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Old 10th Feb 2011, 12:51   #41 (permalink)
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RW17 at Cork is Cat II. RW35 is Cat I.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 12:54   #42 (permalink)
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3 approaches?

Did he declare a mayday? Many places wont allow you to make 3 approaches unless you do.
Is this a company thing? Certainly ATC in the UK would not get involved in the decision process.

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Old 10th Feb 2011, 12:58   #43 (permalink)
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Of the two aircraft mentioned earlier, EC-ITP is clearly marked with a blue tail (as in the Cork photo) but a recent photo of EC-GPS shows it in white markings ...

Photos: Fairchild SA-227AC Metro III Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net

My understanding of instrument approaches, at least those I do, is that you can make as many attempts as you feel safe to do so, taking account of fuel remaining, visibility, aiport status (ie open) and any ATC instructions. I was once on a Virgin 747 that took 6 attempts to get into San Francisco. So no reason why this Metroliner crew couldn't make 3 attempts (other than the reported viz and cloudbase seem incredibly poor).

And to the news hacks logged in, runways 17 and 35 are in opposing directions (170 and 350 deg)
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 12:58   #44 (permalink)
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A reason for making an approach to opposite runway is if the visibilty increases at that end. Visibilty can differ along the length of runway.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:00   #45 (permalink)
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How common an occurrence is it to miss an approach, then come back and make an attempt in the opposite direction?
Due to the nature of fog, you might find that as the fog sets in at one end of an airfield, the other side can be slightly better and after a go-around, after a discussion with your colleague on the flight deck and ATC, the information presented may well suggest an attempt on the opposite end would be your best chance of landing successfully before diverting elsewhere.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:03   #46 (permalink)
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Must admit I've never seen it written down, but I once did 2 unsuccessful NPA's, then they opened the ILS, but wouldn't permit me to do a third approach! (Maybe it was a local rule) Was also told of the max 2 approach rule, but dunno where it comes from.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:06   #47 (permalink)
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The a/c does appear to be EC-ITP from the photos.

The Daily Mail ( ) appear to have all the photos anyone could need:

Cork airport crash: Six people confirmed dead after plane overturned on landing in heavy fog | Mail Online

It looks like all the survivors where at the back of the a/c, I doubt anyone forward of the wings got out. So we won't be receiving any pilot reports by the looks of it.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:09   #49 (permalink)
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Our company SOP's state that in order to make a third approach the weather would have to improve by by double, ie the visibility would have to double in order to make a third approach.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:12   #50 (permalink)
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The number of approach attempts you are allowed will be defined in that Company's Operations Manual (which is approved by the authority).

With the airlines I have operated for you are only allowed a third attempt if there has been a significant improvement in the weather (this also is usually defined). There are also sometimes stipulations that the previous 2 attempts must be on autopilot. (Once again though this would depend on that Company's OM).

So this decision rests with the aircraft Commander (he obviously should be obeying the rules!).

Only exception would be if you have to declare an emergency for some reason.

Another reason for doing approaches onto a different runway is that this might save time and therefore fuel but usually it's because of better RVR etc.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:21   #51 (permalink)
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Medic at Cork University Hospital tells national radio RTÉ two patients were received there with soft tissue injuries, four with more serious but non-life threatening injuries.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:21   #52 (permalink)
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decoding the weather from an earlier post (below) gives:
09.30 status, runway viz 300metres but 375m to the north on 17, 350m to the north on 35
At 10.00, they had 400m viz with 600m to the north on 17, 450m to the north on 35
Cloudbase 100ft but viz marginally improving but still pretty poor

Eick 101000z 09008kt 0400 R17/0600n R35/0450n Fg Bkn001 05/05 Q1010 Nosig
Eick 100930z 08005kt 050v110 0300 R17/0375n R35/0350n Fg Bkn001 04/04 Q1010 Nosig
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:34   #53 (permalink)
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If the RVR was below minima when they passed 1000ft all I can say is 'Cowboys!'.

Last edited by FourTrails; 10th Feb 2011 at 14:41.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:36   #54 (permalink)
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The condition of the u/c indicates the wheels made no contact with the ground, so it seems the a/c contacted in present and final attitude. Therefore this was more than a hard landing from a botched approach, or so it would appear.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:42   #55 (permalink)
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Were the A/C and crew certfied for Cat 2? If not it seems that the W/X was marginal at best. Some companies SOP's and some countries enforce an approach ban - did this apply?
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:46   #56 (permalink)
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Flew into Kerry this morning and that was nice and clear, but flying in there you could see lot of fog in the valleys and also over large parts of Ireland. Including Cork, which we overflew coming in from the East, but that was before the time of the crash in Cork.

@ FourTrails: actual current readings in wind or vis can be different then on a METAR or ATIS. And even with vis lower than minimum required passing 1000ft you can continue, because once you pass the OM and the vis then drops below minima you are allowed to continue to your mimimum alt for your approach. So please be a bit careful in what you say and have some respect as you dont know the exact details and the guys are not around anymore to defend themselves.

Last edited by Horsepowerrr; 11th Feb 2011 at 20:34.
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:46   #57 (permalink)

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Air crash

Hello, Lorna from the BBC here, did you take this photo yourself? Were you at the airport at the time of the accident? Could you call me on 0205768200
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:46   #58 (permalink)
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Latest from BBC news...

BBC News - Six killed as Belfast plane crashes in Cork
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:51   #59 (permalink)
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Just for correctness, The 'n' in the metar means 'no change' in the RVR rather than 'to the north'. If n was tagged on to the met viz that would mean 'to the north'.

Eick 100930z 08005kt 050v110 0300 R17/0375n R35/0350n Fg Bkn001 04/04 Q1010 Nosi
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Old 10th Feb 2011, 13:51   #60 (permalink)
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The aircraft was reported to be landing on 17. Crash site is very close to the start of that runway according to Flight International.

Manx2 Metroliner crashes in Cork: fatalities reported
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