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Narita airport shuts one runway as plane enters wrong taxiway

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Ok so the pilot made an error, he'll be appropriately disciplined and what not, but THIS is news to me!

Among the passengers were members of Japan's national men's underwater hockey team, returning home after taking part in the world championship in Canada.

Huh? Underwater hockey team?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Could an airport tug not just push it back to the runway/ real tqaxiway, and tow it in from there. 5 hours stuck in a metal/ composite tube on a runway - rather a long time.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Huh? Underwater hockey team?

I totally missed that the first time I read the article. Apparently it really is a thing...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_hockey

Could an airport tug not just push it back to the runway/ real tqaxiway, and tow it in from there. 5 hours stuck in a metal/ composite tube on a runway - rather a long time.

Since it as mentioned the plane turned on to the taxiway that was still under construction and it ended up on a rough surface, I'm assuming that they couldn't move it without taking precautions to prevent potential damage to the plane.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Underwater hockey is a sport. Check it on YouTube.

There is nothing in the article to suggest it was pilot error. It may well have been a control tower error. I used to teach the ‘English for Aviators’ test to the control tower staff at Narita. The controllers are always extremely tired.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I was worried because the in-flight announcement was difficult to understand and it wasn't clear when the situation was going to end," said the team's coach, Kazuhiko Saito.

See Saito San, all those years of falling asleep in English class caught up with you!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Air Canada will get a hefty fine for causing the delay of its flight and the other flights

11 ( +14 / -3 )

There is nothing in the article to suggest it was pilot error.

Could also be the airport operations crew if the taxiway under construction was not properly marked  According to NHK news, though, the plane came in on the "B" runway but somehow ended up on the wrong exit/taxi way which is a big confusing.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Air Canada will get a hefty fine for causing the delay of its flight and the other flights

Not necessarily. It depends on why the mistake happened. If it was control tower error, then Air Canada won't be found to be at fault. Same if the directions were not clear on which taxiway to take.

It will only be the fault of the airline if it was clearly a mistake on the part of the pilot.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It took more than five hours until the passengers started getting off the Boeing 787 aircraft

Wow. I'm already getting fuzzy if I have to wait 1 hour. Imagine having to wait 5 hours.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Seriously! I work as a tug driver for an Australian Airline and logic says push back the aircraft the same way in got there. Air Canada is a great airline flew with them just last month. The folk in charge there need to look at the safety of its passengers after this and the icident in San Fransisco where an AC aircraft almost landed on the top of taxing aircraft.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Seriously! I work as a tug driver for an Australian Airline and logic says push back the aircraft the same way in got there.

And yet, the people on the ground decided not to do that. Morons! How dare they not evaluate the issue the same as people reading an article online with an extremely limited amount of information.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Judging by the photos, there are no barriers or signs or anything else indicating the taxiway was out of service.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

The airplane entered the wrong taxiway because it's under construction? And there was no sign there?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Judging by the photos, there are no barriers or signs or anything else indicating the taxiway was out of service.

I see a big solid white line the pilot had to cross, not to mentioned clearly unpaved sections. After 13 hours on Air Canada, it must have been sheer torture for the passengers to be stuck for hours more.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Not surprised Air Canada is causing issues and can't even follow simple directions.. They are a truly abysmal airline. Never, ever travelling with them again

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Air Canada has a history of pilot errors, look at the two incidents last year at San Francisco. One Air Canada pilot almost caused one of the greatest aviation crashes in history, just weeks later, another Air Canada pilot failed to "go around" after being told by air traffic control SIX times.

The airplane entered the wrong taxiway because it's under construction? And there was no sign there?

You don't put up temporary signs or cones like a highway because it is an airport, parts like that can be blown into airplane engines or otherwise damage aircraft. Pilots have airport information that will tell them which runways/taxi ways are closed.

NO other aircraft went there, No other aircraft made the mistake that day, just the Air Canada flight.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

From an aviation safety website, Notams were issued (notice to airmen) but badly signaled (without “under construction”-signs), the pilots took the wrong exit, just before exit B7. They may have tried to push it back,  as the article continues, 'As it was very difficult for ground staff to push the aircraft back on the runway, the 11 crew members and 201 passengers got stuck inside the aircraft for five hours. Looks like it was a Narita error, not the pilot.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Taxi way was being paved, air craft entered unpaved section which required them to stop, crews came out later to put metal sheets on the ground for the aircraft to safely taxi.

Airport runways are not like you regular highway pavement, and a fully loaded 787 weighs a lot more than a regular Toyota, so runway condition is very important when working with million dollar air craft.

No other pilot made the same mistake that day. It is the pilots responsibility to check and verify data, if it doesn't look right, ask for verification.

https://www.flyingmag.com/air-canada-flight-ignores-go-around-calls-at-sfo

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/air-canada-flight-759-near-miss-video-san-francisco-airport-a8336726.html

15 ( +15 / -0 )

This is Japan so maybe the taxiway detour sign was written only in Japanese

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

You have to wonder where Air Canada finds these morons. Ban them, it's not remotely a joke for any error when it comes to fully loaded planes

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Many years ago Air Canada used to run an ad on British TV showing a recently landed plane with the doors open but no passengers wanting to get off because of the great service.

