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Iberia A340 at SJO...very low approach/landing

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Iberia A340 at SJO...very low approach/landing

Old 5th Oct 2015, 22:32
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Iberia A340 at SJO...very low approach/landing

Local media is reporting an Iberia A340 performing flight 6313 non-stop from Madrid, made a very low approach and landing at SJO airport in Costa Rica yesterday. Photos and video show it clearing the airport perimeter fence by just a few meters.

Story is here: http://www.ticotimes.net/2015/10/05/...amaria-airport

Video here: https://youtu.be/QNVqgUhmyU4 or https://player.vimeo.com/video/141370392

Local news story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J-prHsZXn4
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 12:42
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I think if you go onto YouTube you will find whole clusters of such landings at St.Marten. I've never been; I assume there are PAPI's. I assume the landing data has been calculated. I assume the correct technique will cause touchdown at the correct spot with the correct speed and the far end will be far enough. In a long wide body there should be no need to 'duck under' the PAPI. To judge precisely where the trailing wheels are from your perch way infant and way above them is nigh impossible. Trust the ground kit.
So, given the rest of the youtube photos over the years, is this as bad as it looks from the photo perpendicular to the centre line dressing the road; or is that a visual distortion?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 13:02
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Last time I went into SJO I remembered the upsloping runway giving you the false impression of being high, I kept on having to look at the Flight Director to make sure we didn't get low, maybe he threw caution to the wind and did everything by eyeball/brain ?

It did look kinda low, but everyone walked off the plane and they could use it again. Win win for everyone.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 13:08
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Lucky there were only small vehicles on that road. A container truck or tall box van might have created a different outcome.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 13:34
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I don't think I'd have been stood there. No chance if anything happens at the last minute to get out the way.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 14:00
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May be " playing to the crowd "?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 14:11
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the man in the video.....
Like standing on a railway line.
Someone is going to get hit one of these days.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 14:20
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There is a very similar situation at Liverpool, England. You can stand right below the ILS and it gets close.


Without the traffic lights that are either side of the runway for when an aircraft is on approach, a tall vehicle could very easily be clipped.


This video doesn't do it very much justice, but trust me it's very close:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFfmtX9pk30
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 15:26
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Aren't landings supposed to be accomplished @ zero AGL?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 16:02
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Originally Posted by barit1 View Post
Aren't landings supposed to be accomplished @ zero AGL?
That's what I was always taught ... As well as to ignore the same advice at your peril.....
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 21:58
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Runwy Slope

Originally Posted by FLCH
Last time I went into SJO I remembered the upsloping runway giving you the false impression of being high, I kept on having to look at the Flight Director to make sure we didn't get low, maybe he threw caution to the wind and did everything by eyeball/brain ?
Somewhat the same visual illusion pilots are faced with during approach to runway 10R at KFLL which has, at it's steepest point, a gradient of 1.1% up.

Fortunately, the 10R ILS is backed up by PAPI.
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Old 7th Oct 2015, 17:29
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PAPI U/S?

From my perspective, this 340-600 didn't look anywhere near the 50' threshold crossing height that is normal for landing. In fact, it appears in the video that they knew they were low and were in the process of reducing their descent rate. It can happen to anyone, even very experienced pilots and thankfully this one didn't amount to anything other than a vey interesting video.
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Old 8th Oct 2015, 22:15
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SJO is an optical illusion. You do look high/steep on the arrival so it is a constant internal struggle to NOT try to make the picture look 'right' by pitching over. But that's for landing on 07. This was landing on 25.

Last edited by misd-agin; 8th Oct 2015 at 22:18. Reason: But ....
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 08:32
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From Google Earth, PAPI appears to be 280m in (eye height over threshold, therefore, of around 48ft if it's 3). That, combined with the long body and deck angle, will result in wheels "over the fence" well below the "norm" if following the PAPI.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 11:35
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It's been a while since I flew widebody, but we were told to fly 3 whites to ensure wheel clearance.
Not applicable anymore?
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 12:23
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That's what we did on the DC-10. In addition, if the published TCH for the runway was less than 50 feet, then a visual adjustment had to be made to avoid modifying the approach lighting.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 13:52
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"...avoid modifying the approach lighting."

Now, that's funny!!
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