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Thread: irrational fear of flying

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    I believe that the 300m referenced is the distance between the two planes when the Delta flight stopped on the runway. The Delta crew appear to have executed the takeoff abort very well.

    To generalize, a narrow body airliner takes off at ~150-180 MPH. Takeoff speeds vary greatly based primarily on aircraft weight, temperature, altitude, flap configuration, and obstacles (both natural and manmade) near the airport. Transport category aircraft rely on three "takeoff speed" numbers: V1, VR, and V2. V1 is maximum speed to abort a takeoff. At speeds up to and including V1, the aircraft can stop on the available runway. Beyond V1, the aircraft can safely takeoff within the remaining runway after an engine failure. VR is the rotation speed at which the pilot flying pulls the nose up to the specified takeoff pitch attitude. The aircraft becomes airborne shortly after VR. Once airborne, the pilots use the V2 takeoff safety speed to meet obstacle clearance and controllability requirements with a failed engine. With all engines working, you can blast through V2 very quickly. There are many more subtle variables that play into these "V speeds" including runway contamination (water, ice, slush, snow) and reduced power takeoffs. Yup, most takeoffs are made at less than full power to reduce stress on the engines. Saab2000 can chime in with much more accurate numbers since he currently flies one of the most widely used airline aircraft.

    Greg
    Nothing more to add. Very well articulated.

    Thankfully the safety systems in place worked to avoid a very serious outcome.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Here's a question: How do pilots know what runway they are on? Is there a GPS fed airport map available in the cockpit or must the pilots rely on their knowledge of the airport and signage?

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Here's a question: How do pilots know what runway they are on? Is there a GPS fed airport map available in the cockpit or must the pilots rely on their knowledge of the airport and signage?
    Runway signage and markings tell crew members a lot of information. Also, we have a moving map airport diagram with our airplane position indicated by a moving dot. In the case of my company this is on an iPad and the program is from Jeppesen, the supplier for many operators of navigation charts and reference materials.

    Nevertheless, constant vigilance is required, and doubly so at night, poor visibility conditions, unfamiliar airports, at busy or big airports that have many runways and often a confusing layout. In thinking of Boston, Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco, etc.

    Taxi routes are briefed and rebriefed before departure and when briefing an approach. And mistakes can still happen.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Here's a question: How do pilots know what runway they are on? Is there a GPS fed airport map available in the cockpit or must the pilots rely on their knowledge of the airport and signage?
    For takeoffs, published airport maps and signage are the traditional ways to determine location on an airport - just like car or bike navigation with a roadmap. It's also good practice to verify the aircraft's magnetic compass heading aligns with the runway as a cross check. Doing this in Albuquerque once saved my captain and I from an embarrassing (or worse...) takeoff on the wrong runway. Take a look at the Google Maps view of runways 8 and 12 at ABQ airport to see what I mean.

    For landings, pilots use visual or instrument navigation (as appropriate to weather and aircraft/airport equipage) to navigate to the appropriate runway. The runways are marked with large numbers/letters to visually confirm the correct runway. Of course, that hasn't stopped many high-profile landings at the wrong airports over the years. I've never landed at the wrong airport due to my navigation errors, but twice I've been dispatched to the wrong airport by schedulers. Only a pre-flight chat with the passengers kept me from going to Easton, PA instead of Easton, MD.

    Modern aircraft (and those retrofitted with modern avionics) have moving map displays and EFBs to provide additional situational awareness. If you're ever in any doubt, good practice is to stop and ask the controller for confirmation and progressive directions. Better to turn around or ask for a tug than to make headlines or require relatives to plan your funeral.

    Greg

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    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    For takeoffs, published airport maps and signage are the traditional ways to determine location on an airport - just like car or bike navigation with a roadmap. It's also good practice to verify the aircraft's magnetic compass heading aligns with the runway as a cross check. Doing this in Albuquerque once saved my captain and I from an embarrassing (or worse...) takeoff on the wrong runway. Take a look at the Google Maps view of runways 8 and 12 at ABQ airport to see what I mean.

