Runway Incursion and near miss at JFK

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jis

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A few days back there was a potentially very dangerous runway incursion at JFK due to Pilot Deviation, by an American Airlines 777 in front of the Delta 737 cleared for takeoff. Quick action by the Tower and reaction by the Delta cockpit crew saved the day from turning into a Tenerife type fiasco with a 737 colliding at speed into the side of a 777.

There is a very good discussion of it in the following video. I was waiting for this video before posting anything on this potentially disastrous event, which fortunately was avoided due to diligence and timely aaction of the JFK Tower and the Delta crew.

 
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Here is a quote from a post on airliners.net about what transpired after the incident with the AA flight and its crew... Many believe that the AA flight crew continuing with the flight to London after the incident was pretty odd. Think of it as an Engineer of a train runs a red signal and then blithely continues operating the train to its destination. The so called "deviation" was of this level and yet no one from AA did anything about it apparently.

..... it was possible that the AA crew did not fully grasp the very serious nature of what had happened - by suggesting it is possible that AA were not monitoring tower when it happened - so they may not have been immediately first-person aware. When I first heard of the incident, I too was very surprised to learn that the AA crew had operated the LHR flight after this. When AA were finally cleared for takeoff on 31L, 30 minutes later, the tower controller once again told AA there had been a possible pilot deviation earlier and they should call a number "when they get back". There are reports that the crew deadheaded back from London because by then the seriousness of the incident had been understood.

The 777 involved, N754AN, was built in 2001. Post-1997 FDRs are required to hold 25 hours of data - so I assume 25 hours for CVR as well, which is why I hope AA were able to pull the CVR/FDR data - so the NTSB will be able to better analyze why all of this happened - the incursion itself with three in the cockpit - and the decision to continue to operate the flight after the incident.

The whole thing got so widely reported in press and media that it became virtually impossible to ignore it for anyone.

It is quite clear that we have not heard the last of this. Both FAA and NTSB are now investigating.
 
I read some articles about this near miss. What amazes me is how seldom these scary things occur, with so many flights in progress at all times. I agree deep investigation is in order!
 
A few days back there was a potentially very dangerous runway incursion at JFK due to Pilot Deviation, by an American Airlines 777 in front of the Delta 737 cleared for takeoff. Quick action by the Tower and reaction by the Delta cockpit crew saved the day from turning into a Tenerife type fiasco with a 737 colliding at speed into the side of a 777.

There is a cery good discussion of it in the following video. I was waiting for this video before posting anything on this potentially disastrous event, which foirtunately was avoided due to diligence and timely aaction of the JFK Tower and the Delta crew.


Loved the Censored Comment by the Controller to the Planes.( SH*T!.....)

These are more common than most people realize, especially in the Busiest TCAs!!
 
Taxiway J at KJFK is supposed to have those special automated REL Runway Entrance Lights that are supposed to help stop this from happening. They are only at select airports. Runway 4L isn't supposed to have THL Takeoff Hold Lights though, too bad as they seemed to be paying attention.

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/rwsl/
Runway incursions happen more than one may realize. I suppose this event was so close and so big it made big news. The definition of incursion is broad, so many of the incursions have no safety consequences.

https://www.faa.gov/airports/runway_safety/statistics/
OI=Controller Action
PD=Pilot Deviation
VPD=Vehicle or Pedestrian
 
Saw this on Instagram, pretty funny IMO. Although I too find it surprising that the AA crew went to London, and I wonder what passengers who saw the Delta flight coming down at them thought.

 
The AA plane was not told to turn right at Kilo, then cross the runway. Small point, but maybe important? Seem a common instruction with this airport setup, but with 3 in the cab you do wonder how many times this crew fly from JFK.

The AA plane sat there for 30 min and was patiently told by the tower what happened, and someone claim they found out in London? Or did they just realize the storm it was causing?

Also why was there difficulties in give out a number to the AA. Rare occurrence, but should be written in stone on what to do.
 
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The AA plane was not told to turn right a Kilo, then cross the runway. Small point, but maybe important? Seem a common instruction with this airport setup, but with 3 in the cab you do wonder how many times this crew fly from JFK.

The AA plane sat there for 30 min and was patiently told by the tower what happened, and someone claim they found out in London? Or just realize the storm it was causing?

Also why was there difficult in give out a number to the AA. Rare occurrence, but should be written in stone on what to do.
There are many weirdnesses coming out that are hard to explain from facts that have come out into the public domain. I am glad NTSB is now investigating, so we have a higher likelihood of knowing what actually happened than if only FAA was investigating itself in a navel gazing exercise. :)
 
Since the aircraft when straight and crossed a active runway. The additional of “turn right at Kilo” may of prevent the whole situation. Use a short clip of words only works when everyone on the same page.

Homeland Defense has gotten rid of 10-codes. As ever 911 provide had different meaning. A 10-10 code was for a “request for Ambulance” in one city, in the next city it was a “Mayday code”.

In this case the aircraft when straight and cross a active runway. When they need to turn right and cross a runway. The additional instructions of turn right would clue the crew to the turn. Again was this common practice or a busy tower that skipped this? Idk, but we missed a fireball by 1000 feet so let’s find out.

Right now there pointing to the brand new 1st officer, but there was three people there, and I read the Captain is the only one controlling the steering.
 
