Westjet hits geese in Victoria

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jakeandelwood
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Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by jakeandelwood »

Date: 2020-02-21
Narrative: A WestJet Boeing 737-8CT (C-GJWS/WJA209) from Calgary, AB (CYYC) to Victoria, BC (CYYJ) reported a bird strike when on short final for Runway 09. WJA209 executed a missed approach and diverted to Vancouver, BC (CYVR). Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) found remains in the approach area (10+ geese). No impact on operations.

Date: 2020-02-28
Narrative: UPDATE TSB Report #A20P0006: C-GJWS, a WestJet Boeing 737-800, was operating as flight WJA209 from Calgary Intl (CYYC), AB to Victoria (CYYJ), BC. During short final at CYYJ the aircraft encountered a flock of geese and struck approximately 10 of them. The crew executed a missed approach and diverted to Vancouver Intl (CYVR), BC. With ARFF on standby, the aircraft was given priority clearance and it landed without further incident. The aircraft nose cone had been punctured by the impact. There were no injuries.
Please note that for the most part, CADORS reports contain

I'm no 737 pilot and maybe I'm missing something but why would these guys decide to abort a landing after hitting 10 geese on short final? You are already lined up with a runway directly in front of you. I'd be worried the engines may be damaged and climb power may not be available. I guess Maintenance is in YVR and the runway is longer. Maybe the approach got messed up from it. Any thoughts?
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Jean-Pierre
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by Jean-Pierre »

I'd say panic and that a missed approach is taught "escape maneuver" for when thing go wrong during an approach instead of just landing.
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altiplano
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by altiplano »

I don't disagree, I imagine I would want to land straight ahead in most scenarios like this one.

But as you said maybe something overrode that idea.

Maintenance availability is very low on my priority scale... maybe they saw the birds and tried to avoid, and got unstable? Or maybe they just shit themselves and went around out of instinct? With a punctured nose cone that would be a hell of a surprise...
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digits_
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by digits_ »

Would they have needed reverse to land in Victoria?
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ahramin
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by ahramin »

I'm sure if they thought they could continue to a safe landing they would have. The fact that they didn't indicates something happened to put some doubt in their mind that they could land safely. For example if they maneuvered trying not to hit the Geese, maybe they were no longer "lined up with a runway directly in front of [them]". Better to go around and take it to a longer runway, especially in a 737.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by GRK2 »

Jean-Pierre wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:51 am I'd say panic and that a missed approach is taught "escape maneuver" for when thing go wrong during an approach instead of just landing.
Hahahaha, there is NO WAY that the crew panicked. Would you want to land a potentially damaged aircraft without any evidence it was ok to do so? It shows a well thought out response and can you tell us (if you know) what sort of maintenance WS has in YYJ? I'm quite sure the crew knows and you don't.
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telex
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by telex »

GRK2 wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:11 pm
Jean-Pierre wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:51 am I'd say panic and that a missed approach is taught "escape maneuver" for when thing go wrong during an approach instead of just landing.
Hahahaha, there is NO WAY that the crew panicked. Would you want to land a potentially damaged aircraft without any evidence it was ok to do so? It shows a well thought out response and can you tell us (if you know) what sort of maintenance WS has in YYJ? I'm quite sure the crew knows and you don't.
Would you want to fly a potentially damaged aircraft without any evidence it was ok to do so?
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SAR_YQQ
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by SAR_YQQ »

Does the CADORs indicate if they were already in the GA when they hit the birds?

“Birds on final, go around.” Smash smash smash Declare emergency. Go to YVR 10 mins away with a superior ARFF and a runway that you can FOD with a plane while awaiting a tow (if needed). Big boy decisions that accounts for the pay cheque these bubbas receive.
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jakeandelwood
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by jakeandelwood »

Maybe that's what happened, they were warned, initiated a missed approach then hit the birds. Maybe the approach became destabilized.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by cncpc »

telex wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:51 pm

Would you want to fly a potentially damaged aircraft without any evidence it was ok to do so?
That was my first thought.
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pelmet
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by pelmet »

Already discussed here quite recently in a thread I started with actual accidents and many fatalities given as example of why it is probably best to just continue and land.

viewtopic.php?f=118&t=130304

Just continue and land if the bird strikes have started. If they haven’t yet....depends on circumstances/each case is different. If clearly avoidable because the birds are well below, I can see going around, if very low, best to plow through them.

