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Air Europa 738 at Katowice?

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Air Europa 738 at Katowice?

Old 29th Oct 2007, 18:43
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Autoland or "Top Gun"

It would be interesting to know if Air Europa is one of those companies enlightened enough to prefer their crew to Autoland ( assuming no restrictions are in force for coupled approaches on a particular ILS ) or whether , like a surprisingly high percentage of companies /regulatory authorities , they prefer the drivers to wrestle the b@stard onto the runway from a low altitude disconnect in crap vis , suffering from either glare or no depth perception depending on whether or not they used landing lights. It amazes me how many luddites in Airlines and Reg bodies still can't conceive that a properly executed and monitored autoland (assuming no restrictions to glidepath usage below minima/aircraft and crew status etc are OK) is several times safer due to increased crew monitoring capacity, coupled with less need for very precise handling and acute depth perception immediately following perhaps several hours of automatic flight. Yes I know we "have " to be able to do it, but it's safer to let Boeing play F15 than you trying to be Maverick. One would hope that some people could use some imagination and remember this incident (and TNT in EMA) when they decide whether to engage the second autopilot this winter.Try not to be the third, third time isn't always lucky. Edited to say . . Ptkay if you ain't been there you don't, with the greatest of respect, know what you are talking about. It is entirely possible , particularly somewhere like TFN, to lose visual reference AFTER decision altitude ( ask the BY 757 crew in GRO a few years ago. . although that may have been due to something rather rarer than drifting fog) Nonetheless it does happen, fairly often if you have a good sim instructor, and it is much easier in this case too if you are coupled, just push TOGA . .pray and hang on, much easier than a hand flown go- around from the flare IMHO.

Last edited by captplaystation; 29th Oct 2007 at 18:55.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:01
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captplaystation,

thanks for informative and professional comment.
The glare, landing lights etc. is a good point here.

...but it's safer to let Boeing play F15 than you trying to be Maverick...
My favourite quote for the nearest future.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:22
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Ptkay:

OK. I will play along with you just a little bit longer.

The cloud base plays no part on the decision as to whether to start an approach or not. The only factor that matters in the decision process is the RVR.

For a CAT1 approach, the DH (Decision Height) is set as the minima and this would normally be around 200 feet above threshold on the servo altimeter. Below that height, thou shalt not go unless the required visual clues are there and sufficient to make a safe landing.

Now this height normally equates to an RVR (not visibility) of 550 - 600 metres.

Therefore, the decision as to whether to proceed or not is not predicated on the cloud base but the RVR. As far as the decision making process is concerned, the RVR is the only factor but the crew must not go below the DH unless sufficient visual clues are evident at DH.

This crew obviously found the runway otherwise they would not have been able to land and taxi to the gate.

What remains in doubt is what they did between making the decision to land and actually striking the runway (making use of all available cover).
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:24
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I don't know about AEA minima, but CAT I:
DH: 60 m (200 ft) above touchdown zone elevation
Visibility: 800 m+ OR RVR: 550 m+

Clearly with the METAR below it was below the minima with still clouds at 100' and visibility between RVR 500 m on RWY27...
EPKT 280200Z VRB02KT 0300 R27/0500 R09/0600 FG BKN001 08/08 Q1027

Thank God they made it. They were much more fortunate than those poor Slovakian guys a few years back returning to Kosice from Yugoslavia with an AN-24 and crashing into the mountains on the Hungarian-Slovakian border in the dark, just a few kms from the airport...
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:26
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JW411, thanks for informative and professional comment.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:32
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my comment was in regards to the accident.

apologies if i seem to have 'offended' some people. i didnt mean to.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:40
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I diverted there a few nights ago and it took two hours for the baggage handlers to come and get the bags off.....wouldn't like to imagine how long it took to drag an engineer away from his coffee and his polish version of nuts magazine!!
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:46
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my comment was in regards to the accident.

apologies if i seem to have 'offended' some people. i didnt mean to.
So maybe edit your post with some asterisks...
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 19:49
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Jagohu, please read ALL of the previous thread before making accusatory comment. As has been stated several times already, unless you have heard a transcript of what RVR was passed to this crew immediately prior to OM or 1000' please make no further presumptions as to the legality of this approach. Furthermore unless you were sitting under the aircraft as it passed above you at 200' can you confirm that the "break" in the BKN001 ( do you actually even know what that means ? ) didn't happen to be over the threshold, or indeed that the density of the clouds ( ever heard of vv ? no probably not , but I won't complicate it further for you) could have allowed sufficient reference due to the H igh I ntensity approach L ighting system, or am I speaking a foreign language here? Please leave those of us who have an inkling of what is involved free from further silly suggestions and suppositions. PS, it was 600m on the 09 end, don't you think therefore that it is just a teensy weensy bit possible that he just might have had 550 for his approach and that we should be concentrating our discussion / speculation on why / how it all went so horribly wrong after minima ,rather than whether the approach should have been commenced. I think that is where we should be looking if we want to learn anything.

Last edited by captplaystation; 29th Oct 2007 at 21:24.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 21:26
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Guys,

there still was no info regarding if it was hand flown or autoland.
but if it were Autoland possibility of erroneous GP indication might be.Like the one in Air New Zealand incident.

NZ60: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GelRBhJ4gmI

Last edited by ron83; 29th Oct 2007 at 21:48.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 22:05
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JW411, you mentioned that you may have a good idea of what potentially happened. Why don't you voice it? I think people should still be allowed to present their opinions and speculations (even in this forum) so long as they are labeled as such. Not only is it essentially the right of free speech but it might also raise points that nobody considered before.

Out of interest, what sort of 'serious trouble' could somebody get into for voicing an opinion that is later proved to be factually wrong or based on fallacious assumptions? (And the facts are still to come...)

Lastly, on the RVR - very interesting technical discussion - but what about 'good airmanship'? Is it ill-advised to do reconsider the decision to land/approach having a ****ty METAR or cloud base?
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 22:24
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captplaystation:
Fair enough, I apologize, I was still at work in and only read the first couple of posts...
Still I only wrote my opinion - I've no experience in TWR control, but the only thing I've learned since I've been around aviation that all the rules are written with blood thus if it's for me then 500 m is not 550 m and that's the end of story. I don't know about the RVR passed to the crew, that's a good point.
Another good one that I didn't realize it says BKN, I only concentrated on the 001 ending. Mea culpa.
I don't like to question the pilots, since I don't know the exact situation, but the fact is that they did hit that bloody thing, so something must have gone wrong. And if there is a tiny chance that they didn't do something according to the rules and procedures, I guess we all know that the investigators will jump on it, even if maybe it wasn't the direct case of the incident.
"it was 600m on the 09 end, don't you think therefore that it is just a teensy weensy bit possible that he just might have had 550 for his approach "
You see that's the difference between us. As a controller I've been taught not to assume that there something will be a "teensy weensy bit possible" but to make damn sure that YOU guys will miss each other and rather have 8 nm than end up with 4.5. I'd expect the same from the other side as well, but that's an other story.

I wonder if they were listening to the GPWS at all... 10 m is still below 50', so there should have been a few announcements before - amongst them the 200' DH. What do you guys say for that? At that altitude they should have seen the runway if the continued, shouldn't they? Enlighten me please, I'd love to know what would you do knowing that the RVR is a "maybe", passing 200' and still I guess not seeing sh*t but the lights, 'cos otherwise I presume they wouldn't have ended up like they did. Correct me if I'm wrong, but please avoid the style used above, I'm not your brother or student of FO or whoever you used talk to like that.

Again, I don't want to blame them, I'm just curious and I'd love to see these things not happening again, since I did have lost some old friends through a very similar case a few years ago - they weren't this lucky.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 22:30
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and still I guess not seeing sh*t but the lights
- that's all you need to see (as long as they are the RIGHT lights.)
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 22:54
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Jesus What a mess - Better not go there againI bet AEA don't do any more 'pointless' trooping flights to that Airport, Don't the poles have there own transport anyway??

AEA are a very safe Airline, This is the first incident I have ever heard involving AEA.

Regards.
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 23:50
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I guess you can tell if they're... Of course only if you do see them and not just a blur...
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Old 30th Oct 2007, 06:43
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Ladies and gentlemen please look at some facts :
  1. Hopefullly nobody was hurt or injured there.
  2. The Acft is still in one piece, ( and so are the CVR and FDR )
  3. The most important : the flight deck crew members are alive so they can testsify.
  4. The investigators will have the opportunity to get all the explanations they need to enlighten the flying community.
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Old 30th Oct 2007, 07:21
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RVR is the only factor but the crew must not go below the DH unless sufficient visual clues are evident at DH.
Correct. And here for some reason the crew descended below G.S. not one half of the scale, but 3 full scales of G.S. indicator (i.e. more then 10 dots low !!).

This crew obviously found the runway otherwise they would not have been able to land and taxi to the gate.
Yes they did. But before that they confused the RWY lights with APP Lights
 
Old 30th Oct 2007, 07:38
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JW411

Could you just clarify for a lowly, long retired Ops Director (so rather out of touch with today's SOPs), is it now standard practice to commence a CAT I approach with a DH of, say, 300' when METAR cloudbase is BKN or OVC at 100'?

I ask only because it seems to be generally stated on this thread that RVR is the sole criterion for deciding to commence an approach, regardless of the reported cloudbase, presumably in hope of finding a cloud break at DH.
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Old 30th Oct 2007, 07:57
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Basically YES - unless cloudbase is specified, RVR/vis is the limiting factor. Many are the times I have seen approach lights/'running rabbits' through 8/8 'cloud'. Twice I have not. It is, as always (in theory, anyway), 'Captain's discretion' whether to commence an approach and if there is no visual reference at DA/H, round we go.
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Old 30th Oct 2007, 08:50
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Green Guard , BOAC, Expressflight,

thank you for some (finally) non-emotional and down to earth
comments and explanations to the matter.

Here I quote again regarding DH, DP and ceiling:
sufficient time for the pilot to have made an assessment of the aircraft position and rate of change of position, in relation to the desired flight path
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