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Sky News reporting bizjet crash Jan 12

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Sky News reporting bizjet crash Jan 12

Old 14th Jan 2014, 14:28
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A quick translation of the 2 "official" sources in the TV report posted by His Dudeness:
-----------------------------
00:25, Mr. Friedemann, BFU:
We are awaiting a lot more information from sources outside the accident site. As of now we have (..unintelligible..) from ATC like radar data, the flight track has been recorded that is. The radiotelephony with the respective ATC stations is of course also recorded.

01:00, Mr. Samel, federal prosecutor:
Until now we have learned that they had cancelled the flight under IFR with ATC, and continued under VFR, the last stage of the flight was conducted under VFR. At that time they would have been required to establish radio contact with (Trier-) Foehren, which obviously had not happend.
-------------------------------

One thing is puzzling:

The pilots (both German) were very familiar with EDRT and, according to airport sources, normally used to contact Trier Info for WX even before cancelling IFR (which makes sense in my book). But they obviously didnīt contact Info at all on this flight.

Why ?
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 15:48
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Foto-Detail - volksfreund.de

Some more pics, in pics 3 & 7 one can see the power line mast and part of the wing hangig from it.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 16:20
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Already been said but well worth mentioning again....and again....and again. Do NOT confuse flying a PUBLISHED GPS approach with flying some DIY GPS approach!! Some of you seem to argue that its completely acceptable to fly GPS only approaches just because the accuracy of the GPS is high......

CP
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 17:52
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Thread drift, but a valid topic...I'll play the devil's advocate:

Already been said but well worth mentioning again....and again....and again. Do NOT confuse flying a PUBLISHED GPS approach with flying some DIY GPS approach!! Some of you seem to argue that its completely acceptable to fly GPS only approaches just because the accuracy of the GPS is high......
Yes, of course. But in order for your statement to be of value as a warning I think it would be helpful to state WHY DIY approaches do not compare.

Personally I do not make up my own approaches, but I do understand why many pilots might have a need to do so. Perhaps such pilots actually check their approaches several times in VMC to validate the fixes, and perhaps also they build in lateral and vertical limits, and include sensible minimums. If they do this, what is the difference between their DIY procedure and a published one? Surely a GPS fix is a GPS fix.

Is it only due to the fact that a DIY procedure might not make allowances for all of the regulatory design criteria - or are there other reasons?
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 18:18
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But in order for your statement to be of value as a warning I think it would be helpful to state WHY DIY approaches do not compare.
Well forgive me, but I thought that was self explanatory...

Anyway, I'll play along so here are some of the reasons DIY GPS approaches, and any other DIY approaches, are not a good idea:

1 You end up killing yourself and other people

2 They provide no terrain clearance (leads to nr 1)

3 Even if you clear terrain you have no idea if you will clear other obstacles such as TV and radio masts, power lines etc (leads to nr 1)

4 It's not legal (due to nr 1)

CP
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 19:10
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I am just back from a holiday in the Seychelles.

I flew an Air Seychelles Twin Otter from Mahe to Bird. Interestingly, they had Garmin 430, as standard kit.

For the strictly VFR islands, they had approach fixes linked into the 430. It appears that they depart Mahe, commercial ops, in IFR, then convert to VFR as they approach the islands, head to an approach fix, which has been built in, and this is the approach set up fix. I assume if they are not visual or VFR, then they go away.

Perhaps someone more familiar could confirm, or not, but they definitely looked like self made fixes.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 19:36
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F900EX, thank you for the insight.

As you can imagine, the build ups, particularly at this time of year, can be interesting.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 20:23
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We donīt know yet if the pilots really had been on a 'home-built' approach. Must have been a very crappy one then that had them come down more than 2 miles short of the runway. They surely were aware of the higher terrain in the approach path. I still am reluctant to assume they brought themselves into this mess deliberately.

Two main questions:

Why didnīt they climb to safety and diverted, instead of descending further into low to no visibility?
Why didnīt they contact Trier Info?


@maxred:
Thereīs nothing wrong with programming personal fixes into a Garmin and using them for whatever purpose, e.g. as turning points on cross country (in your case: inter-island) flights or as individual IAF for an uncontrolled airfield. Still, as you have stated, you have to be visual to use them, i.e.must be flying in VMC. Otherwise: stay away, divert or contact ATC, ask for IFR-pickup and fly the published procedures (or whatever ATC instructs you to do).

Last edited by 20milesout; 14th Jan 2014 at 22:44.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 20:51
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Anyone know what the QNH was? I hope not 993hpa

Deep and fast
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 21:11
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Anyone know what the QNH was? I hope not 993hpa
Nearby EDFH had between 1021 and 1024 that day.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 22:15
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Anyone know what the QNH was?
Spangdahlem AFB just some miles north was reporting 1023-1024.

Now you do the math
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 00:41
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Information on the pilot has came out and he was a very experienced local flyer. I know the weather north of the area was blue sky Cav OK. They probably picked up the Autobahn as a guide. It has also been reported they hit trees before the power pole.
I use GPS a lot in China for getting around on foot in the humidity it jumps around like crazy when I track my route later, the power lines in the fog would be just the same level of spark interference.
Anyway apart from an engine problem turn off the wrong one error, it is a do not even go there situation we read time and time again.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 08:12
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A more general question from a lowly PPL working on my IR : Why is there an apparent reluctance to create published satellite based approaches in Europe?

For GA airports, this must be much cheaper (and therefore affordable in a declining GA market) than creating and maintaining ground based navaids (apart from NDBs : there is one for sale for Ģ350 on EBay).

Increasing the number of published approaches at say 3,000 ft to 5,000 ft runways across Europe would surely increase safety dramatically.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 08:45
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Because.... that would be a sane and inexpensive approach to things. Not the european way. Like IFR in airspace G - for decades the German ATC did everything to keep it forbidden, with SERA they should allow it, yet there is rumours that they will not.
And then technical incompetency - when the LBA (German FAA) found out that their Beechjet had GPS installed in the "depths of their FMSes" despite them not allowing the use of GPS in aircraft at all we all had a good laugh. (many moons ago)

Flying individually is seen more and more as a bad thing. Hence EASA-Ops with crazy unwarranted regulations/requirements for anything flying bigger than a Colibri.

OTOH, given the topography (clearance to the sides), I doubt that Trier could have an approach with a low enough minima. For this case the minima would most likely been above the fog. And CAT III with GPS (GBAS) - which would have been required here - at Trier wonīt happen soon. Bremen/EDDW does trials with system destined to become the CAT II/III replacement AFAIK.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 09:23
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It's not so simple as many think ....

For one thing, you need a way to ensure that the GPS signal remains valid during the approach. Otherwise you may find yourself following a dead reckoning course without noticing that, absent software that generates a loss-of-signal warning. Also, you have to survey the area around the destination to ensure obstacle clearance, including the area used for a go-around. There's a lot more to this than just drawing a couple of lines leading to the runway with waypoints at various altitudes, although that would usually do the job, yes.

I distinctly recall operating with a little GPS unit that only gave left-right guidance, combined with sighting various visual points that let us descend to something like 150' AGL in thick African dust haze to land on a rather short and narrow air strip. That was something everyone just turned a blind eye to, since it was the only option for getting into that particular strip. It took a peculiar combination of skill and stupidity to do that day-in, day-out, but as far as I know, nobody ever crashed doing that particular approach.

On the other hand, I remember a crew that was fairly new in-country who found a radio mast with a Gulfstream II in pretty much the same way it seems this German accident crew found that high-tension mast. They were taking a short-cut into an airport that did happen to have approved approaches and they must not have known about an isolated radio mast that was located not far away from their destination, but well off any approach path. They knew where they were, sort of, but they did not know where that radio mast was, or perhaps even that there was one there, so that they probably popped out of a small rain shower to find it waiting for them, even assuming that they saw it at all.

