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Currently here in Tokyo. Must have been some interesting weather for arrivals into Sydney this afternoon / evening (26/2/20). QF547 BNE/SYD took an unusual excursion to the south east tracking off the coast from Port Macquarie along with with some holding to the east of Sydney. Would it be a tech crew only decision to continue onto Sydney or would Ops get involved in coming up with a Plan B?

4F25D327-A4B6-4DE6-BF73-89274A94C2EF.png FE331511-4DB9-4999-B2C1-608F2E934B4C.jpeg
 
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Looking at this a little more is this a Sector 2 offset entry to the holding pattern? When you are requested to enter the hold does the FMC / MCDU automatically calculate the applicable sector entry (1, 2, 3) off your current heading?
 
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jb747

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Currently here in Tokyo. Must have been some interesting weather for arrivals into Sydney this afternoon / evening (26/2/20). QF547 BNE/SYD took an unusual excursion to the south east tracking off the coast from Port Macquarie along with with some holding to the east of Sydney. Would it be a tech crew only decision to continue onto Sydney or would Ops get involved in coming up with a Plan B?

I don’t know that there is anything all that unusual about the track. Might have been some weather to be avoided, but I can’t tell.

Ops is a somewhat general term that covers a lot of groups. In QF, IOC would be closest to what you’re thinking (integrated operations control). They were given a number of names by the pilots, which I won’t repeat here. You did not ask them for advice, as they are totally unqualified to give it. Tell them what you‘re going to do, and let them sort out the repercussions.

Looking at this a little more is this a Sector 2 offset entry to the holding pattern? When you are requested to enter the hold does the FMC / MCDU automatically calculate the applicable sector entry (1, 2, 3) off your current heading?

Probably. I don’t have any chart that I can check at the moment. Perhaps AV will have a look.

The FMCs know about the standard fixes, and will fly the correct entry. You can also build a hold at any point you like, simply by specifying the position, inbound track, and turn direction.
 

AviatorInsight

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Looking at this a little more is this a Sector 2 offset entry to the holding pattern? When you are requested to enter the hold does the FMC / MCDU automatically calculate the applicable sector entry (1, 2, 3) off your current heading?

This tracking is always in ATC’s back pocket if we can’t get around weather that’s sitting on the ranges. I’ve even had it before all the way from BNE where they’ll build us a routing down south and basically sent all aircraft to this waypoint called RIKNI (it’s before the MARLN STAR). There’s a holding pattern at RIKNI that’s east west orientated so that sector 2 entry looks right.

The FMCs are pretty smart and they know, which one to do. As JB mentioned, you can also build your own and I’ve had to do that at OOL to wait for storms to pass.

For the operations question, some captains I’ve observed like to ask the question of “where would you like us to go?” Of course operations are going to come back with an answer of a main port because that’s easier for them. I tend to agree with JB, tell them don’t ask.
 

jb747

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For the operations question, some captains I’ve observed like to ask the question of “where would you like us to go?” Of course operations are going to come back with an answer of a main port because that’s easier for them. I tend to agree with JB, tell them don’t ask.

I occasionally used to ask them similar, but mostly to demonstrate to the FO/SO the uselessness of the response, and also to give myself a bit of a laugh.

On one occasion, when something was happening that the IOC should have known about, and advised us of, we ended up looking at going to Amsterdam (744). Whilst we had some time to kill before I had to make an irrevocable decision, I asked the SO to find out what was actually going on in London, and what the IOC would like us to do. The response was nothing as far as they knew, and they’d prefer Frankfurt. So we asked when was the last time a QF aircraft arrriving in London had sufficient fuel to go to Frankfurt. At that point London had been closed to all operations for about 2 hours. They should not have needed us to tell them.

It was the day of the “liquid bombs”. We ended up not diverting, and were the very first aircraft to land after they started accepting limited arrivals (QF, BA, Virgin, and CX only). It was something like 5 hours from the time we landed, until the time we got to the gate!
 

RSD

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I guess your question is, "am I surprised?"

The answer is no.
The investigation report will be interesting - did they read the NOTAM?, could they read the NOTAM?, who the hell signed them off as being proficient in English?
 

glasszon

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The investigation report will be interesting - did they read the NOTAM?, could they read the NOTAM?, who the hell signed them off as being proficient in English?

I hope the "them" includes ATC, it was painful listening to the last four minutes of the video just going back and forth on that same question.... Surely the ATC should have worked out there isn't any point in repeating the question over and over again?
 
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harvyk

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I guess your question is, "am I surprised?"

The answer is no.

Whilst obviously the initial problem was the plane coming off the runway, in your opinion was it the pilot or the ATC who was the root cause for the comms breakdown? Or a little bit of both?

Yes that was very painful to listen to.
 

jb747

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NOTAMs have, for years, been a real point of contention between pilots and the various regulators and airline managements. They are presented in a very cryptic form, that harks back to the days of telex (and probably morse before that). They are difficult to read, even for those who do so every day. It's very easy to miss something. But, this inherent issue is made worse by management systems that persist in giving pilots every NOTAM that could conceivably be relevant, irrespective of the actual flight profile. That results in crews getting hundreds of them before any flight, with virtually no vetting. The general theory seems to be that if you have all NOTAMS in existence, then any issue is your fault. It was normal for long haul QF flights to have 30 or so pages of them, and whilst there was supposed to be a sorting system, it wasn't effective, or useful. On long haul flights, we'd get the SOs to do half each.

The upshot is that after any event, management can come back and say "we gave you the NOTAM, but you didn't read/absorb it". Not our fault.

But, beyond NOTAMs this event shows numerous failings. Language is one, though to be honest, their English is better than my Japanese. There would seem to be a bit of a comedy of errors. I don't think there was any request to backtrack, so they've done that either in error, or simply ignored the requirement for approval. The runway in Manila is wide enough for a 320 to do a U-turn, so to have put the nose gear off, they've gotten that well and truly wrong too.

Re the NOTAM above:
Helicopter operating nearby.
Taxiway not available past parking bay 56.
Helicopter.
Taxiway not available.
Obstacle - crane (company comment about no performance impact, which means it doesn’t intrude into the take off splay)
Taxiway lighting
Crane

All of these have dates and times attached.

The really useless comment is “refer to method of working plan”, which may well explain the works but which is not carried or available to crews.
Post automatically merged:

Thanks. How is it delivered? Electronically onto something or as a piece of paper in your pre-flight pack? or...?
These days, it's normally via an iPad app.
 

flychrisfly

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Re the NOTAM above:
Helicopter operating nearby.
Taxiway not available past parking bay 56.
Helicopter.
Taxiway not available.
Obstacle - crane (company comment about no performance impact, which means it doesn’t intrude into the take off splay)
Taxiway lighting
Thanks. A couple more questions...
Why would pilots need notification of helicopters? An airport is where things that fly stop or start flying so... Also, at SYD helicopters are not a one-off or ad hoc occurrence.
Secondly, regarding the comment about the non-performance impact of a crane, does that apply to 'normal' performance only? That is, would that particular NOTAM only have relevance if the takeoff or landing had performance issues?
 

jb747

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Why would pilots need notification of helicopters? An airport is where things that fly stop or start flying so... Also, at SYD helicopters are not a one-off or ad hoc occurrence.

They don't. That's my point. The NOTAMs are 95% gibberish, which hides the very few items that you need to know about.

Secondly, regarding the comment about the non-performance impact of a crane, does that apply to 'normal' performance only? That is, would that particular NOTAM only have relevance if the takeoff or landing had performance issues?\

All performance data accounts for issues like engine failures. That has to happen in the normal data. So basically, it's telling you that you can ignore it for performance calculations. If it was relevant, then there might be a comment on a standardised way of allowing for it.
 

AviatorInsight

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Thanks. How is it delivered? Electronically onto something or as a piece of paper in your pre-flight pack? or...?
We get access to both. At the moment, it’s still a legal requirement for us to have a paper copy before departure though. I believe they’re looking into ways to accept flight plans for record keeping through the iPad but thats just a rumour.
 

AviatorInsight

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Could you please summarize this ?

A 10kg unmanned multicopter (drone) surface to 147ftAGL

Taxiway International 6 not available due works in progress 0200UTC - 1300UTC

Another drone.

Taxiway A2 not avail due works in progress during those times.

A crane, bearing 281° at 1.22nm from aerodrome reference point. Virgin company remark is no performance impact.

Taxiway A6 lead out light (every second light) not available during that time.

Finally, another crane bearing 084° / 2.5nm - no performance impact.
 

jb747

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We get access to both. At the moment, it’s still a legal requirement for us to have a paper copy before departure though. I believe they’re looking into ways to accept flight plans for record keeping through the iPad but thats just a rumour.
I think QF had gone totally iPad by about 2018. Log was actively shared in flight, and a completed one sent into the ether at the end.
 
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