Board Meeting Animations - Emergency Evacuation of Commercial Airplanes

June 27, 2000

Animations

Animations of runway incursions from Board Meeting of June 13, 2000

plane on runway at O'HareORD Animation (RealVideo, 2.2 M)
On April 1, 1999, just after 2 o'clock in the morning, Korean Air flight 36 and Air China 9018, both Boeing 747s, nearly collided on runway 14 Right at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Air China had just landed and was rolling out on runway 14 right when the tower controller instructed Korean Air to taxi into position and hold. After Air China exited the runway at taxiway T10, the tower controller instructed the flight to turn left on taxiway Kilo and cross runway 27 left. The tower controller then cleared Korean Air for takeoff. As the airplane was rolling down the runway, Air China deviated from its assigned taxi route and taxied on to runway 14 Right. The Korean Air captain saw the 747 taxiing on to the runway but it was too late to stop. Instead, Korean Air 36 lifted off earlier than normal and banked left to avoid striking Air China. The two aircraft, carrying 382 people, missed colliding by about 80 feet.

The graphical reconstruction utilizes available data from the Flight Data Recorders aboard each aircraft as well as a recording of Air Traffic Control transmissions made during the incident. The audio information is NOT from the Cockpit Voice Recorder of either aircraft. The visibility conditions during the incident are approximated in the reconstruction and may not be the actual conditions at the time of the incident. The reconstruction does not model the effects of takeoff/landing lights on either aircraft.

diagram of runway.AMASS Simulation (animated GIF, 2 M)
The target in the top left corner of the screen is Korean Air at the approach end of runway 14 Right. Air China is the target at the lower center of the display exiting runway 14 Right at taxiway T10. During Korean Air's takeoff roll, you will see red lines appear at the taxiway intersections along the runway. These are "hold bars", displayed in the tower cab to indicate to the tower controllers that AMASS has detected an aircraft landing or taking off on the runway. When AMASS detects a potential collision, circles appear around the targets and a warning box appears. although the simulation does not give an aural alert, an aural warning would also sound at this time.

The simulation indicates the alert occurred after Air China entered the runway. Under these circumstances, you will see that the controller and pilots have only six seconds to take action and prevent a collision. In that six seconds, the controller would have to notice the alert, identify the affected aircraft, decide what action to take, transmit instructions to the pilots if they are on the same frequency, and wait for their reaction.

The simulation is based upon Build 1 of the AMASS software. According to the FAA, Build 2 is now available, and is an improved version.

plane on runway in fog.PVD Animation (Real Video, 6.4M)
On December 6, 1999, at about 8:35 p.m., United Airlines flight 1448, a Boeing 757, was involved in a runway incursion on runway 5 Right at Theodore Francis Green State Airport, near Providence, Rhode Island. At the time of the incident, it was dark and the reported visibility was one-quarter mile.

After United 1448 landed on runway 5 Right, the tower controller instructed the flight crew to proceed to the terminal using taxiways November and Tango, and report crossing runway 16. During their taxi in the fog, the flight crew became disoriented and turned onto taxiway Bravo by mistake. They then provided incorrect position reports to the tower controller. The airplane ended up at the intersection of Runway 16 and Runway 23 left. Note that Runways 23 Left and 5 Right are opposite ends of the same runway. Shortly afterward, a Federal Express aircraft taking off from runway 5 Right passed very close to United 1448. The subsequent conversation between the tower controller and United 1448 shows continued uncertainty about the aircraft's position. For example, there will be several references to Runway 23 right while the airplane is actually on 23 left.

The graphical reconstruction utilizes available data from the Flight Data Recorder aboard the United Airlines aircraft and FAA recorded radar data for the Federal Express airplane. In addition, a recording of Air Traffic Control transmissions made during the incident was added. The audio information is NOT from the Cockpit Voice Recorder of either aircraft. The visibility conditions during the incident are approximated in the reconstruction and may not accurately represent the poor visibility at the time of the incident. The reconstruction does not model the effects of takeoff/landing lights on either aircraft.

Footnote: The ORD and PVD animations were produced using FlightViz visualization software. FlightViz is a trademark of SimAuthor Inc. The AMASS simulation was provided by the FAA.