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Old 16th Dec 2009, 14:02   #1 (permalink)
 
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American MD80 rough landing CLT/leaves debris!

******************
Rough landing leaves debris

Officials reportedly look into crew fatigue and dense fog as possible
factors in plane's scary arrival in Charlotte. On Sunday, an American Airlines flight scraped a wingtip and partially veered off the runway while trying to land.

Federal aviation officials are investigating why an American Airlines plane
landing in heavy fog Sunday night in Charlotte veered partially off the
runway and then scraped a wingtip, as frightened passengers gasped and
braced inside.

The impact left parts of the wing and debris on runway 36C, but planes
continued to land for another 11 minutes until the runway was closed for
planned maintenance about 11 p.m.

Officials couldn't say whether the debris posed a danger to the other
planes. It wasn't clear how many more landed, but an airport spokesman said it was "a handful." Charlotte/Douglas International wasn't alerted to the incident until about 2:24 a.m. Monday. Airport officials said the debris was cleaned up shortly after the airport received word from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The weather, possible crew fatigue, the plane's alignment for landing as
well as its equipment are also under review, according to reporting by the
Observer and the Wall Street Journal.

None of the 110 passengers or the crew aboard American Flight 1402, inbound from Dallas, was injured in the rough landing.

"It was just shaking, just jarring," said Randall Calvert, 40, of Charlotte,
who was returning from a company Christmas party and sitting in the 15th row of the plane, near the wing.

"You know how it feels on a roller coaster when you're going on a bend and all the G-forces are going one way. Everybody in our area thought it was about to roll over."

Calvert said he couldn't see out more than 20 feet because of the fog. He
also said the plane didn't feel level as it came in for the landing.

At one point, he said, it felt like the wing hit something. "It clicked or
did something, then it flipped like the other way."

Passengers gasped, and a few shouted.

Then came sighs of relief - and applause for the captain.

The ordeal lasted less than 10 seconds, Calvert said.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said airport personnel found
debris on the runway, and that the damage to the McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 aircraft "was substantial."

Bergen didn't know Tuesday night what type of debris was found, or how large it was. Airport spokesperson Haley Gentry was also unable to describe what was found.

Investigators are reviewing what, if any, role fog played in the incident.
Visibility was limited to about one-eighth of a mile at the time, and the
same fog bank caused hundreds of flight delays and some cancellations Monday in Charlotte.

"While weather certainly is something that the (investigators) will
consider," Bergen said, "aircraft are equipped to land in those conditions."

Officials are also looking at the actions of the flight crew and American
Airlines' communication process after the 10:49 p.m. incident.

Bergen said airlines are expected to promptly report incidents if an
airplane is seriously damaged or someone is killed, but there aren't set
timeframes in other circumstances.

It's common protocol, she said, to consistently sweep airport runways and to stop using runways altogether if debris is reported. "If an airplane blows a tire or if a pilot reports seeing debris ... anytime something occurs, or
there's a suspicion, we should stop using the runway and we would go out and sweep," Bergen said.

American Airlines declined comment Tuesday, saying it's awaiting a report
from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Wall Street Journal, citing investigators and airline officials, said
the flight's crew was told by air traffic controllers on Sunday evening that
the plane was slightly off-course as it approached for a landing.
Controllers asked the crew if they wanted to make another attempt at
landing, but the crew declined, according to the Journal.

The newspaper reported that the crew then decided to shut off the autopilot shortly before landing, believing that it was not working properly.

The Journal said investigators also will look into whether crew fatigue
might have been an issue. The crew had been on duty about 14 hours before the landing, according to the report.

