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"...Runway overruns happen quite often." - Qatar Airways CEO

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Akbar Al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, which is doubling its flights to and from Australia next year, has claimed runway overrun incidents like one that damaged one of his airline's Boeing 777s upon take-off from Miami in September "happen quite often". (www.smh.com.au) More...

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lakemountain
lakemountain 14
I'm a software person and I'm going to lose my shit over this stuff one day. We have tremendously complicated flight management systems, software to calculate engine thrust, load requirements, highly accurate navigation systems (100x more accurate than required than for this), integrated airport/runway databases, even tablets with GPS, etc. yet we can't bring this together so the FMS or tablet doesn't have a warning saying "You can't take off from this point"?!!!

How can we have them start a takeoff roll with 1000m of runway behind them and not have the software notice it?! It's like cases of people trying to take off from a taxi-way!

With the technology we have, the systems should know free standing weight, fuel load, engine performance, position, etc. so the FMS should be able to pick very early on in the roll whether the plane will likely make it off the ground with the current settings before the end of the runway.

What am I missing?
joelwiley
joel wiley 16
Systems analysis and design involving people who actually have experience in the cockpit with a mindset considering what can go wrong.
jshhmr
josh homer 6
Joel, no response could be greater than yours. Spot on.
bentwing60
bentwing60 4
Seem to remember something about the old school flight instructor saying, three things you can't get back, the runway behind you, the altitude above you and the airspeed, oh I forget, SMASH.
Highflyer1950
Highflyer1950 3
Clearly, the remaining runway distance is the issue. The Captain/FO should have known this. ATC should have advised the runway available from that taxiway, the runway chart should always be zoomed in no more than what shows the whole runway and having all this info available......insert remaining take off distance available into the FMS (AND) it will tell you not to take off! A lot off people asleep at the wheel here.
ysfsim
Ant Miraa 2
Before the advent of such software in the flightdeck, how did pilots take off without overrun? I think they used common sense!
klimchuk
klimchuk 1
In the end of the day it's important to understand who is responsible for what in cockpit. Computer systems are intended to solve very narrow problems leaving all unknowns to the crew. There are cases when alerts from different systems were present but ignored.
PS. A lot of parameters you've mentioned entered manually.
chalet
chalet 0
This is what you are missing: all of the airlines from the Emirates have experienced a growth never seen anywhere in the history of commercial aviation, they have been buying the latest airframes from Boeing and Airbus by the dozens if not by the gross and have not have enough time to set up a rigorous methology for hiring pilots and thus several of them I hear are below and some well below standards as tjhose found with airlines from U.S., European and a few other countries. It has been widely reported that management are forcing crews to fly longer hours than ICAO regulations specify. And now that those airlines are facing a diminishing of traffic and even stronger pressure from their governments to show profits are they going to cut corners?. Not too long ago Qatar Airways started to install seat a mere 17.5 inches wide for the Economy section to add an extra seat. Where is this whole thing going.
joelwiley
joel wiley 15
<sarcasm>It was clearly the fault of the airport. They negligently failed to build the runway longer.
</sarcasm>
lakemountain
lakemountain 11
I sometimes wonder whether all runway lengths should be under reported by 500m. It would solve so many of these problems! ;)
LoralThomas
Loral Thomas 8
Nah! Published takeoff minimums are just a suggestion LOL
ajagostini
ajagostini 6
Get your own runway lights...these belong to 'Merica!
dbaker
Daniel Baker 7
The "you break it, you buy it" policy definitely applies to airport infrastructure....they were definitely billed.
andyc852
I would be very interested to know the statistics, but I suspect that there are a large number of Expat pilots working for the ME3 (Emirates Qatar and Etihad) just as there always has been at Singapore. I do not think that the automatic assumption should be that the pilots involved were of Middle East origin although that is possible.
Clearly the flight crew made a potentially disastrous decision and should be held accountable regardless of their national origin. I am sure there will be a xenophobic post from Mr Oxlong at some point. There generally is! Bless his heart!
tgrtom
Thomas Reinke 4
As a retired former B-747; B-727; DC-8; A-300/310; MD-11 Captain with 40 years Heavy jet International experience I am compelled although embarrassed to criticize this CEOs position. The truth of the matter is that the root of the problem is pilot technique and experience. This airline has grown by virtue of its underground resources not the inspiration of flight.
marcuccione
marcuccione 2
I have worked at three different airports as an operator. I can count on one hand the number of runway excursions-I have yet to be involved in an overrun(fingers crossed)
kevineperjesy
I want facts. Do pilots have to visually confirm their location on runways? Is not the marking different at both ends of the runway? Is the tower responsible to visually confirm the location of an aircraft before takeoff? What are the stats on this type of incidence? Are both the tower and the pilots at fault? We need more facts and answers.
namotlagh
namotlagh 2
Don't fly gulf air lines!
Muchits
Muchits 2
Another reason why the ME3 airlines are delusional.
isagarcas
JUAN P GARCIA 3
The airport failed to put the lights 35' below ground level to make it legal......
dbaker
Daniel Baker 1
His actual quote is: "Such kind of incidents happen quite often, either it is a tail strike on the runway or it is contact with the landing lights"
andyc852
Any relation to Mr Al Bakar?!!
dbaker
Daniel Baker 4
Just trying to help the family business! ;-)
andyc852
I don't think his remarks are helping much!. Merry Christmas
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
They may help other carriers if pax start thinking this airline considers driving off the end of the runway is among their normal business business practices.
StarFlyr
StarFlyr 1
This accident is too stupid to even comment about.
paul8626
Paul Smith 1
Pul...eese

Rolls eyes...

I had better excuses when I didn't do my homework!
jboglew
Juan Bogle W 1
Lack of situational awareness. Or what else could be. What the pilots said? We must hear both partiea
jbbooks1
Lewis Tripp 1
ATC not responsible for stupidity. Find pilots that can read.
RubenVillanueva
StarFlyr, well said. Mr Bakar, is just a mouth piece and definitely not very knowledgeable on the subject of aviation. I have had experience as an ATCer, working with them. Often the ink was still drying on the credentials they showed, stating they had knowledge of ATC, and the same applies to some of the pilots.
I recall in the article, Mr Bakar, also mentioned that ATC was at fault. ATC may initiate an intersection departure, but the pilot in command has the final say, wether to accept it or not. If accepted, the distance remaining from that intersection shall be given to the pilot. I only wonder why the ATCer, did not question the pilot. Anyone have any info concerning this?
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
Ran across this preliminary reporthttp://www.caa.gov.qa/en/preliminary-occurrence-report-qr778-released
"On-board Performance Tool (OPT) contained within the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) using a take-off weight of 342,000 kg. The OPT
offered the crew only one option for Runway 09, which was ‘09#T1’ as displayed by the OPT. This was understood
by the crews to mean Runway 09 full length, although the performance data had been pre-modified by a temporary
NOTAM. The OPT also displayed the information that intersection departures were not permissible for this
runway"

Seems 09T1 later interpreted as 09 from Intersection T1.
PIC should retain his job w/ garnished wages paying off the approach light damage. Mr.
Al Baker can decide on handling the a/c costs.
JMHO
ysfsim
Ant Miraa 1
Dont runways have incremental markings detailing the remaining distance left?
RubenVillanueva
In the USA, military airports have remaining distance markers, civil airports do not. On civil and some military airports that have been modified, Just before the departure end the runway, the centerline lights are yellow then, l believe the last 1,000 ft are red.
jkudlick
Even civilian airports in the USA (at least the commercial airports) have length remaining markers on both sides of the runway indicating thousands of feet remaining (e.g. 5 means 5,000 feet remaining). The centerline lights are white with the lights between 1,000 and 3,000 feet remaining alternating red and white (or groups of red/groups of white) and all lights in the last 1,000 feet red.

