View Full Version : THY A343 at Antananarivo

tubby linton
1st Feb 2016, 15:00
I am surprised that this incident hasn't attracted more discussion on here.
THY A343 at Antananarivo
Incident: THY A343 at Antananarivo on Jan 9th 2016, touched down short of runway (http://avherald.com/h?article=4930e532&opt=0)

Hotel Tango
1st Feb 2016, 15:17
No ILS. Visual approach. Question: Aside from the sim, how often do pilots of heavies get to make visual approaches these days? I suspect that because of company SOPs for many it's a lot less than they would like to. (then again some may prefer not to)!

1st Feb 2016, 18:42
THY is getting a good pasting on the av herald web site from which the story has been obtained.

The following Turkish web site seems to be the only media announcement for this incident. The suggestion to the casual reader seems to be ....who put the ILS antenna array there ! Bit like the Kathmandu job where the rwy must have been temporarily moved, when the price of scarp metal was high.

THY uÁa?? piste k?sa oturdu (http://www.airporthaber.com/thy-haberleri/thy-ucagi-piste-kisa-oturdu.html)

1st Feb 2016, 19:15
I can well understand low practiced crews on visual approaches touching down long; but short is a real mystery!

1st Feb 2016, 19:19
Is it a displaced threshold?

1st Feb 2016, 21:47
I can well understand low practiced crews on visual approaches touching down long; but short is a real mystery!

There are several visual illusions that can make it appear one is higher than one actually is, on a visual approach. And thus contact the ground early.

Narrower than "accustomed" runway width, or an upsloped runway, or a high pilot viewpoint (747 being the grossest example).

I don't see an obvious problem with this runway, though. Upslope is only 80 ft/24 meters from 29 threshold to 11 threshold**. It's 148 feet/45 meters wide. Unless other facts emerge, I have to assume the PF was experienced with the "eye-height" of an A340 cockpit.

The only other factor is that this approach is over water (lake) which would remove some visual cues. Or that the PAPI was misaligned.

** although the slope is not constant - it is concentrated as a "step" in the middle 1/3rd of the runway. See this image from the opposite end.


fox niner
2nd Feb 2016, 07:37
Re: visual illusions,

That is all fine and well, but when you fly an airbus to any African airfield, you bloody well be prepared/willing/CAPABLE to conduct a visual approach. No matter what visual illusions nature may throw at you. Can't fly manually/visually? Don't go to Africa. Period.

So who was closer, Qatari in Miami or Turkish in Antananarivo?

Doors to Automatic
2nd Feb 2016, 10:24
With ref to visual illusions, that is all well and good, but arten't the callouts a cue on approach regardless of other aids?

If you hear "50", "40", "30" and still a fair distance from the threshold it should be easy to determine that you are not 100% sure of making the runway? Or am I missing something?

2nd Feb 2016, 11:23
Whatever visual illusions were present (and there are some pretty convincing ones around), to touch down on the very beginning of the paved surface after hitting the ILS antenna and some of the lighting, their aiming point must have been well short of the runway, i.e. a visually obvious undershoot.

Itís possible there was some last-minute windshear as there were TS around but apart from that, I would guess that one or both of the pilots could see they were undershooting but for some reason did nothing about it. It could be that they had still had FDs on with inappropriate guidance or this was a cockpit gradient/CRM issue (not unknown at THY). Why they didnít correct an unstable approach or even GA will hopefully be addressed in the report...

2nd Feb 2016, 15:15
Interestingly there does not seem to be a lot of approach lighting to hit on this end of the runway. It does rather make you wonder why they were making a non precision approach close to or actually in the dark during a thunderstorm with the wind more or less cross when there is an ILS and much better lighting the other end. It may not have been completely night, but if it was raining or there was some low cloud that may have made the visual cues more difficult to see. There also seem to be similarities with Asiana in San Francisco. It is too early to say if overreliance on automatics played a role. But it is a fact that this kind of thing seems to be happening to them far too often and that here and in Kathmandu they have been extremely lucky nothing worse happened. Not saying that you shouldn't fly these kind of approaches. But the old saying about superior pilots avoiding situations where they have to demonstrate their superior ability springs to mind.

2nd Feb 2016, 15:43
Interestingly there does not seem to be a lot of approach lighting to hit on this end of the runway.
Yes. The PAPIs are out at the moment due WIP with a displaced threshold. I donít know if this was in force at the time of the accident.

2nd Feb 2016, 16:14
@ F9, Doors, Wings - C'mon, guys!

I was answering Rat-5's generic question about landing short on visual. I even specifically said "I don't see an obvious problem with this runway, though."

A rational mind would understand I was not making excuses for the crew, simply describing what can fool the unwary.

2nd Feb 2016, 20:52
Turkish only started this service a couple of weeks earlier, so it is quite possible the crew were unfamiliar with the airport. There is an RNAV approach to this runway (again similar to the incident in Kathmandu). It is just as likely they flew the RNAV straight in from the east thinking to save time, as it is possible they were running late. One scenario is that it was still quite light when they started the approach but visibility deteriorated as they got lower. Maybe thunderstorm activity to the west was a factor in not flying the ILS or not wanting to give up on the approach. Either way with hindsight it does not seem to have been a great decision making process.

2nd Feb 2016, 21:18
@PiF <-- is this a Twitterism?

I certainly didnít mean to contradict you (and Iím not sure I did...). Your post makes sense on its own anyway.

I think incidents/accidents like this are interesting, like the one in Canada (canít remember where but it was fairly recent) where there are gross undershoots and the visual picture - both aeroplanes were navigating purely by visual means at that point - is looking very bad and no-one does anything about it.

If you came out of cloud to find four reds on the papi plus a close up view of the ground short of the runway, a go-around is the most likely event. Why is this harder to deal with on a visual approach? To get in that position it must have looked pretty bad for some time. Iíd like to know what was going on in their heads that made them continue so I donít get suckered into it one day.

2nd Feb 2016, 21:40
Either way with hindsight it does not seem to have been a great decision making process.

Something TK culture certainly excels at!

Union Jack
2nd Feb 2016, 22:37
The following online translation of the link at Post #3 should help to clarify the siyuation:

THY plane sat on the runway short

"Turkish Airlines' 50th mistress appeared to put the wheels hitting the runway during the landing of the aircraft to the ILS antenna from Mauritius to Madagascar in Antananarivo city.":confused:


3rd Feb 2016, 00:22
40 years ago, it was normal to be "racist", normal to have preconceived ideas about people from "other cultures". I did my PPL in a Flying Club associated with a major school conducting CPL/ATPL training for the likes of Iraq/Libya/ Algeria & I remember only too well the comments of their instructors in the Bar shared by the Flying Club/ Commercial School.

What transpires now, is no surprise to anyone with even an iota of imagination/ bit of hindsight . . . sorry, but, your ability to do this aviation type stuff/CRM etc, is inextricably linked with where your culture originates (generally ) I.E. where is your country.

I flew (briefly ) for a Turkish Charter company, and the FO (Turkish ) A - preferred to let me kill him than speak up, & B - Just gave up if the landing got too difficult for him , because, well "Turkish Capts just take-over " (but, I never said I have control ) When you operate effectively "Single Crew" these little problems will happen.

3rd Feb 2016, 12:10
If you are not happy, speak up :}

de facto
3rd Feb 2016, 15:05
Mixing very senior captains (upgrading to longhaul with no previous longhaul experience) and first officers with very little experience(1000 hours or less) may not be the "safest" choice indeed...