I don’t fly to towered airports very often. When I do, usually you get things like Left on alpha, right on kilo, hold short 31 left type thing, the hold short is usually for the runway. It is probably normal since KJFK are so busy to have hold short for the other taxiway, but I don’t know if its standard language to not have the right on kilo after a hold short for kilo…. The pilot was the one in charge, the pilot was on the flight controls, he should have been sure where he was taxiing before proceeding. Copilot was running the coms. Even if he was taking directions from the co-pilot he should have been sure where he was going before proceeding.

Suspect some ”expectation bias” happened here.

A case of pilot relying on the co-pilot for taxi directions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_Wayne_County_Airport_runway_collision
 
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Again was this common practice or a busy tower that skipped this? Idk, but we missed a fireball by 1000 feet so let’s find out.
I’m all for that, but suspect this isn’t going to be a thing.

Sitting at that intersection, they were told what runway to cross and what taxiway to do it on. If a left on kilo were possible, and that’s what they did, I would agree. But kilo ends there, so it was impossible to do anything but turn right on kilo. You can tell the pilot has no SA when he says “I thought we were cleared to cross.” and doesn’t state which runway he believed he was cleared to cross. Either he doesn’t know which runway he was cleared to cross or he doesn’t know which runway he just crossed (or both).
 
I’m all for that, but suspect this isn’t going to be a thing.

Sitting at that intersection, they were told what runway to cross and what taxiway to do it on. If a left on kilo were possible, and that’s what they did, I would agree. But kilo ends there, so it was impossible to do anything but turn right on kilo. You can tell the pilot has no SA when he says “I thought we were cleared to cross.” and doesn’t state which runway he believed he was cleared to cross. Either he doesn’t know which runway he was cleared to cross or he doesn’t know which runway he just crossed (or both).
I agree with the first part, this might not be a thing.

The “Sitting at that intersection” is a assumption, that if wrong makes it much more sense on how the captain loss SA.

“Either he doesn’t know which runway he was cleared to cross or he doesn’t know which runway he just crossed (or both).”
Very true, but why and when did he lose SA is the key. Would the phrase “Turn right on Kilo” by the Tower clue him in?

Again this pathway is common for the tower to give out. However the airport installed stop light to enforce the “no go this way”. Which at the angle they approach was not visible. (Another problem) The AA airplane made several little turn to get onto the wrong runway. That in itself should of alert everyone of a problem on the flight deck. In some of the play back there a female tower operator that see and makes the first comment on the situation, before the male tower operator canceled the takeoff.
 
Again this pathway is common for the tower to give out. However the airport installed stop light to enforce the “no go this way”. Which at the angle they approach was not visible. (Another problem) The AA airplane made several little turn to get onto the wrong runway. That in itself should of alert everyone of a problem on the flight deck. In some of the play back there a female tower operator that see and makes the first comment on the situation, before the male tower operator canceled the takeoff.
Actually the invisibility of the Red Bars for 4L have been contested by other pilots. Don't take everything in the Forbes article as final truth. Wait for NTSB.

One thing to keep in mind is that the PIC had a frickin' map of the airport displayed on one of his displays if he was operating according to SOP. There were two pilots on deck (one in the jump seat) and both missed it. Something else was going on that we are not aware of is my current working hypothesis and we will just have to wait for NTSB to provide the validated sequence of events and what was visible or not.

Incidentally, apparently FAA could tighten up the use of standard phrases in its ATC operations. Many European pilots have expressed concern in the past that American ATC is prone to use non-standard phrases which possibly works fine for native English speakers, but not so much for others. I am sure this will be an issue visited yet again.
 
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Yep, as I've said before, and as many frequent flyers are aware, this occurs much more often than most people know.
Well, this was not a normal aborted landing which is not uncommon. I have been through at least a dozen. This was a very very close call.
 
Fortunately there are so few passenger trains that crossing an active diamond is not a problem collision with another passenger train - - -

"BUT" !

Then there are those freight interference trains crossing the diamond - - -

AND those traffic signals that need to be attended to and maintained - - -

Pay attention folks for the next accident waiting to happen - escaped this one !
 
It’s also reported that both airplanes voice recorded were overwritten. So no actual recording of what happened.

“The 777 involved, N754AN, was built in 2001. Post-1997 FDRs are required to hold 25 hours of data - so I assume 25 hours for CVR as well,”

So this random quote from FlyerTalk was wrong.

Which just begs the question why not.
 
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No on 25 hr voice recorders. Up thru 2011 voice recorders were 30 minute that continously over writes beyond. At one time they were just simple continous tape recorders. As they wore out compatible digital recorders were only again the 30 minute ones. Some airlines may have specified longer but unaware. after 2011 ??? The only way too stop voice recorders in my employee was to pull C/B.

This incident probably took more than 30 minutes to get parked at gate.

As brand new engineer, 1st month, at JFK, approacking that intersection, Captain turns to me and says " boy whenever taxing to 4 left or 31 left when here do not do anything but pay attention to any ATC clearance to cross at this intersection and always have your eyes out for any airplane on that runway " " This dogleg is a sucker trap " Found out later more than once great advice and always reminded my crews..

What is puzzling that it has never been changed.

BTW it was a snowy way which it made following taxi ways difficult. No centerline lighting at that time.
 
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