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SIA 777 off the rwy at EDDM

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SIA 777 off the rwy at EDDM

Old 31st Jan 2012, 22:24
  #301 (permalink)  
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Perhaps the industry should reflect on why some operators believe that it is necessary to fly ‘practice’ autolands. With modern, high reliability systems it should not be necessary to prove technical integrity.

But it is! For a proper LVP Cat II/III autoland to be carried out there are three requirements:

1. The runway in use must be equipped Cat II/III and LVP in force.

2. The crew must both be current Cat II/III

3. The aircraft must be cleared and current Cat II/III, a satisfactory autoland having been carried out within a previous subscribed period, possibly 28 days, operators will vary, (also, if an aircraft has been 'snagged' and lost it's Cat II/III capability, when rectified, a practice autoland must be executed before Cat II/III capability is restored).

I think some of these muppets posting here
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 02:41
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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Morons.

I've been a "pro" for nearly 30 years flying in the real world.

I've never done an Autoland for "practice" that's what the Sim is for. Any I've done are for a good reason, weather related or not for weather.

Boeing and Airbus spent zillions perfecting their fantastic reliable Autoland systems and I for one intend to make good use of it whenever I feel safety is improved for whatever reason.

My company agrees and has done it this way since Autoland was first brought in over 30 years ago AND HAS NEVER HAD AN INCIDENT DOING ONE. All runways we Autoland on must be approved for it, some like WMKK are not.

Like the poster above said, the Captain must always be in a position to assume control if the autopilot runs away!!
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 07:41
  #303 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dani
practise autoland above Cat I WX requires quicker reactions than Cat III autoland, but this is exactly the case, and the actual case shows us the reason why: In practise landings you have no protected zones, thus the deviation is much faster and heavier.
- a bit of a disjoint in your thinking there? Since all the 'excitement' of which you speak will be in the last 100 feet or so, why the need for '1000s' of mtrs vis? Surely we are all 'prepared' for that unexpected A/P quirk during a real Cat III, so what is the difference?

I am also surprised at the lack of autolands carried out by some operators here in Cat I or better. I must have done 10 or 15 in my career to clear Cat III tech log restrictions. How do the airlines involved do this?
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 07:47
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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The Muppets were the SQ ones who weren't on the ball!
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 07:50
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I Was There.........

I have come to this topic late, and I haven't waded through all the posts above, but I thought I'd put some of the latter comments into perspective.

I actually landed on the parallel runway minutes after the incident. Trust me, the weather was nowhere near as good as the weather mentioned above. We were flying an Airbus A320 and briefed to carry out an autoland due to the weather. On the radio, we heard the tower hassling aircraft to move up to the CAT I holding point. On very short finals the aircraft began to veer off the ILS centreline - ILS scales flashing, etc; we were - just - visual and the autopilot was disengaged and the aircraft landed manually. Sure enough, an aircraft was seen to be taxying on to the runway as we passed the threshold.

When on the ground I heard about what had happened to the SIA 777, I had my suspicions immediately that it was an autoland gone wrong due to lack of ILS protection.

FWIW!
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 07:56
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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- a bit of a disjoint in your thinking there? Since all the 'excitement' of which you speak will be in the last 100 feet or so, why the need for '1000s' of mtrs vis? Surely we are all 'prepared' for that unexpected A/P quirk during a real Cat III, so what is the difference?
Surely a SIA manoeuvre wouldn't be 'expected' during a real CAT 3? I hope you are very 'prepared'...

I think Dani wanted good vis so he could see if any aeroplane was in the protected area...like 146s.
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 08:05
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Amazing how ppruners can work themselves up into a frenzy about very little (muppets/morons etc.). Nobody is arguing that one size fits all. For instance if you only do a couple of landings a month and in places like Australia then mandating everyone who is auto land qualified must do practice auto lands in the aircraft is hard to justify.

However if you operate short haul in northern europe it is no big deal. If your OM requires it then you do it. That the sim is the only place to practice might also be used as an argument against raw data flying. Most of us would disagree. I think it is self evident that if you only do auto lands in the sim (in the worst case three approaches twice a year) to be legal, then you are going to be much less familiar and when things go wrong as in this case arguably less able to cope.

