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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

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TACA aircraft crashed in Honduras

Old 31st May 2008, 05:41
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Airbus autobrakes and spoilers should have brought it to a full stop with plenty of margin, even with the small tail wind. Why didn't it?
It's elementary, my dear Watson, but we need the FDR to tell its story first.
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Old 31st May 2008, 07:32
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Normal Landing at Toncontin airport, Tegucigalpa Honduras

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_z5HtME9n8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlMOo_jNSbE

Two shocking videos of planes landing at this airport.

I was talking to a friend of mine about his experience of approaches into different airports and he showed me these videos. It was only a month or two ago and I remember saying it was an accident waiting to happen.
Rest in peace to all those victims. This is never nice to hear.
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Old 31st May 2008, 08:34
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Two shocking videos of planes landing at this airport
...
Don't see anything shocking in those, just call them spectacular visual approaches, similar to a circling in Split, visual into Lugano 19, low circuit at St Tropez La Môle, the guided turns into 33 at Reggio de la Calabria or some other interesting approaches into some Greek islands...

Shocking is rather the other crash in itself, same deep inside feeling each time... RIP guys


live 2 fly 2 live
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Old 31st May 2008, 08:42
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Here is another video, from the cockpit. Definitely not for the inexperienced or fainthearted.

The numbers must be right from the beginning, no room for error.

Just a pity that something had to happen!

Last edited by Jetjock330; 31st May 2008 at 20:27.
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Old 31st May 2008, 11:13
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Two shocking videos of planes landing at this airport.
I'd say they are fairly shocking. Perhaps it is a visual illusion but no-one seems to cross the threshold at 50 feet, in fact one of the AA757s appears to touchdown prior to the threshold. Where I work that would definitely involve tea and biscuits with the management! Obviously you wouldn't want to land long but the runway isn't that short, at a guess you could stop a 320series twice using autobrake medium - and with manual braking & max reverse I imagine you'd need about a third of the runway.
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Old 31st May 2008, 11:52
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F4F, you have beaten me to it. Nothing shocking at all in the two videos. OK, obviously not an easy field to approach and land but if you do the numbers, like thousands have done in the past, you are fine. TACA accident is the only thing shocking, lucky there were no more casualties.
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Old 31st May 2008, 13:45
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Don't see anything shocking in those, just call them spectacular visual approaches, similar to a circling in Split, visual into Lugano 19, low circuit at St Tropez La Môle, the guided turns into 33 at Reggio de la Calabria or some other interesting approaches into some Greek islands...
100% wrong.Give me an airport in Europe with these 3 combined:
a)short ungrooved rwy
b)surrounding terrain..not just distant mountains,but sloping hills right in close...big difference.
c)spectacularly short airport perimeter..no control of overrun..no clearance on app flightpath

The ones you mention pale in comparison.Reggio Calabria/Split,what a joke.Samos has (a) and a little bit of (b) and (c) but thats about it.Funchal has (a) and again a bit of (b) and (c).I would rate Samos/Funchal as 7/10 when considering stick/rudder skills(and judgement!).I would rate this one higher at 8.The spoiler call is mandatory prior reversers for sure.
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Old 31st May 2008, 13:56
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The VOR DME 02 approach looks like a straight in arrival to land but because of the hill on final approach requires a circle to the left to land to stay left of the hill.
Flying directly over the hill would make the descent angle too steep. We had a pattern to overfly the runway and make the same downwind as doing the 20 approach.
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Old 31st May 2008, 15:53
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100% wrong.Give me an airport in Europe with these 3 combined:
a)short ungrooved rwy
b)surrounding terrain..not just distant mountains,but sloping hills right in close...big difference.
c)spectacularly short airport perimeter..no control of overrun..no clearance on app flightpath
d) Also Elevation AMSL 3,294 ft
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Old 31st May 2008, 15:56
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A classic risk management case. I don't think anyone would disagree that this is one of the more challenging approaches of the world. More challenges = more risk to manage. More risk to manage = more likelihood of an incident / accident. The real question is, where do we draw the line...
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Old 31st May 2008, 19:31
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The youtube video of the AA 757 is obviously a visual approach, so the approach plates are immaterial.
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Old 31st May 2008, 19:37
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Here is another video, from the cockpit. Definitely not for the in experienced or fainthearted.
Strangely, seems like the video has just been pulled from U-Tube within the last few minutes. Not sure I understand why.
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Old 31st May 2008, 20:41
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAxAs...eature=related

this clip as previously posted is pretty impressive
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Old 31st May 2008, 21:40
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Intresting approach I assume they fly a VFR circuit as thats how it looked to me . (As a humble PPL)
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Old 1st Jun 2008, 00:22
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More risk to manage = more likelihood of an incident / accident.

More risk:-
In addition to any downwind component during the landing, runway 02 has a down-slope (-69ft).

