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Recent Monarch incident in Gibraltar

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Recent Monarch incident in Gibraltar

Old 24th Mar 2006, 07:45
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Recent Monarch incident in Gibraltar

FYI

Can anyone shed any light on this incident (press making it sound serious as usual!)

British government air safety investigators are probing an incident in which a Monarch flight aborted its landing in Gibraltar and, according to eyewitnesses, flew over the town area.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch [AAIB], part of the UK’s Department for Transport, confirmed yesterday that it was “conducting enquiries” into the incident, which occurred in bad weather last Friday evening.
The results of the AAIB investigation could potentially have broader implications for property development in Gibraltar.
Although the investigation is still in its early stages, the incident has intensified concerns about high-rise buildings and airline safety.
Monarch flight ZB068, a Boeing 757 aircraft carrying 184 passengers from Luton to Gibraltar, was due to land on the evening of March 17th.
The plane flew on a routine approach path before banking to line up with the airfield.
But as it came close to landing, eyewitnesses said it turned sharply and flew at low altitude over the town area.
In a statement to the Chronicle yesterday, Monarch said the crew had been unable to complete the landing due to poor weather conditions.
“After the crew discontinued their approach into Gibraltar, they received a report from Air Traffic Control that, although remaining within the designated airspace, they had deviated from the normal routing,” the statement said.
“Following standard procedure, this matter has been reported to the UK Civil Aviation Authority and is now the subject of a full investigation by the airline.”
After aborting the landing at Gibraltar, the Monarch flight diverted to Málaga where it touched down at 9.13pm.
Investigators from the AAIB will interview the Monarch crew and talk to witnesses to try and establish the sequence of events.
They will also examine official flight control data, including voice recordings and radar information, to track the plane’s flight path and altitude as it banked away from the airfield.
“It’s too early to say how serious it could have been,” said the AAIB spokesman in London yesterday, stressing that this was a preliminary probe.
But even at this early stage, the incident has reopened local concerns about airline safety and high-rise buildings close to the runway.
Such concerns had already been publicly aired in relation to new developments such as Waterport Terraces, the Eastside Development and the Midtown Project.
All of these developments are already subject to specific rules on height in relation to the distance from the airport.
According to its website, the AAIB is tasked with investigating “civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents” within UK airspace.
The purpose of its investigations is not to apportion blame or liability but to improve aviation safety by determining causes and making safety recommendations to prevent a reoccurrence.
The findings of the AAIB investigation, which will likely take several weeks to conclude, will be published in its monthly bulletin.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 08:47
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It was a calm and extremely murky night. You call visual or going around at 3 miles (approx 1000') and if you go around you turn south at 1900' which if you are landing on 09 would most probably take you over the town! The transmission from GIB approach seems to be the fly in the ointment. Dark calm night things sound loud. Enough said?
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 12:58
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Dark calm night things sound loud. Enough said?
So that will be the end of the investigation then! If only they were all that simple.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 17:00
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Well, I hope if the go-around takes you over the town, the approach was for 27 ! The noise does indeed rattle around the bay at GIB on a still and murky night.
A 757 at approach weight for GIB goes up very quickly, un-like some other types.
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 19:11
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I've done this flight a good few times as a passenger. It always is in my mind on approach especially winter time. The last few times we have gone around or gone to Tangiers waited and then gone over to Malaga and coached back to Gib.

These things happen with such a weird runway, crosswinds and downdraft and such a short runway. I swear I saw my sister glaring up at us as we flew over the airport terminal!
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Old 24th Mar 2006, 23:41
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LEMG Alternate for GIB?

was going to say - amazed they let them divert into Malaga from GIB.

Normally the Spanish ATC get narky if you file a plan to GIB with an LE** alternate. Plans here are usually filed with an LP** alternate. Anyone any experience of this? Did the Monarch crew get grief from ATC over it?

O_S
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 07:11
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Ops Slave - you have to go to Tangier or Faro first, then you can divert to Spain.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 07:47
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Not any more you don't.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 11:28
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SFL from Cabin

The screens in the terminal at Luton were not working, and as a result of waiting in the Exec lounge was almast late for the flight, the screens in the terminal and lounge showed a estimated deaprture time, but nothing more.

A slight delay on departure. But did get to sit next to a lovely Russian Girl, aft row LHS.

The IFE did not work and a free drink was given to all.

It was not a calm night. There was turbulance all the way from Luton.

I checked the METAR and TAF, as I left home in Luton, and there was forecast reasonable strong winds, with heavy rain showers in the relevent period, but not enought that I would have predicted a diversion, unless in the middle of a rain shower.

The seal belt signs were no on for most of the turbulance.

Top of descent was in the usual place, just south of Madrid, and apart from a smooth layer, turbulent most of the way down hill.

My first point of concern was as we were "x wind", we would normally be on a Radar heading. ( I do not have the charts in front of me). The first indication of a problem, was that (on the left hand side), I could see Algeceras port, VERY close, then a almost 90 degree turn to the right. We were ( on my side ) VMC, NO real turbulance, but reasonable strong wind. (the GIB plates do warn of turbulance.)

