank Sinatra's mother was also killed when she was a passenger in a Lear out of Palm Springs that hit the side of Mount San Gorgonio (11,500+ ft).  In both of these cases, the pilots didn't allow for the terrain so pilot error caused the crashes.  Apparently the 777 crew  didn't appreciate the terrain even though ATC may have contributed to the initial confusion. 

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Quite. Standard RT anyone?

 

Oh no, I forgot, this is the USA. Talk as fast as humanly possible, make sure you sound cool, no need to listen to readbacks and if the pilot doesn't understand just

(or don't, but hey, that's their problem, right?).

 

Accident waiting to happen. Just glad it wasn't this time.

Simon,

 

there are other countries where ATC violates ICAO standards, it's not only in the US, and I do take offence when I read "I forgot, this is the USA". I do fly to many places in the world, and if you think that this kind of incident (I am referring to the ATC JFK ground exchange) only happens in the U.S, you are dead wrong. Try flying to a country where controllers do not even bother to stick to ICAO standard by not speaking English with the local traffic & international flights are in the same airspace (ground included), in the case I am thinking of, I was right behind a local traffic and had no idea what instructions were given. I can give you many examples of ATC screw ups outside the U.S. I don't accept your generalization of the U.S ATC system, like anywhere else, there are bad apples, and although the JFK controller was rude, he asked a question repeatably that was not appropriately responded by the flight crew.

 

Try putting yourself in the seat of a ground controller at a busy airport at rush hour, no matter what country it is, and you will realize that it is not about sounding cool, but about getting the traffic flow moving in a safe manner. They need to deal with delays, clearance amendments due to weather, move traffic to holding area and the list goes on. I was #20 in the queue on my last flight, think about having to deal with getting these airplanes to the runway, deal with arriving traffic, delays, holds, and so on. They have a very stressful job.

 

 In the LA case ATC clearly made a mistake, but I also blame the flight crew for not taking evasive actions sooner or question ATC. I can assure you that if I am heading straight to a mountain and ATC is not moving me, I will declare an emergency and move to a safer place. We have tools in the cockpit to help us assess what is around us. 

 

In the end, I am glad that everyone walked away safely from the LAX incident.

 

I am sure some will disagree with me, but I wanted to give my perspective as an active airline pilot here in the U.S

 

Best regards,

John

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"EVA 015 Heavy, what are you doing? Turn southbound now, southbound now. Stop your climb"

Sounds to me like she is a frustrated mother berating her children.
 

there are other countries where ATC violates ICAO standard, it's not only in the US, and I do take offence when I read "I forgot, this is the USA".


Yes and some countries are very by the book. I live in New Zealand which is small and well managed which leads to a very by the book culture of doing things for which people take pride in themselves. This is just the Kiwi Culture by comparison. The moment we enter the USA it is immediate the differences.

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I agree with you that the controller is completely at fault here. However, i was talking about the video you linked in your post. Not the actual event in LA. my apologies, i should have been more clear on that one.

 

No I was speaking about the JFK Controller talking to Air China.

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No I was speaking about the JFK Controller talking to Air China.

i stsnd by my opinions on that one. Agree to disagree!

Simon,

 

there are other countries where ATC violates ICAO standards, it's not only in the US, and I do take offence when I read "I forgot, this is the USA". I do fly to many places in the world, and if you think that this kind of incident (I am referring to the ATC JFK ground exchange) only happens in the U.S, you are dead wrong. Try flying to a country where controllers do not even bother to stick to ICAO standard by not speaking English with the local traffic & international flights are in the same airspace (ground included), in the case I am thinking of, I was right behind a local traffic and had no idea what instructions were given. I can give you many examples of ATC screw ups outside the U.S. I don't accept your generalization of the U.S ATC system, like anywhere else, there are bad apples, and although the JFK controller was rude, he asked a question repeatably that was not appropriately responded by the flight crew.

 

Try putting yourself in the seat of a ground controller at a busy airport at rush hour, no matter what country it is, and you will realize that it is not about sounding cool, but about getting the traffic flow moving in a safe manner. They need to deal with delays, clearance amendments due to weather, move traffic to holding area and the list goes on. I was #20 in the queue on my last flight, think about having to deal with getting these airplanes to the runway, deal with arriving traffic, delays, holds, and so on. They have a very stressful job.

 

In the LA case ATC clearly made a mistake, but I also blame the flight crew for not taking evasive actions sooner or question ATC. I can assure you that if I am heading straight to a mountain and ATC is not moving me, I will declare an emergency and move to a safer place. We have tools in the cockpit to help us assess what is around us.

 

In the end, I am glad that everyone walked away safely from the LAX incident.

 

I am sure some will disagree with me, but I wanted to give my perspective as an active airline pilot here in the U.S

 

Best regards,

John

I couldnt have said it better myself. Completely agree with you.

"EVA 015 Heavy, what are you doing? Turn southbound now, southbound now. Stop your climb"Sounds to me like she is a frustrated mother with small children who won't listen to her. Yes and some countries are very by the book. I live in New Zealand which is small and well managed which leads to a very by the book culture of doing things for which people take pride in themselves. This is just the Kiwi Culture by comparison. The moment we enter the USA it is immediate the differences.

How much traffic does your country move in a day, in an hour, in a minute? Lets compare apples to apples here. Put one of your controllers in a local or ground position at KORD and lets see what happens to them. IM Not saying they cant handle it. I am saying that they will find ways to cope with everything and that will show itself in the same ways everythinks the usa does things wrongly.

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