Couldn't happen today!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

On a practical note, since they landed at 3:45 p.m. and passengers couldn't disembark for around 5 hours, by the time they all cleared immigration, got their bags and exited customs, the last Narita Express had already probably left!

Which means...

D'Oh!....

Limousine bus or taxi!!!

Just saying :-)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Seems to be a lot of Air Canada haters on JT. I'd guess it was multiple errors that led to this. Perhaps first flight to Narita for the pilot, instructions were not completely clear, not properly marked, exhaustion. Who knows, by nobody was hurt, and life goes on. I just wonder why the could debark the passengers and let them stay in the airport instead of on the plane.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The Narita administrative staff held the mandatory six meetings to decide what to do just as fast as they could...

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

This is the same airline that almost crashed into 4 other planes on the wrong runway in San Fran last year which could have led to over 1,000 deaths. Enough is enough, remove this airlines' accreditation and ban them from flying. This is unforgivable incompetence by the airline

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I hope these are not seniors:-/

i would have a heart attack if I ever saw a plane with that orange sticker

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Can someone explain why 6 Jetstar flights were cancelled and no other flights?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

(leaving aside the whole thing about why wasn't the 'forbidden zone' not barriered off?) what i don't get is.... if the plane taxied into a place where no planes were meant to be and no other planes were... why did that affect flights on runways that were legitimately in use?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I saw this on the news last night - really puzzling why it was so big news and why it took them so long to solve it!

Oh, and I guess the canceled flights were because of security reasons (some departing or arriving jet could decide to bump into the stalled airplane despite it was parked on a side run... irony)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ah, Air Canada... always pulling out all the stops.

In any case, how do the fights work in underwater hockey?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Can someone explain why 6 Jetstar flights were cancelled and no other flights?

Just a guess. Discount airline, with maybe discounted airport fees means they're the first to get bumped.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

(leaving aside the whole thing about why wasn't the 'forbidden zone' not barriered off?) what i don't get is.... if the plane taxied into a place where no planes were meant to be and no other planes were... why did that affect flights on runways that were legitimately in use?

I would guess because the crews needing to cover the unpaved sections of pavement to move the plane back had to access the runways to move equipment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To the folks saying ‘why didn’t they just push it back the way it came in’: if you accidently ran barefoot into a room full of broken glass, would you walk back out yourself or would you wait for somebody with some shoes on to come get you?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is Japan so maybe the taxiway detour sign was written only in Japanese international air travel official language is English nearly all communication traffic control and pilots are in English, To become a air traffic controller or international route pilot you need to have a good command of English

6 ( +6 / -0 )

OK, so the plane entered the taxi strip wrong, I still can't see why the passengers could not get off, they could have easily used one of the mobile step lorry to get along side and the passengers could disembark, then one of those shuttle busses that they have drive up and collect them and return them to the main building, its going to be safe as the have suspended flights! I would love to find out who's fault it was, as IF its the controls towers fault, the air line co will be sending them a big invoice, but if its the pilot's fault, they will be getting a big invoice from the air port.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@smith

In any case, how do the fights work in underwater hockey?

In my mind it would look just like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3VTW9JAeLk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are lots of issues going on here with what happened.

The AC pilots were WRONG. The was a CLEAR SOLID WHITE LINE on the right side of the runway blocking the taxiway. In layman's terms that's the same as double yellow solid line that one cannot cross over. The new taxiway was even painted green for the first 60 metres from the edge of the runway which to a pilot means grass. Even if the NRT controllers told the pilots to take an unmarked taxiway, the pilots could refuse if the markings clearly show it's closed. The AC pilots were wrong!

 

The overhead pictures of the B787-8 show that the A/C was barely two fuselage lengths into the taxiway and could have easily been pushed back onto the runway about 120 metres behind. If the A/C had taxied another 150 metres forward, then it would have been on a softer paved surface as that part of the taxiway only had a few lifts of asphalt applied and another 80 metres forward of that was not even paved before it would have met up with the other taxiways.

 

The delay of pushing the A/C back onto the runway was 100% NRT’s fault. Having dealt with Japanese in this sort of decision making hierarchy, I can bet there was a lot of teeth sucking going on followed by little huddles and secret meetings on how to deal with this problem. The real reason being how they were going to spin it since they had been waiting for this to happen.

 

The real reason for the delay: To have a 'case in point' to deliver to the country that the delays in finishing runway 34R/16L caused this problem and it's only a matter time before this happens again or worse with the 2020 Olympics coming. You can bet this will be the real push to finally get Narita Airport's second runway finished once and for all. You would have to be a group of incompetent idiots to not be able to push an A/C back 120 metres on a paved taxiway that was paved properly up past where the A/C stopped.

Narita Airport Authority was just waiting for this scenario to take place and they pounced on it and milked it for all it was worth. Now let's just wait and see if they figured out that they were way too obvious about how they handled it and back off pressing Abe and company for the 'push' to take the remaining land by force.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's ridiculous how airlines treat people. Trapping passengers on the plane for 5 hours is insane, i'm sure they could've got people off somehow and bussed them to the terminal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

aaaaand that taxiway must surely be the only construction site in Japan without a wavy stick guy showing the way around it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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