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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

Old 8th Jun 2008, 01:06
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Landing with a 10 knot tailwind on 02 at TGU is fine if your landing performance says you can. We had a company imposed 5 knot restriction. I know we couldn't have landed that day on 02 with a 5 knot tailwind w
et. We probably couldn't have landed with a 5 knot headwind wet. One day at Miami the agents were denying boarding to passengers and a jump seater when I got to the gate. They said the runway was wet so 25 passengers were not going to get on th
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 01:20
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the flight. I talked to dispatch and it was a typical day of chance of showers so changed it to dry landing and got everybody on and all was fine. Everybody treated TGU differently because it required experience with the operation to know how it normally worked. As I said before I never had a bad experience flying in there hundreds of times but they all were different.
Do not know what made the first message glitch.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 04:03
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A final word for Dream Land
Have a safe flight !
Thanks CONF iture, happy landings.

Have looked at the video several times, hard to really tell, but it looks to me like the nose wheel is just starting to touch down in the beginning.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:58
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Lemurian try to be civilized in your posts. Aibus does not approve 15 knots. As for Corsican airports it is Calvi only, for take-off, not landing. You are peremptory but sadly out of knowledge (for your information I flew Calvi for years with the 320 and I worked with Airbus very closely too).
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 13:20
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Lemurian,

I think you asked about landing weights wet. I just downloaded the chart we used. For rwy 02 wet max landing wt was 182,800 with zero wind, 162,800with a 5 knot tailwind. Our typical landing weight there was 185,000 to 198,000 depending on pax and fuel. 198 K was structural mlw. You can see a 10 knot tailwind wet would not be possible. Landing on 20 wet with a 5 knot tailwind was about 184,000 pounds. No restrictions with zero wind.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 13:49
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Narval:

Just because your particluar FCOM says that 10 kts is the maximum tailwind doesn't make it so for all. Airbus does indeed approve 15 kt tailwinds for some A320s. We recently operated some leased A320s that had the 15 kt limit in the Airbus-provided FCOM Vol 3. Two of them were approved for 15 kts for both takeoff and landing, and one of them was approved for 15 kts for takeoff only.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 16:56
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Narval,

I know that a local italian airline has a special performance on A319s which allows to land in Florence ( LIRQ ) with 15kt tailwind. If I remeber it has something to do with a modification on flight controls software regarding both ailerons raising up several degrees after touch down, partially acting as spoilers.

Uber
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 19:34
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No Alf, I didnít mean or suggest using any "special tricks" to shorten a landing distance.
My choice of words was maybe not appropriate, my apology.

The idea was: If you want to meet that figure of 1400 meters Actual Landing Distance extracted from the performance chart (considering the parameters are accurate), you need to be by the book in every aspect, for example crossing the threshold at 50 feet not 100, also being at VLS not VLS + 5 and all the remaining Ö

Iíve seen youíre interested in that subject, so you know very well that such landing requires first a good preparation and second a stabilized approach.
But to be able to produce a stabilized approach in TUG in these conditions of visibility and tailwind is probably (I think) impossible.

Factored distances are a requirement for good purpose
Absolutely correct !

But Ö (you know all that but maybe some will be interested to read Ö) Factored distances Required Landing Distance which include a supplemental 60% factor over Actual Landing Distance exist first for planning purpose (during pre flight preparation), even better if you can still benefit from them once airborne but you don't have that luxury all the time.
Thatís why, in flight, we use some In Flight Performance Chart which produce only Actual Landing Distance (No factor No margin NADA just pure performance) That distance is a MINIMUM below which you donít expect to stop. You can reach that minimum figure only if youíre able to follow the procedure by the book. Youíre legal to attempt the landing but in any doubt during the process Ö just go-around !