    For landings, pilots use visual or instrument navigation (as appropriate to weather and aircraft/airport equipage) to navigate to the appropriate runway. The runways are marked with large numbers/letters to visually confirm the correct runway. Of course, that hasn't stopped many high-profile landings at the wrong airports over the years. I've never landed at the wrong airport due to my navigation errors, but twice I've been dispatched to the wrong airport by schedulers. Only a pre-flight chat with the passengers kept me from going to Easton, PA instead of Easton, MD.

    Modern aircraft (and those retrofitted with modern avionics) have moving map displays and EFBs to provide additional situational awareness. If you're ever in any doubt, good practice is to stop and ask the controller for confirmation and progressive directions. Better to turn around or ask for a tug than to make headlines or require relatives to plan your funeral.

    Greg

    JFK.JPG
    RE - Runway verification: we are required to verbalize “RWY xx verified” before advancing the throttles. We verify this by the huge numbers painted on the runway as well as a compass check. This is a direct procedural change since the fatal accident resulting from a crew taking off from the wrong runway in Lexington, Kentucky in 2006.

    Errors happen all the time. The job of literally everyone in aviation is to stop them before they result in an incident or accident. Doesn’t matter if it’s the baggage handler on his first day at the airport or the senior 747 skipper on their retirement trip.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    And mistakes can still happen.
    This is one of my favorite stories related to that:

    https://simpleflying.com/boeing-747-...wrong-airport/


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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    This is one of my favorite stories related to that:

    https://simpleflying.com/boeing-747-...wrong-airport/
    This happens much more often than it should, and thanks to YouTube the infamy lasts for eternity. Some of the ones that come to mind:





    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    This happens much more often than it should, and thanks to YouTube the infamy lasts for eternity. Some of the ones that come to mind:


    Greg
    Yup. And as we must all say before we laugh and think they’re all idiots, “But for the grace of Dog, there go I”.

    May I complete my career without getting on the news or YouTube. Part of every pre-trip briefing is to stay out of the chief pilot’s office, avoid paperwork and stay off CNN.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Folks…we might want to start to limit our questions to Saab and gregl, in case they start charging us for ground school lessons.
    rw saunders
    hey, how lucky can one man get.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Darn, because I was curious what is procedure and what do you tell the people in the cabin because I have to figure at least some of them might be aware something unusual just happened. Just the facts and go back to a gate to let anybody with new found reluctance off?

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    Darn, because I was curious what is procedure and what do you tell the people in the cabin because I have to figure at least some of them might be aware something unusual just happened. Just the facts and go back to a gate to let anybody with new found reluctance off?
    I think something like that was actually done. Not much of an explanation upon return to the gate and then flight rescheduled to the next day. But I don’t know if this is standard procedure, except that it did seem the airlines were waiting for the FAA to make their initial statement first.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    A couple of times we've been on flights that did not go to their scheduled destinations. One time a regional from Albany to JFK and we landed in Stewart. We were told to go stand inside the building and eventually we got on a different aircraft and continued. They didn't say exactly why but it was clear there was something up with the first plane.

    The other time was Madrid to JFK and we went to Malaga instead and were disembarked onto the tarmac before standing around inside the terminal for a time while the plane we came in on stood way out away from anything else. I can't remember if we got on that plane or a different one, just that two planes of people got on a single plane in a free-for-all that was pretty funny in hindsight. It was back when they had smoking sections, nobody had seat assignments, the stewards were going semi-crazy. A couple got on, were directed to go back and sit in the smoking section. The woman said she couldn't do that. The steward starting barking "You don't understand! No seat assignments! Sit down where we tell you!" She replied very calmly, "No, you don't understand. I'm pregnant." He drew himself up and said "Follow me, madam!" He led her to a seat up front. We weren't told what happened that time, either.
    Tom Ambros

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I think something like that was actually done. Not much of an explanation upon return to the gate and then flight rescheduled to the next day. But I don’t know if this is standard procedure, except that it did seem the airlines were waiting for the FAA to make their initial statement first.
    Without knowing Boeing 737-900 maintenance procedures and Delta-specific operational requirements, it's impossible to say why the flight was rescheduled for the next day. It may have been because the high-speed abort required a maintenance inspection. Aircraft may be brake energy limited after a heavy landing or abort. The brakes have absorbed a tremendous amount of energy that is now stored as heat. They may not be able to meet performance requirements until the brakes have cooled sufficiently. Many large aircraft have brake temperature monitors to assist with these decisions. Others use charts that recommend cooling times based on landing weight. There is also the risk that the hot brakes and wheels could cause the fuse plugs in the rims to melt, letting nitrogen pressure out of the tires. Maximum braking events are almost violent in their intensity. I've done them many times in simulators and just once in real life. The ability of modern jet brakes to stop the aircraft is literally eye watering.

