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Near-miss at Toronto's Pearson International

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Yet another close-call between two air carriers on the ground, involving failure of one aircraft in adhering to LAHSO procedures while the other was on the take off roll. The two aircraft came within 50 feet of each other, prompting Canada's TSB to investigate the incident. (online.wsj.com) More...

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laxlover
Stephen Brown 0
Can anybody get the full article. This pisses me off!!
arago
arago 0
Here is the full version:


By ANDY PASZTOR

An American Eagle commuter plane and an Air Canada jet nearly collided last week on a Canadian runway, rekindling U.S. concerns about ground-accident dangers involving airliners.

The Nov. 18 incident at Toronto's Pearson International Airport occurred after pilots of the commuter flight, an Embraer 145 arriving from Chicago, failed to follow an air-traffic controller's instructions to stop short of an active runway.
World


Despite telling the airport tower they understood the instructions, according to people familiar with the details, the American Eagle pilots started to taxi the twin-engine jet across the strip at the same time an Air Canada Airbus A319 was cleared for takeoff and began accelerating toward them.

A controller barked "stop, stop, stop," but the commuter jet still continued rolling for a few seconds, according to a preliminary review of traffic-control communications. The Air Canada plane, bound for Halifax, managed to become airborne before reaching the intersection. One eyewitness reportedly estimated that the two aircraft may have been separated by less than 50 feet, these people said.

U.S. safety experts familiar with last week's close call said it appears to be one of the most serious near-collisions reported recently on a North American runway. They said that despite significant reductions in such U.S. incidents in the past few years, it highlights the nagging hazards of so-called runway incursions, or planes ending up on the wrong strip.

Canadian accident investigators confirmed the sequence of events, and on Wednesday a spokesman for the country's Transportation Safety Board said the incident was under review.

The spokesman, however, didn't comment on how close the planes came to each other. A spokeswoman for American Eagle, the commuter affiliate of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, on Wednesday said company officials are working with the safety board and also conducting an internal investigation. "We don't have anything further to add."

About four years ago, U.S. air-safety regulators and accident investigators considered runway incursions one of the most difficult and highest-priority safety hazards confronting commercial aviation. The Federal Aviation Administration sparked an industry-wide "call to action" to alert pilots and controllers about the dangers.

The FAA also pushed for enhanced training efforts and revised procedures, along with installation of new warning lights and improved runway signs at many fields. At the same time, airlines underscored the dangers to their crews and redoubled efforts to focus on procedural changes to minimize risks.

One of the most harrowing near-collisions took place at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on March 19, 2010. A propeller-powered Empire Airways commuter plane landed on the wrong runway and passed barely 50 feet above a Southwest Airlines jet that had just been cleared for takeoff, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. Investigators determined that the Empire Airways pilot had trouble seeing the correct runway because of glare.

Last week's incident comes at a time FAA officials and industry safety experts are emphasizing significant progress in reducing the frequency of such serious incidents. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of serious runway incursions dropped by more than 90%, according to the FAA.

In the fiscal year ending September 2010, for example, the FAA said there were six U.S. runway incidents classified in the most hazardous category, a 50% reduction from the year before. "We all worked together" to improve runway safety, FAA chief Randy Babbitt said at the time. "We have maintained the focus and we have cut the number" of incursions.

Yet the FAA in June issued a safety alert that the number of runway incidents once again was growing, and the agency emphasized that most near-misses stemmed from pilots losing situational awareness or failing to fully follow controller instructions. The FAA also warned the industry that airline crews "need to be mindful of this persistent problem and be proactive in prevention" efforts.

FAA safety experts, among other things, urged pilots to learn details of airport layouts; take extra precautions when crossing parallel runways; write down and clarify complex taxi instructions; and visually confirm runways are clear of traffic before starting to cross them. At the same time, the FAA also urged airlines to carefully track close calls on the ground while ensuring that training programs include strong anti-collision measures.

But safety experts said the recent safety lapse could prompt further steps and renewed emphasis on the issue, in the U.S. as well as in Europe. Over the years, European air-safety officials reacted more slowly than their U.S. counterparts in recognizing and alleviating the hazards of runway collisions. But recently, the European Aviation Safety Agency has placed more emphasis on tracking incursions and developing techniques to reduce them.
727driver
Ted Beneigh 0
Actually, the correct term in the USA for this is "NMAC", which is Near Mid-Air Collision. A "near miss" - used in the article - means they actually hit, but they nearly missed each other.
bigjulie
Ted, how can this be a NMAC, when both aircraft were firmly on the deck throughout this whole incident?
fredrok
Fred White 0
It's a get what you pay for world.
atcssct
Kevin Ford 0
Ted...a near miss means they nearly hit. It does NOT mean they hit. Also, here in the states, many airlines do not accept a LAHSO clearance as company policy. This is a clear case of pilot error, and happens too often. A controller issues an instruction, the pilot reads it back verbatim, then simply does something else. Based on the article, this does NOT sound like a LAHSO incident to me. IMHO.
MEDIC419
MEDIC419 0
cheap clowns
airjim
jim macke 0
Near-miss is a near-hit.
lightcrew
(From CADORS/2011O3473:) The AMR American Eagle Airlines Embraer EMB-145 aircraft (operating as flight EGF4125) had just landed after a scheduled IFR flight from Chicago (O'Hare) International Airport, IL (U.S.A.) (KORD) to Toronto (LBPIA) (CYYZ). The Air Canada Airbus A-319 aircraft (operating as flight ACA614 was departing on a scheduled IFR flight from Toronto (LBPIA) (CYYZ) to Halifax (SIA) (CYHZ). NAV CANADA staff at Toronto Tower reported that EGF4125 had landed on runway 24L and was instructed to exit at taxiway DELTA4 and hold short of runway 24R. The flight crew read back the instruction correctly. ACA614 was departing off of runway 24R. The Tower Controller observed EGF4125 passing the hold line and stop bars and instructed "EGF4125 STOP STOP STOP." EGF4125 continued, stopping partially on the runway. The flight crew said "say again." ACA614 rotated around taxiway DELTA2 and overflew EGF4125. Ops. impact -- unknown.
Bsklarski
Brian Sklarski 0
Not cool to post a link where you NEED to "subscribe" to read it. I suggest finding the story in full somewhere else so we dont have to subscribe to something we dont want to
canuck44
canuck44 0
I am a subscriber and couldn't make it work...not sure why. Don't think it was the poster's fault, but appreciate the cut and paste.

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