For TA390, considering the given parameters as well as the estimated ones, the supplemental factor was below Ö 20% and thatís without counting the negative slope and the CAUTION "touchdown zones extremely slippery when wet"
It still does not mean it was the reason for the overrun but to me the crew was a bit "optimistic"

Alf, Airbus agrees with all your considerations:
A slippery Rwy is the most common reason for overrun at landing.
The combination of a slippery Rwy and a factor such as tailwind or an increase in approach speed should be avoided
Youíre just going a bit strongly on the tailwind factor. The perf chart I have in hand says a correction factor of +20% per 10 kt tailwind on a wet Rwy.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 19:49
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JO and Uber05 thank you for that (new for me ) information. As I tried to explain, the tailwind not only adds to the landing or take-off distance but it "interferes" with the flight laws which deal with flare. If 15 wind is allowed then as you say the aircraft has been modified. This does not I think make it a safe process. One should be very thoughtful when considering a landing with that tailwind as the limitation has been upgraded only to please the company...but after leaving the runway in a catastrophic manner it is the captain who deals with the justice...
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 01:26
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Thanks for the clarification CONF iture.

Re good preparation and second a stabilized approach; I agree the need, but as to achieving a stabilized approach at TUG in a tailwind, this should be possible - if the aircraft cannot be stabilised in the conditions then perhaps the approach should not be flown.

Re landing distances. I have not used actual landing distance in the way that you state; I only used factored distances, which in my interpretation of (old) JAR-OPS applied at all times except in an emergency.
The problem of promoting (using) unfactored distances in flight is that the need to add a factor before landing opens opportunity for error. Crews may only add a minimum factor without full consideration of all of the conditions, i.e. how wet is wet (damp Ė 2.9 mm), is the runway highly porous / grooved, or slick / rubber contaminated. At the low friction end of performance, a factor of 2.2 -2.4 might be required to achieve an equivalent safety level as dry operations (TC Research).

Re Tailwinds; the formulation of the landing distance requires 150% - see CS 25 / FAR 25.

One of the problems in this accident, and in previous, is exactly Ďwhat do we teach plots?í This question could be extended to operatorís and airport managements. Lack of knowledge, both that originating from prior training and at the time of the event, are reappearing factors.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 07:14
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CONF iture

Surely it is incorrect to say that unfactored LDAs can be used within JAR-OPS legislated operations?

In an emergency, perhaps, but not in the course of normal line flying which is what you seem to be suggesting.
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 21:14
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Checking on some previous information from Flight Global, http://www.flightglobal.com/articles.../pictures.html, I can see that the captain had accumulated over 11,000 hours flight time. For some reason, I assume that these hours were not all accumulated moving a sidestick. I recall post nbr. 85., which mentions the following:

"As can be seen from these notes, changing to the A319/A320/A321 or A330 from other types (other than A340) will require some change of operational philosophy. These aircraft can be flown precisely and smoothly with little effort, and can, therefore, create a sense of considerable satisfaction. However, under extreme conditions when, for example, severe weather and abnormalities combine, it is most important to be aware of the differences. Under stress, reversion to certain well-ingrained pilot instincts, such as riding the controls, is not helpful in any fly-by-wire aircraft."

I agree with all coments that say it will be very important to receive the actual information from the FDRs and CVRs for a correct analysis, but in the meantime we all can think of things that could happen to that particular flight and suppose our own what ifs.

Just read on a newspaper from Honduras that the orange black boxes readouts would be available next week, who knows if that is right.

Also found the following, they say a recreation of the TACA 390 landing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdQDxuJHifc
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 03:54
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Originally Posted by Expressflight
Surely it is incorrect to say that unfactored LDAs can be used within JAR-OPS legislated operations?
In an emergency, perhaps, but not in the course of normal line flying which is what you seem to be suggesting
You and Alf bring up an interesting point.

I must admit Iím not able to positively confirm my position and donít have at hand all the necessary documentation.
JAR-OPS as I believe any other country or joint countries regulation follow ICAO directives included in Annex 6: Operation of Aircraft
But "ICAO Standards do not preclude the development of national standards which may be more stringent than those contained in the Annex" So, differences may exist.

For sure, as both of you mentioned, in case of an emergency, the concept of Required Landing Distance no longer applies, but itís also the case "for an aircraft system failure occurring in flight and affecting the landing performance" ref. FCOM, and many aircraft system failures occurring in flight are not emergencies.

