This particular incident has brought me back to PPRuNe.
I am no longer an ATCO - (I retired a long while back) but the Cork crash had an effect in my current job, staff at work were interested in what had happened...and why.
Anyway , long story short we skimmed through the online articles and I was amazed at the amount of crap that was being spouted by the media ie, the aircraft made an approach from the south to runway 17 ..and the crew made several attempts to land even though this was illegal etc etc
so i suggested we log in to PPRuNe to see what the pros had to say..
I must admit I was embarrassed ...within hours of the incident it had been stated on here that the crew were "cowboys"...the airline (virtual-airline) were known for bad practices and it was decided that a 3rd approach was in some way or other totally against all rules.
The upshot of all of this is simple..if tomorrow the Daily Star reports that it has found another B-17 on the moon and "professionals" on here say that they haven't..we would be more inclined to believe the journalists.
as far as I remember ( and i'm sure things won't have changed that much)
Decision Height: The height by which a decision to continue an approach or execute a missed approach has to be made. If DH = 200ft then on approach
at 250ft can you see the required references? yes= land, no=continue approach
at 205ft can you see the required references? yes= land, no=continue (but get ready for MA.....
at 200 can you see the required references? yes=land, no = execute missed approach.
therefore Decision is made AT decision height but preparations to execute MA are made prior to that point. The MA procedure does cater for a/c dipping below DH. simple really.
Multiple approaches in bad weather..OK i'm ex-military and civil rules / company SOPs may be different in this modern "blame" riddled society but as far as I recall the ultimate responsibility lay with the a/c captain - if he wanted to make 20 attempts then so be it, so long as he had enough fuel to make his diversion (and allow for one MA there) IIRC.
All fine and dandy in a mil a/c but paying passengers might get a tad upset after maybe the nth attempt and so a company SOP of a limit on attempted approaches. There is also the cost implication, why waste £10,000 on fuel trying to land at airport X when it will cost just £3000 to ferry the passenger by coach from airport Y and you can blame the "inconvenience" on the weather.
As for making approaches to reciprocal runway (no hassle in this incident as the wind (on the METARs) was negligible) that is not unusual - it saves time and money and effort but one MUST remember to switch the runway lighting to the one that is being used
. I remember doing a PAR at Boscombe down. the weather was abysmal and visibility from the tower was awful. a/c broke off the approach at his 200ft minima and started his MA , next call I got was "c/s switching stud 2" he then did a quick tear-drop and made a safe landing on the reciprocal runway. It transpired we had a massive fog bank running north to south and out to the west but the conditions to the east of the a/f were fantastic and as he flew through into clear air he went visual.
but i digress
please chaps, let the enquiry take its course and lets stop feeding the media mis-information, red-herrings and non-facts...they are quite good at making it up without our (your) help.