I wonder if in some of the incidents, the decision to go around was prior to the first bird strike which brings up the question....what if they appear all of a sudden very close, are quickly getting closer, but you haven’t hit any yet. Each case is different but on short final(whatever the definition of that is), consider plowing through them.....perhaps this should be thought through well in advance of any possible encounter as a general policy.
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Gannet167
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by Gannet167 »

GRK2 wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:11 pmWould you want to land a potentially damaged aircraft without any evidence it was ok to do so?
Given the option of continuing an approach (assuming that's where they were and had not already initiated a go around) or, going missed and becoming the "miracle on the Georgia straight", I'd gladly land (glide?) to the runway that I was configured for and lined up with.
GRK2 wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:11 pm It shows a well thought out response
Perhaps. We don't have enough information. If they struck birds on final then initiated a missed approach and flew, over water, to a different airport, I think there are other responses that could be argued would be much better thought out. If they elected to do a missed after hitting birds on final, I would say it's a very poorly thought out response.

GRK2 wrote: Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:11 pm can you tell us (if you know) what sort of maintenance WS has in YYJ? I'm quite sure the crew knows and you don't.
if in the moment of hitting a lot of birds birds you're weighing what maintenance is at what base, I'd suggest your priorities are way out of whack. How much longer, if at all will the engines make thrust and where's the nearest asphalt are better.

Imagine explaining after a double flame out and ditching "yeah, but I went around because YVR has better maintenance...." In the moments before they realized they had no engines, I'm sure Sully was not calculating whether Teterborough, Newark or La Guardia had better maintenance.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by GRK2 »

Well, it's now Monday and all the quarterbacking here has produced some good thinking and some good questions, just like the OP wanted. It's safe to say that not one of us was in that flight deck, and not one of us knows what the reaction time was, or what the surprise factor action was. All we know is that they hit a bunch of geese and went around. What is evident is that we all have a different opinion on what was right. What is also evident is that we all think we are right! If there is something we can learn here so much the better.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by goldeneagle »

Gannet167 wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:02 am Given the option of continuing an approach (assuming that's where they were and had not already initiated a go around) or, going missed and becoming the "miracle on the Georgia straight", I'd gladly land (glide?) to the runway that I was configured for and lined up with.
Re-read the first post, all of it. Event happened on approach to 09 in YYJ. Report says ARFF folks picked up bird remnants in the approach area. Anybody that knows the layout then understands, they were already over the lights when they hit the birds as once past the lights in that direction, you are out over the water.

So the real question then becomes this. At the time of the bird strike, were they already starting the go around and had already selected the gear up ? If so, the climbing out on the miss is the correct action. Further, anybody that knows the area also understand, even with vectors, by the time you get vectored around the hill and back onto approach for 09, you are half way to YVR, so you may as well go to the place with more equipment and facilities.

The other possibility, when hitting the birds they were on short final with gear down and locked. In my mind at that point it would make no sense to go around.

I'll give the folks benefit of the doubt and suggest the fact they did go around tells us that it's most likely the bird strike happened after the go around had been initiated. If that's the case, and looking at how one gets to the other end for another approach to 09, ya, I'd probably say 'hmm, I'm already halfway to Vancouver, maybe that's a better option'.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by pelmet »

Well....I provided a link to a previous thread showing two crashes due to go-arounds from bird strikes. Is anyone familiar with a crash from someone who continued to land.

viewtopic.php?f=118&t=130304
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by GRK2 »