My meagre translation of the warnings on the airport chart indicate that during June-Dec the touchdown zones are ‘extremely slippery’, presumable this applies in any wet weather.
NOTAMS advised caution in the rainy season w.e.f. 16 May. IIRC ‘Slippery when wet’ classifications (ICAO) indicate a runway friction in the order of 0.4, there is no indication of such a warning in this incident or of any maintenance check of the runway to indicate this condition, or is that the intent of the chart warning and NOTAM?
Judging from the photo (#30) there is a lot of rubber on the runway surface;– a poorly maintained runway?

The airport chart indicates that the threshold for 02 is displaced. Measuring the chart, the landing distance appears to indicate 6190 ft – the stated length of hard surface. However, the depicted PAPI location and photo (#30) support the notion of a shorter distance due to a displaced threshold.
From the type A obstacle chart the landing distance for 02 appears to be only 5410 ft (poor translation capability, Spanish experts please confirm). Also, that the clearway (02) is approximately 225 ft, presumably the tarmac/grass before the overrun down slope.
There is only one fixed distance marking, so that there is no clear indication of the touchdown zone.

The threshold displacement appears to be due to the higher (down sloping) terrain on the final approach. From the charts a straight in approach is not authorized from the VOR/DME, thus with a slightly steeper, circling approach, a higher obstacle clearance plane might enable greater landing distance.
From an operational aspect, circling to runway 20 from a 02 VOR approach (lower minima) might be easier (and into wind) although Captain would be on the outside of the turn - circle East only.

“The real question is, where do we draw the line...” (77300ER #51) … well … further away from the current edge as indicated by the norm in some parts of the industry. This would require that the boundary of operation be determined for all runways likely to be used. The boundary – the edge of a safe operation, is not defined by any fixed standard as there are many variables involved requiring individual judgment. At airports such as this, special attention is required to avoid unnecessary risk.

The operating crew can draw a line, but this is usually limited to the immediate circumstances and conditions – last chance.
An analysis such as above, should be undertaken by the operator (ops planning), the airport management, and the regulator – proactive safety.
If more people were involved in ‘drawing the line’ perhaps it would be thicker so then the crew could choose the safer edge as their boundary.
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Old 1st Jun 2008, 00:29
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It's all about training, local knowledge and experience. Here is a 5300 footer that a 737 operator used several times daily for decades with no incidents or accidents. There were others in the route system almost as challenging and they all featured ice and snow in winter and frequent windshifts at any time. This one was daylight only but the others were used day and night.
The road in the foreground is used as a 3 degree "VASI" as you turn final from left base using 30 degree bank and rolling out just before the threshold.
CYCG.
http://www.ourbc.com/travel_bc/photo...ort_01_640.jpg

Runway in sight yet?
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6...4/IMG_6621.jpg

Here is an easier one except for night time circling in precipitation.
CYYF
http://www.ourbc.com/travel_bc/photo...ort_01_640.jpg

Last edited by Tree; 2nd Jun 2008 at 16:46.
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Old 1st Jun 2008, 00:59
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The 737 let's the pilot fly the aircraft without having to outguess or fool the machine.
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Old 1st Jun 2008, 01:16
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Caulfield you're not right... sorry...

Dear caulfield,

I couldn't disagree with you more on what you say abot Funchal... Sure it still is a difficult aerodrome to land on, but it it is far easier than it was on the 70's. Back then the runway had only 1400 meters, now it has more than 2700 and a wonderful pavement.

It still implies a whole lot of judgement, but it is far from being a short ungrooved runway...

Greetings.

P.S.: One thing I would like to see discussed from those who really know the thing. After the accident with the A346 of Iberia in Quito, the A320 of TAM in Congonhas and now this A320 of TACA in Tegucicalpa isn't sounding a bit alarming? Apart from the judgement errors that seem real on all three accidents doesn't it rings a bell on all the automations on the Buses? I know nothing about flying Buses and Boeings and really don't need a discussion of Airbus vs. Boeing, but for me as a pilot these accidents seem to have some things in common... Anyone cares to talk about this?
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Old 1st Jun 2008, 01:29
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Hm Pattern

As Robert says, and I will admit it is a personal intuition, not a fact, the Boeing flies consistent with a century of training and experience. That there is still a discussion about relative merit is more unsettling than relaxing. Moving a small stick, independently of the Other Pilot, and then letting it pop back to "neutral" seems like it would take more than a little adjustment. Measured control input for commanded control movement, in consonance with deflection, is just an intuitive gestalt. Having both yokes move in unison is a mechanical repetition of a communicative piloting effort, where the Airbus seems isolating and competitive. I can't easily erase the FP at Hamburg putting in 14 degrees left roll in a scary dicey rightxwind gusty landing. One would hope the FO (or Captain) in the Boeing would be on top of that blunder in a blink.
 
Old 1st Jun 2008, 01:49
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Rip Cesare

I Have flown for TACA in the region and to the same airport on the 737 2/3.
The airplane performed very well. When the company Changed to an all Airbus fleet, pilots were concerned for the performance of the A320 on that particular airfield. Incidents have happened before at Toncontin on the A320.
No need to expand but the A320 is not suitable for that RWY. If you approach bit faster plus other factors the acft "floats" to much......
This one was tragic.

Hope they close that airport

RIP Cesare ! It was great to share good moments at TACA !!

A mourning friend.
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