ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (08.30.06): Tunnel Vision | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 09.19.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.19.14 **
** Airborne 09.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.17.14 **
** Airborne 09.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 09.15.14 **

Wed, Aug 30, 2006

ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (08.30.06): Tunnel Vision

Aero-Tips!

A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of "there are no old, bold pilots.")

Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner, master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us -- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we might never have considered before, or something that didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for the practical test.

Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you through the Aero-News Network.

Aero-Tips 08.30.06

This week's tragic departure crash of a commuter jet at Lexington, KY reminds me of another horrible accident. On October 31, 2000 a Singapore Airlines 747-400 was expediting departure in darkness and high winds, at Taipei, Taiwan. A typhoon was bearing down on the island nation and the seven-four's captain was trying to be the last plane out before the storm hit. They didn't make it.

A passenger who survived the Singapore crash later said she  "enjoyed night takeoffs" because she loved to "watch the runway edge lights speed by as the takeoff roll accelerated." But she "didn't see any lights this time; it was dark as (she) looked out (her) window while the plane raced down the runway." In half-mile visibility the highly experienced aircrew had lined up on the wrong runway-one that was not even lighted at the time, and was closed for repairs. About 4500 feet into the takeoff roll the 747 struck a concrete barrier that tore into the racing jet. Nearly half the people on board died in the ensuing crash. 

Tunnel vision

Airline accident reporter and retired 747-400 captain Robert J. Boser attributes the Singapore 006 crash to crew "tunnel vision" -- a pilot's impaired perception under stress that causes him/her to mentally adjust what's seen to what the pilot *expects* to see. It's the same phenomenon, he says, that causes a pilot to miss hearing a loud landing gear warning horn, to turn to the reciprocal of the desired heading and fly off in the wrong direction, or to line up on the wrong runway or even the wrong airport for landing. Pressure to take off ahead of the storm may have played a big part in developing tunnel vision that resulted in this fateful mistake.

Could tunnel vision have played a part in the Comair 5191 crash? We don't know yet. Preliminary investigative statements are that the crew and tower controller conversed normally before the Canadair CRJ took the incorrect runway. Pilot fatigue is always suspect for an early morning departure after an overnight crew rest, and I'm sure this will be explored during the NTSB investigation. To date, however, we know few additional details.

Choosing the wrong runway may result in a collision with obstacles on the runway, as in the Singapore 006 crash, or inability to become airborne and a runway overrun, as with the Comair jet this week. Lining up on the incorrect runway might lead to a collision with another airplane on a crossing taxiway or, if runways intersect, with an aircraft on a runway that's in use. In tomorrow's Aero-Tips we'll discuss some techniques that may help you avoid tunnel vision and line up on the proper runway.

Aero-tip of the day: Remember that even the best of us are subject to tunnel vision at times.  Take active steps to line up with the proper runway for takeoff.

FMI: Aero-Tips

Advertisement

More News

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (09.21.14)

"The RCAF took the initiative to remove these functional, perfectly good parts and use them effectively. It was a sound decision, helping to ensure the long-term viability of the a>[...]

Enhanced F-35 Logistics Systems Delivered To Flight Test Locations

Integrates Preventative Maintenance, Flight Scheduling, And Mission Planning The 'next evolution' of the F-35 Lightning II's information technology backbone called the Autonomic Lo>[...]

Airbus Forecasts Strong Demand For Air Travel In The Middle East

Delivers First A380 To Qatar Airways Saying Airplane Is 'Ideal' For The Region Airbus has delivered Qatar Airways' first A380, and has used the occasion to tout the airplane as pla>[...]

NBAA Names 2014 Humanitarian Award Recipients

International Jet Aviation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, To Be Honored In Orlando The NBAA is pleased to announce that International Jet Aviation Services of Centennial, CO and the Make>[...]

NASA Seeks America's 'Best And Brightest' For Research Fellowships

Applications Period Open For Space Technology Grants NASA is seeking applications from U.S. graduate students for the agency's Space Technology Research Fellowships. The research g>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC