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KLM 737 takes off from a taxiway at EHAM

Started by Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers, Fri, 12 Feb 2010 06:09

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Not many details, but apparently somebody mistook the parallel taxiway next to 36C for the real thing.

Possibly because of recent snow cover, but still.



I don't understand how you can make such an error especially at your home airport.
Avi Adin

Pierre Theillere

Hi folks!

Maybe RAAS could have avoided such a mistake, who knows? It's likely that, one day, as it's been with TCAS, RAAS becomes compulsory equipment onboard all airliners. Regarding TCAS... it required even re-thinking in exceptional case the priority managment, regarding ATC clearance vs TCAS RA: sure introduction of RAAS shouldn't induce more human adaptation...
Pierre, LFPG


It is not uncommon; that why so many wide taxiways have the undulating yellow lines superimposed over the straight yellow line. Our company mandates that both pilots visually (and verbally) confirm runway ID prior to takeoff. You have to actually read the ID on the pavement and verbally confirm it with the other guy (on top of confirming runway heading once aligned - very important.) If taking off at night or from an intersection, positive ID is made with the red and white runway sign adjacent to the hold-short markings. This is now required by the FAA after the CRJ accident in Kentucky (although there were many before that, like the SIA 744 in RCTP.) Until RAAS is mandated, this seems to be the best way to prevent errors. Despite all the technologies available to pilots these days, simple, common sense procedures always seem to be the safest way to go.


Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

More details.

Image too wide for the forum, but short thread and better legibility

Holger Wende

2 questions:

I always thought that for take-off LOC/ILS shall be tuned if available and operative for the runway in use.
Do some procedures require to not tune the LOC/ILS of the take-off runway?

Are there any recommendations from airlines/aviation authorities in place to use the PVD not only in low visibility operation but also in case the runway ID cannot be identified?

Regards, Holger


Avi shalom,
it takes piloting experience to realize how simplistic and error prone the human decision making algorithm is, for piloting situations. There are many examples supporting my view for this specific mistake, including a crash in the US about 4 years ago (erroneous runway used was too short for the takeoff run). As a trained professional I know that you check compass heading once aligned, which the latter captain failed to perform. I looked at quite a few such accidents as investigator in both military and commercial environments, they all lead to what I am writing. The catch is right here, simple multiple tasks become too complex to successfully process repeatedly for human pilots, although very easy for by-standers and investigators, because they are not involved in the same situation. The Schiphol runway system is ideal for such mistake happening, including KLM captains, humans too. Yes I know, a taxiway is narrower and lit differently and therfore easy to recognize, that is exactly the problem, the human can but not always and in every circumstance. To overcome these mistakes, we need either a super-human pilot (Spock comes to mind-, or better trained, qualified and paid, underworked individuals. All will help but not aleviate it totally, it is flying and we aren't birds (which crash too).
I drive my son daily to kindergarden through a 4 way intersection, about 20% of the drivers going through it while I do interpret erroneously the driving rules and the road signs posted, as to whose right of way it is. For this very simple situation, America came up with a 4 way stop, and the British with the roundabout. Both prevent the majority of driver priority errors. But our situation, flying, is many times more complex. For those who advocate autonomous, automated aircraft without human pilots, I can address why not suitable in the foreseeable future for commercial aviation.

Quote from: AviI don't understand how you can make such an error especially at your home airport.
Regards, Zinger