AOB – December 2017

8 December 2017

This does not look good:

EK 207 4th December departure – arriving at 20.30pm into JFK, New York (01.30am UTC on 5 December.

Two screengrabs from Flightradar24. The airplane is at 0ft calibrated altitude short of 13L at JFK flying the Canarsie approach – a curving VOR approach into the airfield.

ATC – JFK Tower – calls “Emirates5KiloPapa – “you appear to be extremely low on approach. Confirm you have the runway in sight.”

The audio is here: scroll to 26.04 to listen to the warning to EK.

Emirates 207 aborts its landing and climbs to 2,000ft before circling to land on 22L.

From the ICAO: “Although civil transport is considered to be the safest means of transport, air navigation is an activity facing many potential dangers. … When an accident happens involving an international civil aviation flight, Annex 13 sets out the rules on the notification, investigation and reporting of the accident.”
Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation – ICAO

I assume this incident will require reporting and investigation – especially as it is so soon after a similar incident at Moscow.

7 December 2017

This on PPRUNE today: the changes in UAE airspace apply to AUH as well as DXB. This appears to be from an ATC officer:

“Just a quick note regarding the new airspace coming into affect on 7th December

The powers that be have agreed and put in place in many’s opinion an unsafe, inefficient airspace design.

There are many problems within ATC at AUH. However the main focus of this post is a friendly warning to pilots to please be on your guard for the foreseeable future.

The new airspace has SIDS and STARS that are not separated from each other with an amazing amount of conflict points. Far more than I have ever seen in any airspace.

Currently AUH don’t have the correct amount of staff to man the new position it requires. They have also cancelled leave meaning many controllers are fatigued. Put this together with a very unsafe airspace and I am truly concerned that a serious incident is a real possibility.

It will be interesting to hear your options after the 7th. We are told that it is fuel efficient but I’m sure within a matter of days you guys will realise that isn’t the case.”

6 December 2017

So Dubai airspace is about to change dramatically in a move that is absolutely necessary to support the number of aircraft movements but may have safety issues.

From tomorrow all arrivals and departures are changing with closer spaced routings and parallel arrivals.

There will be minor departure changes but the current use of a single runway for departures will continue.

There will now be a left and right downwind for the two runway 30s – depending on activity at Al Minhad airforce base.

Runways 12L and 12R have no such restrictions and have a permanent double downwind.

Think about it this way. Traditionally Dubai has been a land left and take-off right airport. Flights landing on 12 L have flown over Sharjah and then turned over the sea onto final for 12L.

Now 12R landings are possible with a right downwind. This will bring flights over Business Bay or Al Quoz before making a right turn to 12R.

The same applies in reverse for runway 30 arrivals. The traditional route is fly over Shrarjah – head out into the desert – right turn – in over Mirdiff and onto 30R.

A left downwind for 30L will head over the city and into the desert for a left turn – coming in much closer to Mirdiff City Center and onto 30L.

The problem may be on the ground where a plane landing on 12L and going to terminals 1 and 3 will need to cross Runway 12R There is not a lot of space between the runways – just enough for the M taxiway.

The real issue will be wake turbulence from EK’s heavy aircraft – the effects of which are well documented.

Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans) have been working with this issue since the 2013 launch of a capacity programme aimed at increasing capacity at DXB.

Due to the close proximity of the staggered runways at DXB, in July 2015, dans established a Wake Analysis Facility to research and study the behaviour of wake generated by landing and departing aircraft.

In March 2016 DXB started Approach Peak Offload (APO) Operations based on the principle of reallocating arriving medium-wake category aircrafts to the right runway (normally used for departures) during peak arrival periods at DXB.

For the new changes it appears that DXB is implementing a Dependent Diagonals Concept
where the right runway will not be restricted to just medium-wake aircraft but will also be used by heavy-wake and super-wake aircraft. This requires simultaneous dependent approaches, requiring a diagonal separation between approaching aircraft.

I wonder – the trouble with all of this is that there really is no independent oversight – DANS, the GCAA and Emirates are all government entities. There is no third party regulator. So just how tested is this? Has it been tested endlessly in the simulator? What are the minimums when the airport reverts to single runway arrivals?

5 December 2017

Apparently our miserable neighbours have already had three written warnings from the developer about noise.

The owner is an Air Asia pilot – which is alarming if he shows the same casual disrespect for passengers and colleagues. Poor.

Time to look back on a few things in 2017: some of the best tv shows – mainly binge watched on long air flights:

Taboo: This is the Guardian’s commentary: “Tom Hardy was simply mesmerising as brooding cut-throat James Delaney in this seedy, murky plunge into the dark heart of 19th century London. Gunpowder, treason, and a compelling plot – taking in such adversaries as Jonathan Pryce’s deliciously slimy East India boss, Jason Watkins’ calculated Solomon Coop and Mark Gatiss’s bloated, disgusting Prince Regent. Watching the anti-hero’s dastardly schemes bear bloody fruit, amid the assorted depravity around him, made for essential viewing on cold Saturday nights.

The Man in the High Castle: Independent commentary: Amazon’s flagship original show based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name returns for its third season. The show’s bleak alternate timeline where the Nazis and Japanese Empire won the War comes loaded with extra relevance given the new rise of the far-right. Its alternative history has become genuinely compelling.

Lucifer: Guilty pleasure. Good looking people behaving badly in LA. What’s not to like?

The Good Fight: CBS’ successful spin-off from the Good Wife.

Coming early in 2018:

Billions (Season 3): Damian Lewis is back as a cut-throat hedge fund boss (Sky Atlantic) Homeland (Season 7): The popular spy thriller starring Claire Danes (Channel 4)

4 December 2017

Woken up at 2.08am by the neighbours drunken party singing from their balcony.

Moved to a room at the back of he house – a bit quieter – slept around 3.30am.  Headache today. Tired.

3 December 2017

Let’s agree not to mention the cricket from Australia.

Instead let’s think about the folks over the road from us who have been holding a housewarming since the morning – as the party has been running for over 12 hours now.

They have gotten louder as the day has gone on. They will argue that they are not playing music so are keeping the noise down.

Instead they shout, cheer, yell and scream. One voice is especially shrill. There must be some 20 people on their rooftop balcony now.

We have kept our doors and windows closed to try shut out the noise. Unsuccessfully.

It is very Thai. No consideration of other people and a sense that they are entitled to make as much noise as they like. The Thais like noise. and they like making noise.

There was no warning to neighbours that they would be hosting this all day party. There will be no apology either.

I did worry that the roof terraces could be noisy. Quiet dinner parties would be nice. Shouting, alcohol fuelled voices are not nice.

Given the cars that are parked it is a fare bet that some of these people will be driving later. Not clever.

Once again I am having reservations about our move here. Moving again would be expensive and very frustrating. But this is not right.

The development needs a residents’ constitution, a code of conduct that respects that this is a diverse community. We do not have that.

1 December 2017

Here is your World Cup draw for Russia 2018

Group A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

England should be very happy with that.