Now, if I refer to the normal operation, itís not exceptional especially during winter that a runway condition deteriorates. The procedure is simply to assess the landing distance based on the actual conditions. The charts used in flight provide only Actual Landing Distance and donít make mention of any rule to add a percentage factor.
The only notes are:
The provided distances are given for use in flight
No margin is included in this distance
So, the BIG factor is Ö Pilot Judgment Ė Correct Assessment of the Situation Ė Decision Making !

But I agree, donít push your luck.
Even there, whatever your percentage factor, from nil to 100%, if you overrun, your FDR CVR will be Ö Analyzed !

Originally Posted by alf5071h
Re good preparation and second a stabilized approach; I agree the need, but as to achieving a stabilized approach at TUG in a tailwind, this should be possible - if the aircraft cannot be stabilised in the conditions then perhaps the approach should not be flown
Thanks to Utube Iíve seen now a few approaches there from the flight deck, and it seems to be a regular occurrence to hear the "SINK RATE" GPWS CAUTION in very short final.
I donít know what kind of rate of descent it can represent especially with a tailwind, but anywhere else it would be a criteria of unstabilized approach and probable associated GA, but in TGU itís almost like a requirement.

I had a look at your reference "CS 25 / FAR 25" and all I could see was:
The landing distance data must include correction factors for not more than 50 percent of the nominal wind components along the landing path opposite to the direction of landing, and not less than 150 percent of the nominal wind components along the landing path in the direction of landing
To be honest, Iím not sure what it means Ö Regulations are sometimes obscures not to say most of the time, at least for me.
But from the ICAO documentation, Iíve found the following reference, which makes more sense:
When calculating the landing weight in accordance with paragraph (b), the certificate holder shall take account of not more than 50% of the reported headwind component or not less than 150% of the reported tailwind component
The way I understand it is:
If the forecast tailwind for arrival time is 10kt the dispatch should calculate the Requested Landing Distance with a tailwind of 15kt Ö
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 15:16
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I haven't been able to download an A320 landing distance chart. What is the landing distance at 3300 ft elevation, wet and 1% downslope at 62 and 60 tons? I think 22 celsius was the temp. Thanks. They had 5410 ft on 02.
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 17:23
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Bubbers, this is what I received for Toncontin weather information:

MHTG 301500Z 19004KT 2000S -DZ FEW008 BKN020 OCV080 21/19 Q1016 2KM S SW WSW D/C 8KM PCPN CL HZ

MHTG 301600Z 20009KT 3000SW -DZ FEW006 BKN020 OVC080 22/20 Q1017 3KM SW WSW W 8KM CTE E PCPN CL D/C UNL HZ
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 18:19
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Thanks qwick. At 22 C and the tower reported 10 knot tailwind would someone kindly please look up the actual and required landing distance? Our B757 charts are very conservative so must be required landing distance and only go to a 5 knot tailwind. I think the downslope of 1% is an important factor.
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 21:37
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Bubbers44,

Here is the FCOM extract :

"LDA = Landing distance available : 1650 m

Baseline calculation : LW = 60 T ; RWY wet ; 5 kt tailwind : 1,352 m
(1110m + 10% altitude correction, 10.5% tailwind correction and -3% for operating reversers ).
According to these figures, the aircraft dispatch was legal.

Now I calculated the maximum allowable weight in these conditions and I found 68 T, quite a hefty margin, it seems.

It is now time to look into the influence of the 10 kt tailwind : a whopping 21 % ! and in this case a landing weight of 66 t was allowed.

Our landing distance at 60 t and 10 kt tailwind now comes to 1,472 m
"
There is no correction for runway slope (which really surprised me ! ).

