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A Public Service/Safety Plea

aewanabe

Somewhat Exasperated User
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
556
Total Time
8200
:(Guys/gals,

Waiting to depart TPA yesterday we were informed by tower it would be a several minute delay as the Tracon had tight spacing for arrivals, due to an approaching storm. This was departing 18L with 18R closed. As the storm moved closer we refused one initial departure heading due to what we could see on our radar, and offered to move from the #1 spot if anyone else wanted to try it. No one behind us did.

Tower dialogue during the next few arrivals: "XYZ 123, cleared to land, windshear alert 18L reports loss of 15 knots arrival end, 30 knots, mid-field". This progressively increased to "ABC 456, cleared to land 18L, MICROBURST alert 18L, winds 210/31 Gust 38" with no comment from the landing aircraft. The response after landing by all arrivals was "we had a good ride down final".

After the arrival string ended tower offered us position and hold and we could pick the heading. We responded that we would not accept any heading until the W/S and Microburst alerts had ended. 5 minutes later the airport was clear and we took off.

All of us in the industry got lucky yesterday. I'm very familiar with get-there-itis, Macho attitudes (the guy in front of me made it), etc.. and have done some damned stupid things before. I'm just trying to imagine the NTSB hearings with Microburst warnings on the ATC tapes and CVR, and another pilot's families having to live the hell of knowing their deceased loved ones ********************ed up.

The Metar for TPA during this time read 1/2 mile +TSRA; radar tops were 500 and above. Please, everyone, take a few moments and think; Slow down the operation, Spin the jet, go to the damned alternate. Remember that DL 191 had a Learjet land successfully through the same stuff. The guy in front of you getting away with it is no guarantee that you will. The folks in the back and our loved ones are counting on us all to have better judgment than that.

PS: All of these landings we witnessed involved medium-gauge narrow-body equipment from Legacy, National, and LCC carriers that either are not hiring or have folks on furlough, including one from my company. No snot-nosed regional kids doing the dumb stuff here.
 

radarlove

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Posts
677
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years
When I was a new captain, I followed two SWA airplanes into the air during a "microburst alert". Whoah, what a ride. Just like the simulator! First and last time.

What you witnessed was a powerful psychological mechanism known as "social proof". If the pilots saw the guys continue to land, they continue to land. The first guy to break the chain (refuses to land or takeoff) ends up like the Pied Piper with everyone following his lead.

USA Today did a great article on AA jets and thunderstorms at DFW. They just kept pounding through the worst until one bright spark refused, then everyone followed him, refusing.

I don't know that a plea to "be smart" is going to do much good. A flight manual restriction on not landing or taking off during a microburst alert seems smart.
 

PeanuckleCRJ

Hurrrrrrrr
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,684
Total Time
mucho
I can't even imagine continuing to land under those conditions...Especially if any of those planes were DL knowing the company history of DL 191. Absolutely rediculous.
 

ACL65PILOT

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Posts
4,621
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9000+
Yep, I am everyone I have ever flown with would have gone around. Even if it meant going to MCO.
I like the fact that they guys I fly with here are generally very safe.
 

Tristar

..one in the wilderness
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Posts
351
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7000+
Great post - thanks for the reminder to all of us. It's tough to be the first guy who says "no," but really, that's what we're paid for.
 

machophil

Active member
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Posts
34
Total Time
plenty
great topic, thanks for posting. hopefully the sycophants bemoaning gulfstreamers and newspapers in the cockpit take time to read this thread.
 

Tristar

..one in the wilderness
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Posts
351
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7000+
Hey Macho -

Already read and responded - see above.

One does not exclude the other...
 

Broke in CVG

Broke AGAIN in CVG!
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Posts
385
Total Time
Life
We get payed by the minute. A minute on the ground pays just the same as a minute in the air.
 

HA25

Tokyo Tokyo!
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Posts
3,642
Total Time
>1
When I was a new captain, I followed two SWA airplanes into the air during a "microburst alert". Whoah, what a ride. Just like the simulator! First and last time.

What you witnessed was a powerful psychological mechanism known as "social proof". If the pilots saw the guys continue to land, they continue to land. The first guy to break the chain (refuses to land or takeoff) ends up like the Pied Piper with everyone following his lead.