There is no excuse for all four pilots (both primary and relief crews were on the flight deck at the time of the incident) not to notice that the calculations were wrong. Or if they did, not to voice their concerns (which boils down to lack of Crew Resource Management, the same thing which helped cause the AAR214 accident on July 31, 2011).
lahtiji
lahtiji 1
Former owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant?
"Ah, I suppose that's normal background radiation? The kind you'd find at any well-maintained nuclear facility, or for that matter, playgrounds and hospitals."
FuturePilot13
ShakingMyHead.com lmao
ah6oy
Jim DeTour 1
Good training for a scenario like the 2012 movie.....
theanswerguys
It has been fun to see this Qatar Airways CEO reverenced in squawks over the past several days. Thank you all for your valued insight. Many a truth is said in jest.
num1tailhooker
Anyone who flies Qatar Airways is an idiot.
chalet
chalet 1
The imbecile CEO of QA Al Baker made the uner-statement of the year, if not of the century. He is lying through his teeth, nose, mouth etc. when trying to play down what could have been THE accident of the century. The 4 pilots special the one PIC should be only fired but prosecuted for taking off from the IX.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
Not "fired", one would think a bit harsh....tine off without pay, then Re-Training? I mean....was anyone hurt?
Muchits
Muchits 2
Agreed, this was an honest mistake on the part of the crew and re-current training should suffice (not a firing). Obviously the crew's fault, but it highlights a fault in the crew training regarding a takeoff data record. Additionally, most operators have "Special Pages" regarding special procedures and notes at each airport. Qatar should clearly incorporate a warning for MIA not to mistake the T1 as an intersection departure for runway 9.
chalet
chalet -2
This was no honest mistake, NO, you hear, this was the dumbest decision to make when the aircraft was 1% short of its MTOW and ambient temperature 36°Clesius. All 4 cockit crew were grounded since Sept. 16 and have not flown since. The should have been fired right on the sport.
Muchits
Muchits 6
Chalet, do not use caps at me. As a senior check captain at a major US Airline I understand the dynamics of this situation. I suggest you learn to fly and learn how easily you can lose situational awareness during taxi and while flying in the dark. I most certainly acknowledge that this crew failed to confirm their departure intersection and that is unacceptable (especially with 4 flight deck crew members). Have you read the latest fact-based report on the accident (available here http://www.avherald.com/h?article=48c78b3a&opt=0)? If not, do so and try to take some time to understand what TDR is and how to read it. There are far more lessons to be learned from this than simply firing the crew.
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
You can't fool some of us old lumps, that must mean takeoff distance required and anything above a 100 knt. abort would have really proved they didn't quite have it. Well said.
Muchits
Muchits 1
Yes, quite close - takeoff data record which is usually uplinked via ACARS providing v-speeds for different flap settings based on runway, condition, and thrust derate. You are spot on about 100kts. At my company we will only reject over 80 knots and prior to V1 for engine failure, fire, or predictive windsheer.
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
Our # is also 80 and we add loss of directional control for an RTO above that speed.
chalet
chalet -2
You can be a 20,000 hr ATP, or 150 Cessna 152 private but the fact of the matter is that the 4 crew members goofed big time and I did not jump at conclusions just for fun of it, I got my facts from a high level exec of a company that provides goods and services to all major airlines erving the Middle East. He gave far more details thAn this but I can not disclose any more. YOU HEAR.
StarFlyr
StarFlyr 0
Baker is an empty suit who doesn't know much about aviation. Apparently his camel driver pilots are a little weak as well. ALL or mostly all runways have intersections along the length of the runway, mostly for turning off the runway after landing, rather than use the full length in their landing roll. Sometimes these intersections are also used for takeoffs WHEN the full runway length is NOT needed. The fact that there were 4 pilots on board is meaningless since (I guessing here), the other 2 pilots were relief pilots needed for the long flight back to the SAND. They may even have been back in the cabin, waiting for their time to work.

Regardless, only the 2 pilots up front (Captain and co-pilot) would have had clear vision ahead and left/right. When these 2 jerks pulled on to the runway, they would have HAD to see it was an intersection rather than the full length. From my days working on international flights of this duration, it would have been a max weight takeoff or nearly a max weight takeoff. Hey, Sand Heads, FULL length of concrete needed.

At least, they got off the ground after slicing through the approach lights at the end of the runway. This flight had NO V! point during the takeoff roll. If they had lost an engine after what they thought was V1, there would have been a big fireball.

So, Baker, shut up and don't talk about something you know nothing about.
eddyoord
Eddy Oord 0
Could be that mr Akbar Al Bakar had a few Wiskey,s before spitting this kind of nonsens.

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