View Full Version : How many missed approaches?
22nd Feb 2004, 15:11
Perhaps this is more a survey(?) but my question to pilots is:
Does your company have a maximum number of approaches allowed in bad weather conditions (assume the 'heaps of fuel situation') and if so, what main reason(s) lie behind the S.O.P?
I have heard varying limits ie: 3 approaches then go or hold after the first one etc etc etc. My operator is looking at introducing such a policy and I'd like some 'industry practice info'.
thanks in advance.
23rd Feb 2004, 01:35
maximum number of approaches? I always thought (under FAA) that an Airline wasn't even allowed to attempt the approach if it wasn't doable.
23rd Feb 2004, 02:23
Never heard of doing trying more than one approach because of bad WX, you don't see the runway on your first approach, you call missed approach and proceed to alternate, and you only do the approach if you are luck enough (ex: getting reported RVR below mins after passing FAF). I thought this was law but I'll have to check. As for the heaps of fuel situation? Never had too much fuel in my tanks, ... unless it's on fire :uhoh:
23rd Feb 2004, 11:39
Thanks for your responses but it seems I should clarify some points on my original post. The scenario goes like this.
We operate 99% of the time to uncontrolled airports most of which have only Non-precision approaches available. We frequently have the benefit of having enough fuel to carry out say, up to 5 approaches before proceeding to an alternate. The situation would be where you only have the benefit of a Metar(at best!) and the WX is fluctuating about the landing minimums. (ie: cloud base and Vis).
This case is not only specific to this as I have travelled with many carriers who if fuel permits will attempt more than one approach in adverse WX.(fuel permitting)
So, do other operators have policies where there is a MAXIMUM number of attempts before you have to proceed to an alternate.
The sort of factors that I've heard that are considerations would be Pax comfort, anxiety etc etc. Remember, I'm talking about the case where you have the benefit of having sufficient fuel to carry out approaches before you divert.
Not all operators are restricted to 'one approach then the alternate.
23rd Feb 2004, 18:07
Yes, we're restricted to "two successive approaches" which result in a go round. I wasn't responsible for this one, but I think it is there to prevent the "try a little harder every time" mentality which has in the past resulted in bust limits.
23rd Feb 2004, 19:11
I, too, was limited to two attempts - a second "go around" would always be followed by a diversion.
Don't remember it ever happening though - even in European weather.
23rd Feb 2004, 19:17
Happened aplenty down in the canaries last week :uhoh:
24th Feb 2004, 16:22
No maximum as set by the company for us.
We can start an approved instrument approach in any weather, but we may only continue past the Outer Marker, or equivalent, with weather above limits. (local regulations aside)
24th Feb 2004, 17:39
Were also limited to 2 app. which result in a go-around. Were only allowed to attempt a third app. if the vis increases by a factor of 2 and the cloudbase doubles in hieght.
26th Feb 2004, 02:09
I have personally done 3 Approaches to try and get into the airport before, with the company squaking on the other radio that they need the plane for tomorrows flights. No limit in our OPSPECS about the amount of em as long as ya got the fuel and the Mins....
Very hard to keep the influence of the beancounters away from this one!!
27th Feb 2004, 03:08
Our policy is two approaches: after the 2nd you divert. Of course both have to carry high amount of duability.
1st Mar 2004, 00:59
Rather unhelpfuly I can recall neither the numbers or their source but I do remember the lesson! Statistical data shows that the probability of an accident rises greatly on the third attempt hence the 2 tries and run rule applied in all 3 operators I have flown with.