View Full Version : ALC and that Dodgy Short Cut !

Jet A1
26th Oct 2003, 20:54
Was behind a certain UK low-cost operator into ALC in the dark (and definitely not completely VMC) d'other night when he asked for that very dodgy short-cut onto a 10 mile final RWY 10 -- You boys are asking for trouble !!! Why do it !! Save 5 mins ??

SO much for being below MSA off a published procedure at night and no airfeild visual reference ie APP lights to make a visual approach !

Fair enough during the day but at night ????

26th Oct 2003, 21:01
Perhaps their ORANGE glow, lit their path.

Max Angle
26th Oct 2003, 21:28
Very dodgy , even if you know the airfield. We operate a daily schedule to ALC and the shortcut is fine in day VMC but would not consider it at any other time. All to save 3 minutes, stupid in the extreme.

27th Oct 2003, 00:07
Whilst I am not condoning this, in fact VILNA to 10 mile finals is perfectly safe it actaully takes you away from the higher ground. I would suggest that you do not want to go off track.

I doubt that I would do it in the dark, and definitely not in IMC.

Random Electron
27th Oct 2003, 00:12
If this is to become the norm, then I fear a CFIT accident coming up.

Alicante today, where next tomorrow. Bodrum?

27th Oct 2003, 05:50
Yep, VILNA to ten mile final, at night/IMC is fine, providing you're wearing your best boots, spurs and ten gallon hat.

27th Oct 2003, 07:33
:( There is NO WAY I will accept a "short cut" into ALC. I dont care if it is CAVOK VMC at Midday. Some day someone will end up in the ground...for the sake of five minutes. Fly the approach and stay safe!!!!!

27th Oct 2003, 08:30
So, SOPS, will you never take a visual anywhere?

As long as the weather is OK and you can see all the high ground there is nothing wrong with it at all.

If you fly too far left you may go over a mast that will give you a GPWS warning.

A lot of people end up in the ground flying a procedure because they get it wrong, no different to a visual approach.

27th Oct 2003, 16:10
the way point COLON sounds familar.. ALC in my books is a dodgy place re terrain and I am certainly against a night visual going in there. Many companies Ban visuals of this type of description at night. Keep it safe and fly the procedure.

Capt Bear

27th Oct 2003, 16:24
Having been into ALC a gazillion times, i can safely say that in good VMC, Vilna to a 10 mile final is perfectly safe.

Have the aircraft at an intermediate approach speed, reduce your rate of descent. 800 fpm will do.Have the EGPWS on.

In good VMC this will take you away from high ground, save 5 minutes, plus fuel, and makes safe commercial sense. If you are unhappy don't do it, marginal VMC, again don't do it. Like FMGC says, will you never take a visual approach??? :hmm:

Its your choice, make a safe decision @ Vilna.


Barber's Pole Bob
27th Oct 2003, 17:01
So when you get your "Tea No Biscuits" with the boss for that HARD GPWS warning - that's your defence -- "Saved Five mins and a bit of juice and you knew where the ground was cos you had the EGPWS on and the moon lit the way up a bit !

"and makes safe commercial sense"

Might make bit of commercial sense but would not call it SAFE especially as Jet A1 tells us that this was at night !!!

SO is it legal ??? Me thinks if you check your ops manual regarding Visual approaches at night you need to have reference to the Approach lights and or runway !! No chance at VILNA !

27th Oct 2003, 17:20
There will be no tea and biccies, if you keep the visual approach to good VMC conditions, day or night. If its slightly marginal, do the procedure.

My ops manual doesn't specify any difference between day or night visual approaches.

So do you never do night visuals anywhere??? You might find it a tad tricky in some of the Greek Islands me thinks. :hmm: Can you see the approach lights downwind at CFU, or any light for that matter. No, but if you've been there before (at night a requirement), you know where the runway is. If there is any risk of going IMC, have an exit strategy, or don't do it.


Agaricus bisporus
27th Oct 2003, 17:21
Isn't wandering off the STAR "because you know from experience that it is safe" just the same as not bothering to do the performance calculations or the checklist because "you know from experience...." Not exactly covering our sixes, are we?

I am very dubious of accepting any "short cut" in that part of the world in anything but VMC, as the very patriotically named 757 behind me into AGP yesterday will tell you. Five minutes my @rse! If he saved 30 seconds by going straight to 18 miles or wherever it was with in thick IMC and heavy showers I'll be surprised, and look at what he risked! Trouble is the controllers down there love to invite us to risk it, and some can't resist the temptation.

Daft, imho.

27th Oct 2003, 23:55
I fly the 757/767 for a living. What I see from many comments on PPrune when it comes to this sort of thread is a lack of airmanship and initiative, remarks along the lines "we fly big jets so the only safe path is to follow the SID/STAR, etc". What is wrong with going visual, day or night?

We get paid to fly the aircraft efficiently, not just to follow a magenta line, fiddling with knobs and switches whilst the Autopilot does the flying.

Personally, on most visual approaches I switch everything off, Autpilot, Auto Throttle and FD's. FLY the aeroplane, don't let it fly you. It's also very satisfying!

TDK mk2
28th Oct 2003, 01:30
inferred low cost operator insists on flying the procedure at Inverness even when the conditions are CAVOK. I assume that is the SOP but because of non radar ATC I have had the pleasure of a 'monitored approach' i.e. theirs on our TCAS from the holding point.

28th Oct 2003, 01:47
"Having been into ALC a gazillion times, i can safely say that in good VMC, Vilna to a 10 mile final is perfectly safe"

The most dangerous airfields are the ones that you are most familiar with.

28th Oct 2003, 02:22
Can anybody remember the attributing factors in to the unfortuanate Dan air 727 incidient with the side of Mt.Tiede in Tenerife? Poor VMC, off STAR etc? From what I recall, they were familiar with the approach but elected to accept a "short cut".

Fast Erect
28th Oct 2003, 16:19
I wholeheartedly agree with the original poster on this subject.
I did exactly what was described in day/vmc and still got all the bells and whistles.
Now I am not against visual approaches at all, given the right situation, but I will say I 'll never do it again for ALC 10.

28th Oct 2003, 16:26





Basic T
28th Oct 2003, 16:55
Was in ALC yesterday, heard all (UK) carriers following the arc on a beacon that was coding wrong. The ALT VOR/DME was coding TLT (no, not TST (test)). So what is safe?

I know that most of us are flying that arc in LNAV until intercept so it is flown on FMC database figures but I heard nobody reporting it! And the mayority of airliners have got GPS nowadays.

My point: even if you fly that magenta line (which feels safe), don't throw your airmanship away and keep safe!

28th Oct 2003, 16:58
Hey,steady on GMS.Using such words as airmanship,initiative,and"fly the aircraft" is tantamount to treason.You'll be suggesting that flying is pleasurable should be enjoyed and even personally rewarding.Thank goodness you stopped short of suggesting that pilots exercise judgement as well!

Cheers you all-keep smiling.

28th Oct 2003, 18:35
I seem to recall that if met conditions allowed at ALC, then over the top at whatever the 25 nm MSA was (easing down towards circling minima within 4 nm's), right downwind for R/W 10 at night was a neat and safe action to take for a visual circuit and certainly speeded traffic flow if you were leading the stream southbound from CLS. Have things changed recently?

28th Oct 2003, 19:26
Things changed a few years ago, highcirrus.

Now, it's a DME Arc to a loooong final. This is called "progress" :hmm: :uhoh:

Jeppesen have issued a Radar Vectoring chart for ALC as well. I don't know why, because I've never been vectored towards final approach at ALC, even by Valencia ATC!

Oh, and I agree with other's sentiments;
VILNA to a 10nm Final in Daylight, VMC, ONLY!
This IS called airmanship.

28th Oct 2003, 23:52
Surely going direct to Vilna at night is against most (all) companies SOP's. While I agree that direct to Vilna is more than likely safe, surly if complied with the required terrain clearance the procedure would follow that track.