Rough landing leaves debris - CharlotteObserver.com
protectthehornet is offline   Reply
Old 16th Dec 2009, 14:12   #2 (permalink)
 
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AA had another low viz incident in Denver a few years back taking out some approach lights. 14 hours of duty is a VERY long day. Just had one myself with no fewer than four CAT II approaches the same day.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 01:59   #3 (permalink)
 
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4 Cat II approaces in one day at age 65?
Where do you fly?
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 03:30   #4 (permalink)
 
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11 hrs. 3 hr difference between departure and arrival time zones.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 06:18   #5 (permalink)
 
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A cat 3 approach to the vis they were requires a go around if loc and gs parameters are not met. Autopilot and autoland is required. Handflying to a landing is not allowed. An RJ took off when AA was on a 2 mile final so can't see how the loc and gs signal was protected as required for their approach. AC are required to hold short before the end of the runway short of the gs antenna if cat 3 approaches are in progress. Lots of blame to be passed out on this one.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 07:13   #6 (permalink)
 
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Visibility can change rapidly particularly with fog banks as we all know. If the runway was unprotected and they continued manually it is perfectly possible, that the approach may at the critical point have been legal to CAT 1 limits rather than as reported above. Continuing when visual reference is then lost has been a factor in a number of recent incidents.

If we line up the holes in the swiss cheese in one possible scenario: The crew are tired, weather is marginal CAT1, the auto-pilot does not perform as advertised, they take over manually and lose visual reference below decision height. If in doubt go-around is almost always the learning point from these incidents.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 08:27   #7 (permalink)
 
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Source: http://www.avherald.com/h?article=4243a3f8&opt=0

Quote:
The tower released three aircraft for takeoff before issuing a late landing clearance about 2nm before touch down
Quote:
According to their report the controller had already advised the crew of a significant deviation from the localizer course prompting the crew to disengage their autopilot at 300 feet and continue for a manual landing.
Looks to me that they experienced localizer deviations probably caused by the departing traffic. Usually they are strongest, when the aircraft is passing the far threshold, getting close to the antenna (line of sight to the approaching a/c's position).

As the Wx lookes CAT II to me, it is perfectly fine to switch off the autopilot after having established visual references to the Rwy and to land. You are vulnerable to spacial disorientation though, especially coming from an offset position and likely in a bank.

Factors for the incident might be a breach of procedures by the tower (not enough protection), physiology (disorientation) and human factors (target fixation). I stress "might be".

And, p51guy
Quote:
A cat 3 approach to the vis they were requires a go around if loc and gs parameters are not met. Autopilot and autoland is required. Handflying to a landing is not allowed.
, is just simply wrong. Maybe in your plane/experience that might be the case.
But all CAT III I fly are manual. Autopilot use is forbidden, and my aircraft does not have autoland capabilities, yet is certified CAT IIIa with minima 50'/RVR 200m.
I have to fold down and use that headup guidance thingy though.

Nic
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 14:29   #8 (permalink)
 
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admiral

in the USA, virtually all major airlines CAT III procedures are autoland/autopilot not hand flown. I can only think of one or two that use your method.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 14:41   #9 (permalink)
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We still manually land Cat II, as long as rvr is 1200 or better.

With autoland Cat II becomes 1000 rvr minimum.

All Cat III's are autoland. 727's still use manual throttles.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 19:27   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
But all CAT III I fly are manual. Autopilot use is forbidden, and my aircraft does not have autoland capabilities, yet is certified CAT IIIa with minima 50'/RVR 200m
.

Remind me not to fly with your outfit! Only wish I knew which one it is/was....(Hopefully not Microsoft Flt Sim!). It's this kind of attitude that leads to the sort of problems that we are discussing. Manual Cat 3A (with HUD) when fresh and full of the joys of spring? Maybe; But at the end of a 4 sector 14 hour winters day/night? Don't think so, somehow.The macho days are over, Guys!
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 05:51   #11 (permalink)
 
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Phantom Driver,

Some operators of B-737 NG are hand flown CAT III using the HUD. The Captain flies the plane all the way to touchdown not the autopilot.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 08:18   #12 (permalink)
 
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erm...WHAT? i don't know which B737NGs you're talking about but since the NGs are equipped with 2 A/Ps and A/T and do auto-lands really nice why in the world would someone fly manually? besides in my outfit it's not allowed and we are VERY close to boeing procedures.
and the newest deliveries even have a stunning 3-axis-autopilot which after just 40 years of development does some crab on x-wind landings!