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    Without knowing Boeing 737-900 maintenance procedures and Delta-specific operational requirements, it's impossible to say why the flight was rescheduled for the next day. It may have been because the high-speed abort required a maintenance inspection. Aircraft may be brake energy limited after a heavy landing or abort. The brakes have absorbed a tremendous amount of energy that is now stored as heat. They may not be able to meet performance requirements until the brakes have cooled sufficiently. Many large aircraft have brake temperature monitors to assist with these decisions. Others use charts that recommend cooling times based on landing weight. There is also the risk that the hot brakes and wheels could cause the fuse plugs in the rims to melt, letting nitrogen pressure out of the tires. Maximum braking events are almost violent in their intensity. I've done them many times in simulators and just once in real life. The ability of modern jet brakes to stop the aircraft is literally eye watering.

    Greg
    At the risk of digging into our collective daily allowance of "chatting with the professionals", what seems even more amazing than braking at landing is the ability of wide-body jet liners to turn off of runways at a pretty good speed, often while decelerating, and with only landing gears providing ground contact.

    It seems so counterintuitive for the uninformed layperson (such as myself) that a ~200 metric ton aircraft with so little relative surface contact with the ground could turn at pace, but yet it seems that all jet liners can do it with seeming grace, whereas the same can't be said for a lot of SUVs taking exit ramps.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    At the risk of digging into our collective daily allowance of "chatting with the professionals", what seems even more amazing than braking at landing is the ability of wide-body jet liners to turn off of runways at a pretty good speed, often while decelerating, and with only landing gears providing ground contact.

    It seems so counterintuitive for the uninformed layperson (such as myself) that a ~200 metric ton aircraft with so little relative surface contact with the ground could turn at pace, but yet it seems that all jet liners can do it with seeming grace, whereas the same can't be said for a lot of SUVs taking exit ramps.
    Landing gears are incredibly stout. Anyone who’s seen some of my landings can attest to that! The main gear is typically mounted to wing carry-through structures and keel beams. They can handle incredible side loads that can occur in crosswind landings. Airliners with wing-mounted engines can only accept limited bank angles on touchdown. This can lead to crosswind landings with some “crab” still cranked in. If the gear holds up to those landings, high speed runway exits aren’t as big of an issue.

    The turn offs you refer to are called “high speed taxiways” or just “high speeds” for short. They are typically installed at large airports to expedite clearing runways after landing. They typically exit the runway at a 30 degree angle to limit side loads. They are intended for entry speeds up to 60 knots (69 MPH). In practice, I personally never entered a high speed at anything more than 30 knots. I felt the risks were just too great and I didn’t want to give my passengers an uncomfortable ride.

    Taxiing a jet is like driving a very big, ungainly truck. Everything needs to be done very slowly, deliberately, and carefully. You can barely see your wingtips and your nose gear is often behind the flight deck. When you steer around corners, you have to remember just where that nose gear is in relation to the center line of the taxiway. For very tight turns, you have to drive like you’re in a tractor trailer, going quite wide before turning back in to ensure the main gear straddle the center line. My experience driving farm tractors pulling balers and hay wagons came in very handy when I started flying larger planes. There’s a lot more to it (e.g., winter operations, care with jet blast when advancing the power levers, Foreign Object Damage (FOD) from contaminated surfaces, etc.). One of the marks of a professional pilot is how they maneuver on the ground. If the taxi is slow and smooth, the flight will likely be smooth as well.