But now, out of the QRH, this is the in Flight performance for required runway length. still at 60T:
"In-Flight performance tables,
Considering an airport elevation of 3,300 ft and a wet runway. And a landing weight of 60 tons.
Base line : Landing runway length required : 1640 m
to which the following corrections apply :
Altitude : 3% per 1000 ft ---> 10%
Tailwind : 21%
Operating reversers : - 8%
Vapp = Vls : - 3%

Total correction : 20% ---> 328 m

So the *required runway length* for these conditions is 1640 + 328 = 1,968 m


Touch-down speed
Still from the tables and at LW = 60,000 kg...---> 130 kt which translates into a 140 kt TAS or 258 km/hr a ten knot tailwind makes it a groundspeed of 276 km/h.


Approach conditions :
Weather conditions : Ceiling (broken) reported at 2,000 ft over the field, few clouds as low as 6 to 800 ft.
Visibility is 2,000 m, which is regarded as poor.
Wind is 190į at ten knots, straight down runway 02.
The *circling* approach on 02 consists on a descent on the Runway 19 VOR approach, gear and flaps down (config 2 or full depending on airline SOP) down to 6,000 ft, then then open some 45į right in order to join the visual circuit for RWY 02 west of the airport.
The least we could say is that the *circling* (equivalent Spanish is "circular" ) conditions at that moment were marginal, both in terms of visibility and ceiling.


Approach visual geometry from the cockpit : Info from both the videos available on the net and some thoughts from pilots with experience on TGU :
They will give you a pretty good idea of a tunnel vision in low visibility . One thing is doing this approach in CAVOK conditions when a general vista of the relief and the landscape is given to you, another is just being able - and concentrating on - seeing just about 20 seconds worth of flight in front of you. The notion of horizontal and vertical become rather academic and even more so when your final path follows a downward slope toward the runway. The tendency to be high is fierce.


Some picture interpretation
The speed at which the airplane came to the road and the embankment, especially considering that it had first to drop some 20 m down that cliff at the end of the runway shouldn't have been very high. The TAM 320 was completely destroyed at an estimated ground speed of 90 kt.
The port smoking brakes seem to bear the indications of some wheel braking (did it start the fire we see in the first video ? )


Some aspects of FH
That crew was very aware of the conditions and the initial decision to try for Runway 02 had the wind been less than 10 kt is reasonable. Some twenty minutes later, a 10 kt tailwind becomes acceptable but they were at that time beginning to pile the odds against them. My question is " Why ?". On the ATC tape, the pilot sounded very sure and sharp.
"

Your thoughts, now Bubbers !

Last edited by Lemurian; 11th Jun 2008 at 21:43. Reason: grammar and spelling, ouf course !!!
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 23:12
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Lemurian

No adjustment for a 1% downslope really surprises me. Our charts as I said before allow us to land wet runway on 20 at max landing weight uphill. We have 700 feet more usable with no wind and at 187,000 with a 5 knot tailwind. Landing on 02 we are down to 162,800 with a 5 knot tailwind. Yes, 20 has 700 ft more usable than 02 but airplanes are just airplanes. Airbus must have slope charts.

Even without the 1% slope correction they couldn't land on 02 with a 10 knot tailwind legally using your calculations. I landed at TGU, one day from when hurricane Mitch hit Honduras. The runway was wet and they cleared me to land on 02 with a direct crosswind. I elected to change to 20 because of the upslope and extra 700 feet. They will let you land on any runway you want to if you ask. I know Taca had trouble maneuvering to 20 on the first approach so got pressured into landing downwind to get the job done. Our company has a transcript of the ATC tapes and both approaches were to 02, not like the transcript here saying the first was to 20. Coming from San Salvador I couldn't figure out why they would fly north of the field to start the approach.

My take is they wanted to land with a 5 knot tailwind on 02 to get in and pressed it too hard when it went to 10 knots. It is easy to do.
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 23:14
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why 60 days to move airport

Question was asked upthread.....basically you have to get security, communications, navaids, facilities, and ground equipment in there. 60 days will be pushing it. Yes it is a current air base but that does not mean terminals. claim areas, customs, and all the rest.... Suspect at one point moving the ground equipment from one to the other will be an interesting parade.
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 23:52
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They have already started the process. I don't see any additional flights into San Pedro Sula. What a shame they are closing TGU down to major airlines. It was the only fun airport left.
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