Lets share information that makes us all better pilots and try and cut down on the judgmental point scoring stuff (says he being judgmental but hopefully polite).
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 08:13
  #308 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CB
Surely a SIA manoeuvre wouldn't be 'expected' during a real CAT 3? I hope you are very 'prepared'...
Yes, I would be, but never experienced it apart from in the sim. There is no absolute guarantee (unless YOU have one) that the system will perform flawlessly.

I think Dani wanted good vis so he could see if any aeroplane was in the protected area...like 146s.
a) I would 'assume' potential problems with no LVP protection
b) I would probably have picked up the take-off clearance of the preceding and quite probably have seen it during its departure
c) I would have 'noted' the presence of a/c at the Cat I hold.

Is this not just standard airmanship?
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 08:24
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Practice autolands

In my current company, very few autolands per pilot are performed as the company policy is to perform autoland only if the airport has applied LVPs. Some guys even don't want to perform autoland if the vis is still aceptable for CAT I but LVPs are on ??? Example in CDG you are very likely to see LVPs on with an RVR of 2000m.
This has a consequence: very few pilots go over 10 autolands per year, which to my taste is not enough. I feel it in the sim and in the real world too, when I have to perform CATIII.
In my previous companies, autoland was perfomed for practice about 1/2 times a week, at pilot discretion, unless NOTAM prohibited those. I felt then a lot sharper in detecting anomalies and deviations of the system. In other words, ready to take over.

Question: I could never find a JAR document legislating on the matter. Why are some companies encouraging practice CATIII and others telling you it is prohibited (which I doubt very much) ? Is it a company responsability or a CAA decision country by country ?
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 08:33
  #310 (permalink)  
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Too big a question, Waspy! I could never find any regs that required an Autoland in Cat II either but several companies have that restriction, even when it is cloudbase related with good vis, which often prevented an approach in a strong crosswind and required a diversion. I can fully understand the logic when there is fog around, of course, but then unless you fly at '40kts of fog' RAF Brawdy.......................
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 08:48
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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SQ have a requirement of 8 auto-lands within 12 months and the aircraft requires one every 28 days. Each Sim (every six months) gives out 4 auto-lands and any real Cat111 is a bonus. I averaged one real one a year, although when the fleet had ZRH it wasn't hard to pick up a couple extra there in winter.
The real lesson from this incident, is to tell or ask ATC if a coupled approach is required when LVP is not in force and get protected.
I find it distasteful to call the crew names. They got caught out very late in the flare. Should have disconnected etc but we were not there. There is a culture to lean on the automatics in some outfits, maybe this will change things.
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 11:46
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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tell or ask ATC if a coupled approach is required when LVP is not in force and get protected.
I can tell you now, in Cat I or better conditions, we are not going to do anything special to protect you. You know the limitations and the mitigating SOPs, so you need to deal with it.

Providing 6 miles spacing between arrivals and holding departures back at the Cat 2/3 holding point is just not feasible unless you want to explain to the company and airport operator why the runway movement rate dropped by 30%.
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 12:18
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There is a culture to lean on the automatics in some outfits, maybe this will change things.
I doubt it. t doesn't matter what incidents or accidents occur, automation dependency is here to stay.
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 14:22
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Most companies boast in their OMA the aspiration of best use of equipment.

Some go as far is prohibit NPA and are extremely repressive concerning visuals, as long as an ILS is available.

Funnily enough it's often the same companies who do and actively demand these practice autolands.

An autoland on a non-LVO enabled runway/ILS is not best use of equipment.

To practice autoland, or testcycle on board equipment in conjunction with ground equipment that is not certified or suited to do so, is oblivious.

Thus practice auto land for CatIII on CatI ILS is futile because it does not prove zilch.

It simply should not be done because it's useless and not very intelligent, quod erat demonstrandum.
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 16:33
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Had some extra time on a T-7 sim after a fairly straight forward LOFT session with 2 guys who did really well ( eventhough it's still January they might already had tips about the LOFT scenarios! ). Decided to use the extra time for " SPOT " exercise. Gave them a simple Cat 3 B approach ( with Cat 2 visibility minimums programmed ) with a loss of ND on PM ( first officer's )side; the crew was sharp, continued approach with ND selected on lower MFD.