It's quite common to pull up to try to miss larger birds, whether by accident or on purpose. (many approaches also end up with the PF pulling back subconsciously to try to better see the landing environment, it's a normal human factors issue) I wonder if in this case, the PF was attempting to miss the birds and pulled up. At a low altitude on approach it does two things: It risks putting the aircraft out of the "stabilized approach" criteria, and also into the threat of a low energy nose up situation. In this case a go around becomes mandatory in many airlines. (I don't know if WS has this in their SOP's but it would surprise me if they didn't.) A go around in this situation, as a poster above alluded to, may make YVR a better option from purely a distance and timing point of view.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by daedalusx »

pelmet wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:55 am Well....I provided a link to a previous thread showing two crashes due to go-arounds from bird strikes. Is anyone familiar with a crash from someone who continued to land.

viewtopic.php?f=118&t=130304
Boeing literally tells you it’s better to land (if landing is assured of course) if you get bird strikes on approach. FCTM 8.11.

Who the @#$! cares about if there is maintenance or not in Victoria ... the bean counters can figure it out later.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by pelmet »

GRK2 wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:22 pm It's quite common to pull up to try to miss larger birds, whether by accident or on purpose. (many approaches also end up with the PF pulling back subconsciously to try to better see the landing environment, it's a normal human factors issue) I wonder if in this case, the PF was attempting to miss the birds and pulled up. At a low altitude on approach it does two things: It risks putting the aircraft out of the "stabilized approach" criteria, and also into the threat of a low energy nose up situation. In this case a go around becomes mandatory in many airlines. (I don't know if WS has this in their SOP's but it would surprise me if they didn't.) A go around in this situation, as a poster above alluded to, may make YVR a better option from purely a distance and timing point of view.
Multiple birdstrikes could be considered an emergency. If the runway is reasonably long, one can cast aside the stable approach criteria(if still obviously safe to land) and use the captains emergency authority to continue the approach.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by GRK2 »

pelmet wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:47 pm
GRK2 wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:22 pm It's quite common to pull up to try to miss larger birds, whether by accident or on purpose. (many approaches also end up with the PF pulling back subconsciously to try to better see the landing environment, it's a normal human factors issue) I wonder if in this case, the PF was attempting to miss the birds and pulled up. At a low altitude on approach it does two things: It risks putting the aircraft out of the "stabilized approach" criteria, and also into the threat of a low energy nose up situation. In this case a go around becomes mandatory in many airlines. (I don't know if WS has this in their SOP's but it would surprise me if they didn't.) A go around in this situation, as a poster above alluded to, may make YVR a better option from purely a distance and timing point of view.
Multiple birdstrikes could be considered an emergency. If the runway is reasonably long, one can cast aside the stable approach criteria(if still obviously safe to land) and use the captains emergency authority to continue the approach.
He or she better hope it was the right move if they use that "authority" and they bend tin or injure people.
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Re: Westjet hits geese in Victoria

Post by pelmet »

GRK2 wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:55 pm
pelmet wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:47 pm
GRK2 wrote: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:22 pm It's quite common to pull up to try to miss larger birds, whether by accident or on purpose. (many approaches also end up with the PF pulling back subconsciously to try to better see the landing environment, it's a normal human factors issue) I wonder if in this case, the PF was attempting to miss the birds and pulled up. At a low altitude on approach it does two things: It risks putting the aircraft out of the "stabilized approach" criteria, and also into the threat of a low energy nose up situation. In this case a go around becomes mandatory in many airlines. (I don't know if WS has this in their SOP's but it would surprise me if they didn't.) A go around in this situation, as a poster above alluded to, may make YVR a better option from purely a distance and timing point of view.
Multiple birdstrikes could be considered an emergency. If the runway is reasonably long, one can cast aside the stable approach criteria(if still obviously safe to land) and use the captains emergency authority to continue the approach.
He or she better hope it was the right move if they use that "authority" and they bend tin or injure people.
Same thing with a go-around. It is almost always easier to continue down a near three degree descent path to a runway a mile or less ahead with loss(es) of power than to go-around and try another approach. A situation that can easily happen when ten geese are hit.
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