Accidents, Incidents and a Damn Good Landing
The Aviation Herald has the details of the final report by the Dutch Safety Board regarding the Easyjet near miss in Amsterdam. The article includes a translation of the probable cause in English. It sounds like it was a close call:
Report: Easyjet A319 at Amsterdam on Mar 5th 2007, began takeoff without clearance
An Easyjet Airbus A319-100, registration G-EZIP performing flight U2-6164 from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Bristol,EN (UK), was lined up on runway 24 waiting for departure. A Boeing 747-400 had been cleared to cross runway 24 at taxiway S2 about 1850 meters (6070 feet) down the runway and was moving into the protected runway area, when the tower cleared another Airbus A330 for takeoff from runway 18L. The A330 crew did not immediately read back their clearance, however the takeoff clearance was mistakenly read back by the Easyjet crew mentioning runway 24L which does not exist. The trainee assistant controller noticed the wrong crew had read back the clearance, saw the A319 start moving and warned the controller, who radioed the Easyjet crew to stop, which was acknowledged and the A319 crew stopped their aircraft. The crew of the Boeing 747-400 cleared to cross runway 24 did not notice the occurrence.
There’s an interesting post by Aviation Mentor: a book review of The Checklist Manifesto from the point of view of a flight instructor. I recommend reading the full post: Aviation Mentor: The Problem with Checklists. However, if you need convincing to follow your checklists, consider this video of a fatal crash when neither pilot checked the controls were free and clear (not for the faint of heart):
Remember the ‘Barefoot Bandit’? Aopa Online have written an article about the various aircraft he stole (four confirmed, possibly a Cirrus SR22 at the beginning of the year – I can see the temptation!) and the aftermath from the owners’ points of view:
AOPA Online: Could it happen to YOU?
Thinking it was a prank, Rivers picked up the phone. “He said, ‘We have an airplane down on the Yakama Indian Reservation’s tribal hunting grounds and I’m glad to hear your voice. We can’t find the pilot.”
But Rivers knew that his 1999 Cessna 182 was in its hangar at the Orcas Island Airport in Eastsound, Washington. “I called my mechanic, Geoff, and said I had a nutty call from the state police and they say my airplane has crashed. Would you poke your head in my hangar?”
This analysis of an Air India flight which went into a nose-dive and lost over 7,000 feet is chilling:
Report: Air India Express B738 over Arabian Sea on May 26th 2010, inadvertent nose dive
An Air India Express Boeing 737-800, registration VT-AXJ performing flight IX-212 from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to Pune (India) with 113 passengers, was enroute at FL370 at Mach 0.76 between waypoints PARAR and DOGET with autopilot A in CMD mode and autothrottle engaged. The captain decided to take a short break to visit the washroom and left the cockpit, however noticed the washroom was occupied and wanted to return to the cockpit, when he noticed the airplane was pitching down. He attempted to enter the cockpit, the cockpit door however did not open. He used the emergency access code to open the door and re-entered the cockpit about 40 seconds after he had left the cockpit. He observed the airplane’s attitude was 26 degrees nose down and 5 degrees left bank, the speed in the red band, the mach overspeed clackers sounding.
On a brighter note, the FlightAware newsletter included this YouTube video of the B787 Dreamliner coming into Keflavic in a heavy crosswind (runway 20 with wind from 120 at 30 gusting 36). It’s a beautiful landing: