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Challenger crash at KASE

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Challenger crash at KASE

Old 7th Feb 2014, 22:23
  #401 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 946
What you are describing sounds like an operator approved special procedure and it sounds like you are describing a left downwind to runway 33 which has been a point of contention in this thread. You mentioned entering on a crosswind which is why I'm asking.
This is probably due to some unclear use of language on my part (a futile attempt at brevity) and a tad bit of thread drift. I'd like to try and clarify what I was describing and why.

What I describe is not an "operator approved special procedure" per se. It's just that ASE was declared to be a "special airport" sometime following the 2001 N303GA crash at ASE. "Special" crew qualification and operating limitations were imposed on operations at ASE for air carriers operating under part 135 rules and whose certificates were under the purview of the VNY FSDO. Whether this happened in other districts, I am not aware.

So beginning in 2001, ASE was added to our recurrent sim training list of things to do. Another check box on the form to go along with PRM approaches and whatever other items weren't on the form originally. One takeoff and one landing in visual conditions met the requirement but doing an entire approach including circling maneuver to rwy 15 was much more instructive. We flew the approach to the MAP. Making it straight in to 15 from here would be far more dramatic a final approach gradient than we were looking for. Consequently we then flew to the airport visually, maintaining MDA until overhead the airport. You're now 2,400' above the airport at the end of what amounts to the initial leg of a visual overhead approach. The further to the West of the runway you are, the closer you are to high terrain and the more room you have available to the East for circling. Since the hills may be obscured by cloud or reduced visibility even while reported visibility at the airport remains above published mins and circling West is NA, planning to overfly the runway gives the most terrain protection in all directions and is compatible with the general guidance for completing a circling maneuver. The idea is to remain within the "protected" circling area so getting too far away from the airport (cat C = 1.7 nm) during the circling maneuver is to be avoided.

The valley gets more narrow as you fly to the SSE toward town, so beginning your turn to the downwind overhead the intended landing spot provides the maximum approach design terrain clearance and also puts you in the best position to finish your circling maneuver lined up on final. Yes it's a bit like landing in an irregularly shaped cereal bowl! Landing straight-in on 15 is the least demanding and doing that off the Roaring Fork visual easier yet due to more track miles and you can descend going around the hills the approaches require you to overfly.

Visual right traffic to 33:

In good visibility with a North wind exceeding ten knots at the surface, (as reported by ATC ) making right traffic to 33 is indeed doable in some jets but less so in others. More than the terrain considerations, landing downhill is my biggest concern. It's my judgment from examining AFM perf data that 2% down gradient generally requires around 20 kts or so of headwind to "break even" on runway distance required. In other words, landing on 33 with 11 kts of HW may require more runway than landing on 15 with 10 kts of TW. Gets one's attention too! But there's actually enough room to fly right traffic to 33 if you keep the downwind at 9,500' and do your descending on base & final. Keep the downwind leg from being excessively long, (remember the valley gets narrow to the south and people complain if you overfly town) but allow enough room to have some kind of wings level final. Some operators may require that part 135 flight parameters and stabilized approach criteria be maintained on part 91 empty flights while others may not. If not, how comfortable do you and the other pilot feel about it? Yeah, another judgment call...

Anyway I hope that clarifies and expands upon my earlier comments. I also hope nobady here thinks I'd deign to to tell them how to fly. There's allot to consider when operating all flights and maybe a little more so when proposing to operate at ASE.

Fly safely and within the spirit of the rules so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sometimes telling nervious pax that this is my attitude towards professional flying actually makes them feel better. In any case, it makes me feel better...

westhawk is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2014, 01:39
  #402 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 171
Excellent post Bubbers, thanks for that. It clears it up.

west hawk, thanks for that detailed description....I never thought about circling around for 15 as I always went straight in but there's no reason you can't. I suppose as long as the tower knows. Last paragraph sums it up nicely too.
lifeafteraviation is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2014, 03:04
  #403 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: fl
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It is just a repeat of previous posts. I don't think I cleared anything up.

Not every approach is IFR unless you want it. Cancelling IFR you can do anything you want. I thought everybody knew that. Just do what works to get the job done if it is VFR if company allows it. We were flexible to do what ever was necessary and just stay legal. It wasn't that hard.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 07:04
  #404 (permalink)  
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You're right bubbers. It's not usually difficult. Getting the job done without incident or even an elevated heart rate is the norm. It's when guys fly off into the abnormal and unfamiliar without a plan that things are most likely to go sideways. It seems likely that played a role here.

You're welcome lifeafteraviation. There's plenty to consider and what I've posted is far from complete. And only my take on it. There's many ways to skin a cat or conduct a flight safely.

And many ways to screw it up if you stray.

Semper Vigilans

westhawk is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2014, 16:07
  #405 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: MCO (occasionally)
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I'm late to this conversation, and having only read the last few pages I think that there may be a few factors being missed.

The approach has circling minima, not because you are going around to land on 33 but because of the steep decent gradient. The FAA won't call it "Straight in" unless it meets criteria for both alignment and decent path.

For you guys who think you are going to circle in the valley, be aware that the airport kindly asks that you limit yourself to 20 degrees bank angle, and not you fly over town. (this is on their operations page)

A few years back, I had extra G550 sim time, and tried the LOC 15 circle 33 with 15 kt tailwind and 12,000 overcast, and I couldn't do it while remaining within the protected area, not flying over town, not exceeding 20 bank, and not getting the sink rate or bank angle EGPWS warnings. Perhaps you could do it given enough time to plot it out, but as a operational maneuver, forget about it in a 550.


Last edited by FrankR; 8th Feb 2014 at 16:23.
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Old 9th Feb 2014, 02:11
  #406 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 171
FrankR, that seems pretty spot on to me.

The discussion sort of devolved into hypothetical scenarios rather than practical application but what you said pretty well sums up what I feel....that you can but you probably shouldn't...Obviously some aircraft can do it safely and more easily than others.

Flying over the town at 30 degrees of bank probably isn't a violation, it just makes you an a-hole in the eyes of the airport authority. Similar to landing at HPN after the curfew...they kindly ask you not to.

My main point is that if you don't do it right and it doesn't work out the lawyers will take apart everything you did or didn't do and then proceed to hang you out to dry so you better be absolutely sure you can do it.

As with most things...if you get away with it for long enough, you may delude yourself into thinking it must be ok. Also, just because an operator establishes an approved procedure, it doesn't mean it's flawless and may be subject to review and legal action later after something happens, the difference is that in such a case the pilot is probably exonerated (if he's still alive).
lifeafteraviation is offline  
Old 4th May 2017, 06:22
  #407 (permalink)  
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Finding of probable cause.

West Coast is offline  
Old 4th May 2017, 14:04
  #408 (permalink)  
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Well that makes interesting reading!
H Peacock is offline  
Old 4th May 2017, 16:55
  #409 (permalink)  
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Wot..........No pictures or charts in the report............??
cambioso is offline  
Old 5th May 2017, 02:50
  #410 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by cambioso View Post
Wot..........No pictures or charts in the report............??
Not in that particular document. You can get all the documents associated with the investigation here:

Accident Docket
A Squared is offline  
Old 5th May 2017, 15:21
  #411 (permalink)  
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Knowing the airport well, nothing surprised me as to the probable cause. The crews procedures and interactions show they were not prepared to deal with the conditions that day.
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Old 5th May 2017, 15:42
  #412 (permalink)  
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Preparation being, go to Rifle

galaxy flyer is offline  
Old 5th May 2017, 19:01
  #413 (permalink)  
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When in doubt, chicken out. RIL,EGE and GJT look really nice when ASE is at its worst.
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