USA Today did a great article on AA jets and thunderstorms at DFW. They just kept pounding through the worst until one bright spark refused, then everyone followed him, refusing.

I don't know that a plea to "be smart" is going to do much good. A flight manual restriction on not landing or taking off during a microburst alert seems smart.

As a brand new ATR CA in ATL back in the late 90's I took it around do to a micro burst alert (and I saw the darn thing myself too!).. while landing on the southside... There wasn't much of a though process involved in it.. I looked a the FO and he looked at me... we both nodded and he call that "we're going around"
 

jimcav

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Posts
350
Total Time
10000
When vis is reported in terms of RVR in heavy rain and gusty winds it may be time to reevaluate the situation.
 

Volasl

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Jul 13, 2005
Posts
140
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9000
Nice to have a decent thread on occasion. Its rarely more than 10-15 minute delay to break off and hold or re-sequence. No one awards bonus points for landing in a +TRSA. Ive been the first one before to break it off and next thing you know everyone does after that. Get there itis is a game i dont want to play anymore.
 

IBNAV8R

Stand-up Philosopher
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Jul 3, 2008
Posts
843
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9:30
Our FOM states specifically that we should not take off or land when a microburst alert is in progress on any part of the airport.
 

aewanabe

Somewhat Exasperated User
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Nov 26, 2001
Posts
556
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As does ours, and I would suspect most FOMs say the same. Yet my carrier was one of those involved. It was a sobering look at get-there-itis and Macho attitudes rolled up in one.

As JimCav alluded to and I forgot to mention, during the 2nd and 3rd landings RVRs were being reported between 1200-3000 with "extreme" precip. I'm just glad everything worked out. Hopefully a few crews and those reading this will take a few seconds to think and slow down the operation next time around...
 

clickclickboom

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Nov 7, 2005
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I was in Denver Jeffco holding for release and witnessed a microburst make ground contact about 1/2 a mile away. It picked up all the dirt and dust and was headed our way. I turned towards it and shut down the engines. We got rocked sitting on the taxiway. It tore the roof off three houses near the airport and flipped over a few small airplanes

Scary stuff
 

crj567

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Posts
2,052
I can't even imagine continuing to land under those conditions...Especially if any of those planes were DL knowing the company history of DL 191. Absolutely rediculous.

Now Peaknuckle-

If you really work at DAL, you SHOULD know: A windcheck will make all windshear go away!

-DUH!
 

8vATE

Cruel, Nice, Whatever
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Posts
538
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11000+
There is NO EXCUSE for these guys landing with a tower issued "microburst alert."
Not to be confused with low level windshear advisories, microburst alerts are very accurate and reliable information and a violation of company policy and therefore F.A.R. for landing.

As a guy sitting on a taxiway and listening to all of this, I would have considered asking tower, "comfirm you have a runway specific microburst alert issued for the landing runway" as a HINT to these ignorant company idiots on approach.

If they had landed, I would have no qualms "narcing" these losers to the chief pilot and/or professional standards committees.

This type of dangerous behavior has already claimed too many lives.
 

QOL_is_great:)

What the?
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Apr 11, 2008
Posts
311
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>6500
Just shows ya.....

We have cowboy (read unprofessional) pilots in every section (i.e. 135, cargo, regional, LLCs, legacy, fracs) of our industry.

It's disappointing to hear we have knuckleheads out there landing during conditions like these.

Live to fight another day and do a go-around, geez!!

Nice thread!!! Thanks for sending out the wake-up call. Trips like that is why I hate traveling in the back of an airliner and relying on another's judgement. Or in this case the lack of said judgement.
 

andyd

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Posts
312
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ATPmin
Food for thought: While I agree that no one should have landed in these conditions....why put it all on the pilots? Why the hell is ATC allowing arrivals to continue? Shut the airport down, spin guys over pie or wherever...and then get everyone in 15 minutes later. My theories as to why are closely aligned to why some controllers try to sucker you into accepting a visual 20 friggen miles out on a hazy day....so they can get rid of you and get back to thier paper. Don't believe this happens....go visit a center.
 
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