Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Your Thoughts?

21 comments:

Adi Sahar said...

I get the visual reference problem they faced, but what about looking at their heading? if they headed a specific runway, then their headings should have been perfectly aligned with that one and not the one from the nearby airport.

I can only guess it was so incredibly confusing they just had to take a decision, for the right or wrong and let it be. It's one of those moments in the cockpit where the workload is tense and a critical decision must be taken. Tough stuff. :)

jake said...

If they were so confused why not go around and take another stab at it? Was the weather bad?

Andrew said...

Not the first time this has happened, and probably not the last... remember the Dreamlifter incident towards the end of 2013?

A

flynw said...

fail

tollgga said...

Use ILS next time dude.If you cannot fly this bird visually.If no ILS available at the destination,Come down I can fly it.

Capt Brandon M said...

I dont understand how you land a 737NG at the wrong airport especially when you have an FMC that has the airport information stored along with the Arrival information. Totally gets me..

Richárd Dobos said...

That's obvious. The pilotsd had enough of remote airports. They wanted to land close to downtown.

Sea Urchin said...

Even a regular flightsimmer woudn't make this error. FMC together with the MFD-panels this should not even be possible. And if one pilot miscalculated, what is the chance of the second to do the same mistake?

mleuck said...

What do I know... I am only a virtual pilot.

Dave W said...

I would have thought they would have RAAS on such a modern aircraft..?

Gypsy Pilot said...

Sleepy Command Pilot??

Matt said...

I have one thought. Too many airports in the area :)

Sweet Monkey said...

Shocks....I feel there is no excuse.......even in my inexperience status and as a student pilot, I would have verified upon landing with instruments and visual references. Unless they entered into some vortex/twilight zone that rendered all instruments black ...ahhhh I know they where using DX10 on a legacy aircraft

Bryan Thomas said...

Not sure how these things can happen when setting up for final approach. However, there is likely a country mile of difference between what we do in FS and what these guys (and gals) have to do and are thinking about in the real world. With that being said, as a way to minimize confusion, I always set my my NAV2 radio to the VOR of the destination airfield during my initial and final approach (if a VOR for said airfield is available). I do this to x-check the DME of NAV2 with the DME of the ILS to ensure I'm not confusing nearby airfport(s) for my destination airport when making visual references on final. But like someone else said - What do I know....I am only a virtual pilot.

Michael Jahn said...

It is a common mishap. Even in modern airplanes equipped with the most advanced techstuff on board as a pilot you´ll make mistakes.
The answer is loss of situational awareness and target fixatin combined with maybe a long flight duty period and fatigue and last not least target fixation. These are only some human factors that can lead to such an incident.
Why not going around. Maybe South West has a restricted go around philosophy leading in a tight extra fuel policy. Here in europe we do have such no frill carriers where a go around has to be reported and maybe the pilots will be blamed of performing one even if it would be the savest cause of action.
In the end to blame a flight crew of such a mishap is -sorry to say a stupid thing- cause none of us was in the cockpit and we have no clue of what has happening there.
As an airline pilot i can say shit happens every single day even at your homebase...

Tristan said...

I hope the pilots aren't stripped of their licenses for this. Night Flying is no joke. Which reminds me? What about the Dispatcher which follows certain flights and ATC? I mean it could be a simple frequency that led to incorrect vectoring. As always when anything out of the ordinary happens blame the pilots I honestly would direct my frustration by the ones who keep the skies safe.

Nils S said...

Hello guys,

this should be a warning to all the american people. Think of the reasons that led to a plane landing on a wrong airport. Think about the prices you pay for a flight. do you really think that 100 dollar or less is enough to pay everybody and everything that is neccescary for a 2 or 3 hour flight? Its not. These guys in front of the cheapo airline cockpits fly 8 hours or more on duty, so normally they have like a 14 or 16 hour day. Now look at the video, it was obviously dark. So they have probably been extremly tired, looking forward to their "crashpad". And now its really easy to blame them.
But look for the real reasons guys!
And also: if they are so bad pilot, how could they manage to even land safely on an airport the havent even prepared for...?! So obviously these guys are really good pilots and they know what they do - and they will sadly loose their job trough this - but they are just the beginning. There will also be crashes like these with fatalaties!
Stop it now! Ask yourself how much is a fair price for a flight and try to avoid the carriers where the pilots have to work so long and earn so little, that they can only afford crashpads!

Unknown said...

I live in Springfield, MO and work in Branson. I know the area from the air in real life and in the simulator. I can understand the mistake in some ways.

1. When you're flying the published approach for KBBG on rwy 14, it's RNAV and the IAF for the procedure is just about above the KPLK airport. Hard to make the mistake, but...

2. If you're coming on vectors from the north, visual approach as would have been that night, Springfield Approach would send you on a 180 heading and have you call the field at 8 miles. In that specific situation, you would have runway lights for KPLK at your 11 o'clock and closer. If you didn't know the area, you wouldn't think twice about it.

3. The approach procedure for KBBG does not show KPLK as a nearby airport, so no clue there.

4. It comes down to a poor approach briefing and planning. Runway 14 at KBBG doesn't have an ILS to tune and if you didn't load the procedure in the FMS, then you likely would miss it without the briefing.

Now, what baffles me is that the likely distance between the "airport in sight" call from ATC and the KPLK runway threshold is less than 5 miles. They would have been at 3000 or 4000ft so the descent would have been steep with flaps being dumped in a hurry.

Finally, if you're curious: load up the KBBG scenery in FSX (available on AVSIM) and set the time to night. Take off from Springfield (KSGF), head to the Springfield VOR and turn 180 heading at 4000 ft. Don't load the KBBG approach procedure. Fly until you see airport lights and decide which airport is which.

Weston Hall said...

It was a Air Tran Pilot used to flying off of automation

Fighting for the 99% said...

In FSX I've wondered if I was landing at the right airport. These guys were busy and tired and mistakes happen. No one got hurt instead of blaming the pilots maybe Southwest should look at their training. Not the first accident southwest has had in recent years that have been caused by pilot error. Ie sliding off the runway at KMDW and landing wheels up.

Danny Terrazza said...

Is that FSX what this guy is using?

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