This visual sighting would suggest we were much closer to the runway, that usual, for the two bites at the final turn.

As a result would have been too close for a stable approach.

The missed approach was a non event, nice climb, and off to AGP.

I was very surprised at the lack of second attempt.

The Malaga arrival was fine, little light rain.

One hour for the bags, and 2 hrs almost for the coach to GIB. Arrival at Gib about 0030L.

The return flight sat at AGP (Luton was closed), until 5am (UK?) and departed to Luton. Arriving at LTN after 7am (L).

Not sure how the duty hours worked on that. The aircraft does a Canaries earlier in the day.

There were several misses later in the week.

A missed approach at GIB, is a regular event, and should not cause any heart ache, as AGP is an approved direct diversion.

The week later return from AGP to LTN made a miss at LTN due to traffic on the runway. Not certain if an honest report, but all ops looked and sounded normal.

As to high rise, there are many developments in hand at GIB, but there are NONE that effect the approach tunnel. There are many cranes in the area, but all shielded either by existing building, or the rock itself.

The Minima are high to account for the rock.


I have a copy of the Gibraltar Cronicle which quotes the incident, but they have nothing more to add.

Rainboe, if I can be of more assitance, feel free to PM.


Bumz (back in LON).
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 11:29
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I would have thought that with a substantial lump of limestone 1000ft high situated immmediately south of the runway, a high rise apartment block less than half that height (they're not called flats any more) would be the least of their worries. Next thing you'll be comparing it with the high rise apartments round the old Kai Tak airport.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 16:17
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AGP Divert

Originally Posted by Bumz_Rush
A missed approach at GIB, is a regular event, and should not cause any heart ache, as AGP is an approved direct diversion.
Whats your source on the fact that AGP is an approved divert?
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 16:48
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GB been doing it for at least a year now.....
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 16:48
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Bumz_Rush
The wind was northerly at 5 kts so no cross wind problems. Low down the turbulence was only down to about 3500' then it was smooth all the way down. The problem was very much poor visibility in drizzle hence no point in a second approach and as for the unstable approach comment you have got to be having a laugh. You may be off duty crew or just a regular traveller but all your info is speculative. You were not looking out of the front window and you did not have access to the "actual" wx. You are talking B...............

ops_slave
At least 18 months ago the Spanish military dropped their objections for traffic diverting from GIB straight to a Spanish airfield, hence no more TNG.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 18:51
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Bumz Rush- that was a bizarre posting!
<<Rainboe, if I can be of more assitance, feel free to PM.>>

So what eactly were you doing on the flight? Were you on the flight deck or not? If you were in the cabin, an extraordinary interpretation of events?

So do we have 'an incident' or not, or just a go-around in rough weather and a drama being made? It doesn't help trying to assess the situation when excitable laymen choose to involve themselves. I'm getting the feeling this is another 'go-around, must get it onto Pprune quick' type non-event.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 19:52
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Side window view

I was as I said down the back on the left side.
The vis from the window was good, and as I said, I have never as a pax seen Algerceras that close.
Was the overflight of the town, before or after the miss. As from where I was sitting it looked as if the miss was normal, and the "late" turn to finals might be the "over town" segment.
Rainboe, I was asking if you had more "direct" information that might be relevent, and not wish to post here.
Herbie, I would agree that I was not looking out of the front window, but as stated have flown as pax and operating crew the aproach enough times.
AGP is now approved as a direct diversion (I suspect a weather only approval) by the Spanish. (I assume they are JAA, just like the UK.) except for the open sky aspect.

As already asked, was there an incident, lets wait and see. The report will provide the offical answer.

Bumz
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 20:24
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So the flight came up from the south on base leg through the bay, and turned right to land to the east, at night, in bumpy bad murky rainy weather, and you were sitting on the left hand side, near the rear......and can speak with authority on where the aeroplane was placed and how the approach went? I see............excuse me, I think I need a Nurofen.
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Old 25th Mar 2006, 23:38
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Despite the short reprive all diverts have to be to TNG again now.
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Old 26th Mar 2006, 06:06
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Jobsworth

Which idiot decided that TNG was GIB (south)...perhaps it is the same chap who ensures that it takes so long to cross the border, as Spanish Customs search cars for smuggled Sugar.

Bumz
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Old 26th Mar 2006, 08:53
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Flew GB to Gib on Sat 18th. Lumpy old approach, going from lumpy to downright rough as we approached 27. Capt elected to fly a Go Around, seemed nicely handled, and, after holding for a few minutes, we diverted to Malaga.
Whole thing seemed professionally handled, pax kept informed and it does not appear to be unusual for Gib to have diversions.
If an airport has a lot of Go Arounds (Jersey is another that springs to mind) then it is more likely that there will be the occassionally "non-standard" one flown. It is unfortunate that the topography of Gib makes these Go Arounds more demanding than would otherwise be the case.
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Old 26th Mar 2006, 12:43
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So it now seems it flew low over Algeciras rather than Gibraltar town as we all first thought!
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