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Old 20th Apr 2010, 22:57
  #840 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 202

I ask why they descend below minima and did not cary immidate go-around action. Regardless of postion at 1km before RWY or at 5km after same.
If you take the fact the outer marker was at 6 km and not 4 km, and that they had somehow ended up working on 4 km, one conclusion I can draw is that they thought they must be over the runway, and given the pressure of needing to land, descended to get the lights/runway.

The only other plausible cause I could see is the terrain under them; did the navigator check RADIO ALTITUDE, and see it was OK/increasing, before they flew over the up-going side of the hills, or was everyone looking out the window trying to acquire the runway?

The rest as they say, is history.

The Russians have a system whereby if the Captain is flying, then no-one monitors him. The F/O handles the radios, the navigator navigates, but for some reason it appears even he failed to notice the outer marker was further way, and that they were subsequently too low.


We don't actually know yet that they were on a type of approach that actually had a glideslope. They may have been on an NDB or twin NDB approach - for which the minima is typically around 3-500ft AGL, depending on terrain etc - or the Russian equivalent of a PAR or GCA approach - the radar-based "talkdown." (A PAR does have a glidelsope; the pilot follows it by reference to controller instructions. It is not displayed in the flight deck.)
From all the information available, it would be a dual NDB approach. There isn't an operational RADAR at the facility, so this was not even an option.

ECAM Actions.

Last edited by ECAM_Actions; 21st Apr 2010 at 00:48.
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