It sounds crazy, but it's very often so that you take risks because, while you can never prove that you prevented having an accident, it's easily proved that you did not make it into your destination.

I have been lucky in not having to fly for many VIPs, but I did notice a certain amount of pressure when I did, pressure that seemed to come from some lack of understanding of reality that applies to the rich and powerful the same as it does to everyone else. It's this, "What do you mean by, 'You will have to take a taxi, Boss; we can't make it in to Hackelschmackeldorf International today.'? Do I have to find myself another Captain, one who can manage this simple thing? I have an important appointment, but now you expect me to show up for it an hour late, in a taxi instead of in my private jet? What am I paying you for?" And so on and on. I guess you have to have been there, to understand how an experienced crew can make such a stupid mistake with such deadly consequences, going VFR in IMC, especially when that is something we teach beginners to avoid completely.

It's like being taught not to drink and drive, something that seems quite obvious, yet we see people doing exactly that, all the time.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 09:36
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Also Because . . of cost / performance ratio!!
As much as I can see the advantages of GPS - at least in theory and running under ideal conditions - as much I know also about the constraints using it for approach purposes. Too many possible errors and deteriorations are imminent. It takes a very serious approach to the topographical situation and the obstacles to even have the base at hand for a good calculation of the CRM - collision risk model. And even then a thorough calibration session of the procedure follows before it becomes published. Might look at first glance a bit too excited and bureaucratic, but the results count, not the wishes!

I fully agree with his dudeness the local situation will not allow for a really useable / mindful GPS approach. Even if invented and approved by the responsible administration the minima will be so high that a diversion to a better equipped and situated airport is the better solution.

Finally the ongoing trial with augmented GPS - GBAS -EGNOS - WSAS have taken several years of time and still remain in progressive development. It might become the replacement of ILS in the future, but even then as mentioned before -the cost / performance ratio has to be okay.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 09:46
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Thank you both. I have always assumed the designing approaches and misses is a difficult thing to do with a lot of subtleties involved that people like me will miss so we should be very disciplined about following the plates without exception and certainly never "make up" our own.

I have also always assumed that there will be fields that will always be VMC approaches only due to obstacles on the approach or during the miss which would render an IAP irrelevant due to the MDA that would result. I have come to understand that the miss is more critical to the overall design than I had initially thought.

My question is a bit more general though. Are there a lot of GA fields which would be eligible for an IAP where the cost of ground based systems would make them cost inefficient relative to traffic volumes but where a satellite based system would make the establishment of a GPS IAP cost efficient?

If so, the reluctance to establish cost efficient GPS based approaches is a safety issue that also reduces the usefulness of GA for those who refuse to build "homemade" GPS approaches.

The "S" in EASA is for Safety after all.
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 10:47
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How many of the EGNOS / WAAS approaches in Europe are at fields that have never had a ground system based IAP?
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 11:13
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Well forgive me, but I thought that was self explanatory...

Anyway, I'll play along so here are some of the reasons DIY GPS approaches, and any other DIY approaches, are not a good idea:
1 You end up killing yourself and other people
Not necessarily if designed with lateral and vertical spacing from terrain and obstacles, and allowance for turning radii.

2 They provide no terrain clearance
Why can a DIY approach NOT not make appropriate allowances?

3 Even if you clear terrain you have no idea if you will clear other obstacles such as TV and radio masts, power lines etc
. Why would you have no idea? If you map the area beforehand, and fly the DIY procedure in VMC beforehand one could make allowances for obstacles, and monitor the vicinity in what is likely to be your home base.

4 It's not legal
Indeed, and we all know this but, as stated previously people ARE going to make up their own approaches. This being the case, and provided terrain and obstacle clearances are taken into account, and the vicinity is mapped from time to time to check for new obstacles, what other considerations do legally designed approaches take into account?
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Old 15th Jan 2014, 12:57
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How many of the EGNOS / WAAS approaches in Europe are at fields that have never had a ground system based IAP?
Not a single one as far as I know ( but waited to be corrected)
WAAS is only in the USA. So none again in Europe.
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