Last edited by FCS Explorer; 18th Dec 2009 at 08:28.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 10:28   #13 (permalink)
 
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People do sometimes jump in with both feet. I suspect Admiral346 was previously a cruise captain on the A340 600, should not be too difficult to work out who are the only people to fly these aircraft in Germany. That he is a captain now on a smaller aircraft which does manual CAT3s is also reasonably obvious. Why do some people feel the need to rubbish other posters without thinking?
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 12:41   #14 (permalink)
 
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Hand flown CAT IIIs

Just talked to a client who flies a falcon 2000. It is cleared for hand flown CAT IIIa using the HUD. It hasn't got the capacity to do an autoland !
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 16:09   #15 (permalink)
 
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Just checked the FAA website and if wx is below 800 and 2 no aircraft is allowed in the gs critical area at the takeoff end of the runway if a cat 3 arrival is inside the OM. Departing an RJ on a 2 mile final is violating that restriction. Autopilot to an autoland was required but the controllers screwed up too. Hope that helps at the hearing.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 16:53   #16 (permalink)
 
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CAT 3

Quote:
Remind me not to fly with your outfit! Only wish I knew which one it is/was....(Hopefully not Microsoft Flt Sim!). It's this kind of attitude that leads to the sort of problems that we are discussing. Manual Cat 3A (with HUD) when fresh and full of the joys of spring? Maybe; But at the end of a 4 sector 14 hour winters day/night? Don't think so, somehow.The macho days are over, Guys!
Yesterday 16:41
Only because you have never done it does not me it is unsafe...
I am sorry, but it has nothing to do with macho behavior, it's just the only way this Aircraft can perform LV app...and Has been doing so for 17 years

Cheers Micky
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 21:16   #17 (permalink)
 
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P51 guy

you are right as you usually are. let me add something as a precaution for all pilots.

when you are conducting a coupled approach or an autoland approach and the wx is 800/2 or less...ADVISE ATC both appch and tower that you are conducting an AUTOLAND or COUPLED approach. Say: verify critical areas protected.

and if you crash and atc screwed up...at least you will look good at the hearings.

I've spoken with tower controllers who have told me that they often do not protect the critical areas of gs/loc...so be careful

I have NEVER been impressed with CLT controllers of any kind and Ihave flown there ALOT.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 21:21   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I am sorry, but it has nothing to do with macho behavior, it's just the only way this Aircraft can perform LV app...and Has been doing so for 17 years
.

Fair enough; Unfortunately you do not care to mention which aircraft you are talking about. At the moment. we are discussing scheduled airline operations, subject to a myriad of international rules and regulations.

Sure, any competent pilot on a good day should be able to keep the needles centred all the way down to 50' DH/200m RVR. My point is, do you really want to be doing this on the last approach of a long duty day/night? Asking for trouble IMHO, which is why the vast majority of airlines that are serious about Low Vis Ops mandate autoland, with very strict criteria about when a GA should be conducted.

Yes, it's an expensive business keeping crew and aircraft qualified, but we owe it to those people riding down the back (and that includes you and me). Also to stay out of the newspaper headlines!
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 21:51   #19 (permalink)
 
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PTH, this might have helped this crew out a lot verifying ILS critical area was clear. I hope they change the localizer limitations to glide slope requirements because of this. Obviously if the RJ took off at the end of the runway while they were inside the OM violated cat 3 rules. They had 2 miles clearance.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 22:40   #20 (permalink)
 
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CAT 3

Quote:
Fair enough; Unfortunately you do not care to mention which aircraft you are talking about. At the moment. we are discussing scheduled airline operations, subject to a myriad of international rules and regulations.
Sorry you are right there...It's the CRJ...(100-900) fitted with HUGS can perform CAT 3a approaches RVR 200m DH 50' and Low vis T/0 down to RVR 75m.

And trust me I know what it feels like flying a CAT 3 after a 4 to 5 sektor Days with Duty times up to 12-14h.

I take your point that it seem's a little crazy flying a Cat3 with out Autothrottle and Autoland (The CRJ has none), but the system is quite cleverly done and highly accurat. And like I said it has prooven it's worth in the last 17 Years...
But I am the lucky one as I just have to sit and watch People like Nic have to do the buisness...
You should ask him what he feels
But this is a little thread drift...Getting back on Topic, where they acctualy flying a Cat3 app?? or a cat1 app with minimum weather?
That might be the reason they disengaged at 300' because they could see the lights? Especally considering that this was at night?

Good night

Micky
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