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Our landing at JFK last night (AA 737 8 Max) was what my dad would call a Navy landing (his brother was a fighter pilot.) Bang on the ground and stand on the brakes. Everything and everyone slid a good inch or two forward in the deceleration. Then the pilot swung the plane around like a sportscar. Arrival time was 30 minutes early - going for the record!:-)

    During boarding, a woman was waiting at the end of the tunnel check a too-big bag plane-side, and a tall African American man entered through the outside door. She tried to hand him her bag, and he said, “ Ma’am, I am the pilot. Baggage will be with you in a moment.”

    I don’t doubt the pilot’s professionalism, so I don’t think the two events were related, but I wouldn’t blame the pilot if so. Must be infinitely irritating.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Our landing at JFK last night (AA 737 8 Max) was what my dad would call a Navy landing (his brother was a fighter pilot.) Bang on the ground and stand on the brakes. Everything and everyone slid a good inch or two forward in the deceleration. Then the pilot swung the plane around like a sportscar. Arrival time was 30 minutes early - going for the record!:-)

    During boarding, a woman was waiting at the end of the tunnel check a too-big bag plane-side, and a tall African American man entered through the outside door. She tried to hand him her bag, and he said, “ Ma’am, I am the pilot. Baggage will be with you in a moment.”

    I don’t doubt the pilot’s professionalism, so I don’t think the two events were related, but I wouldn’t blame the pilot if so. Must be infinitely irritating.
    Two keys to a successful flying career are humility and a sense of humor. One of the companys I flew for used traditional uniforms for our flight crews, including epaulettes on the shoulders of our shirts. We pilots thought they were overkill for corporate and charter flying, but they came in handy getting through security, especially for international flights. On my first long flight for this company (Newark-Tucson-Newark with a two-day layover), we arrived in the lobby of our hotel. I was feeling pretty pumped up, having completed my first near-transcontinental flight as a pilot at age 23. Waiting our turn to check in, an elderly lady walked up and asked me to carry her bags to her room. Without missing a beat, I cheerfully replied "Yes, maam!" and carried her bags. She tipped me $2! My ego was appropriately humbled...

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    And just this morning, an actual "light" collision between two A320s this morning at JFK. One would think folks would be at a higher state of awareness on the runways following a near miss like that earlier this week. wild.

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    And just this morning, an actual "light" collision between two A320s this morning at JFK. One would think folks would be at a higher state of awareness on the runways following a near miss like that earlier this week. wild.
    According to the JetBlue press release, this morning's incident happened on the ramp when one aircraft was being pushed back from the gate. The aircraft being pushed back hit another, unoccupied JetBlue aircraft. If the media reporting is correct, this is an all-to-common example of a ramp collision caused by ground crew failing to follow required procedures. These types of ramp "fender benders" happen every day and are almost never reported in the press. If you ever inspected a well-used airliner up close, you would likely find dings, dents, and patches. As long as the repairs are done in accordance with the manufacturer's structural repair manual, you are good to go.

    I was involved with four of these incidents during my career, three as a pilot and one as a passenger. All were the fault of the ground crew. In three of the incidents, the aircraft were damaged sufficiently to require repairs before they could be flown. In the fourth case, "speed tape" was applied to a non-load-bearing fairing and we flew the aircraft to our destination where permanent repairs were made.

    Greg
    Old age and treachery beat youth and enthusiasm every time…

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    Default Re: irrational fear of flying

    Quote Originally Posted by gregl View Post
    According to the JetBlue press release, this morning's incident happened on the ramp when one aircraft was being pushed back from the gate. The aircraft being pushed back hit another, unoccupied JetBlue aircraft. If the media reporting is correct, this is an all-to-common example of a ramp collision caused by ground crew failing to follow required procedures. These types of ramp "fender benders" happen every day and are almost never reported in the press. If you ever inspected a well-used airliner up close, you would likely find dings, dents, and patches. As long as the repairs are done in accordance with the manufacturer's structural repair manual, you are good to go.

    I was involved with four of these incidents during my career, three as a pilot and one as a passenger. All were the fault of the ground crew. In three of the incidents, the aircraft were damaged sufficiently to require repairs before they could be flown. In the fourth case, "speed tape" was applied to a non-load-bearing fairing and we flew the aircraft to our destination where permanent repairs were made.

    Greg

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