As our sim had no facility to simulate a scalloping localizer, I programmed in a low level gust of crosswind at 50' AGL. After flare engaged, the aircraft ( sim ) drifted off the centerline, the two very sharp guys were suddenly caught out. I guessed there must have been a lag in the crosswind gust kicking in as the touchdown occurred outside the runway! The PM attempted a balked landing but like the SQ crew, he commanded the normal go around procedures, i.e TOGA, Flaps 20, etc. He did push the thrust levers up, but a quick disconnect of the autopilot and a hasty pitch up caused a tail strike as he flew away.

They came back for an uneventful Cat 1 landing after all the checklist for the tailstrike was accomplished ( they did this admirably ). At the debrief I showed them that during the Cat 3 balked landing, they had taken out some HIRLs and the transmissometers.

They looked utterly chastitized; I then explained to them that I was simulating the SQ B777-300ER incident at EDDM. They then understood how that in a short few seconds things could really go pear shape despite how good one thought one could be. The captain confessed to being quite judgemental about the SQ crew's performance until this exercise!

In my years of conducting sim training and checks, I have seen many many amazing incidences where crews got caught out and I have also had an amazing number of times where crews managed to pull off admirable performances. Many a times, poor management of the automatics led to things going awry, especially when one was too fixated on a task at hand.

Last edited by SpaceNeedle; 1st Feb 2012 at 16:43.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 04:03
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It is all nice and well, you can always create a scenarion which is unrealistic and catch a crew out

Dead right. The other day I lined the 737 crew up (simulator) and cleared them for a visual take off, circuit and landing without the FD or autothrottle. To my astonishment the captain said he had never done circuits and landings in the simulator.. It had always been radar vectors for an eventual ILS. He had some real problems with manual flying without the goodies to help him. Same with the F/O....

I suppose you could call a circuit and landing "unrealistic" in today's world of automation?
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 08:25
  #317 (permalink)  
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studi - what procedure does your airline use to clear a/c back to CatIII status after downgrading? It would appear you have another way than flying an autoland in CatI or above - this would, I'm sure, be of interest to many operators.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 11:34
  #318 (permalink)  
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I'm surprised you don't know. If the a/c has a tech log entry 'Cat I only' does your airline just carry on with that or do they carry out a 'practice autoland' to clear the entry? As I said, in my time I must have done 14-15 of these to clear the entries but you have never heard of it? Can you ask someone who does know?

I'm not convinced you understand the procedure in question? This has nothing to do with crew 'practice' or 'number of a/lands in 6 months' etc.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 12:21
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When on the ground I heard about what had happened to the SIA 777, I had my suspicions immediately that it was an autoland gone wrong due to lack of ILS protection.
Thanks, Marktabs for your insights, which are completly congruent with my expectations and experiences. MUC is very famous for its "jumping" localisers as well as its inhomogenious fog conditions. Locals or people flying regularly to MUC can completly understand that your localizer will do strange things because seperation provided by local ATC is not such that you are protected - unless in real LVO.

So as a far flown captain from the "warm weather league" you might want to build in some extra margins if you are not completly familiar with the local conditions.

Marktabs, just also for info for you: You are not legally protected if you brief a LVP autoland on a non LVO-in-force airport. Remember that you have to stay on Cat I minima, if you cannot make it, you have to go around. Soon after that, ATC will send some fliers in the holding and issue LVO in force. After that, everyone can do Cat III autoland to their likings. But NOT BEFORE! You might also try your luck by negotiating with ATC before your go around but be reminded that German ATC does have its own way (like they do it in UK, France, Switzerland, Australia...).

Last edited by Dani; 2nd Feb 2012 at 17:29.
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 14:24
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My previous company asked crews coming early september to practice cat3 approaches.
We had a form to fill in including weight,speed,wind condition,airport,runway,and touch down location and to write whether the autoland was done successfully or not.
When the mid september fog started to roll in,our aircraft did the required amount of autolands and could be used when LVP were in force.
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