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# Delta A330-300 Lands Short in Amsterdam

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

# Delta A330-300 Lands Short in Amsterdam

15th Jan 2023, 15:33

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any general theory yet, on what may have happened ?

15th Jan 2023, 19:21

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Originally Posted by safetypee
is this correct?
The document you're quoting from is the official Dutch AIP, so I would expect that information to be correct.
15th Jan 2023, 22:18

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Jh, thank-you.

321XLR, a first step is find details to answer "… what would the wheel height over threshold be for an A330" post #18.
Any A330-300 crew with access to the relevant documentation ?
16th Jan 2023, 00:15

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While waiting for better data:

Here is a "back of the calculator.net" calculation, based on data from pdf page 53 (page 2, section 2-2-0 - diagram) of this Airbus document for the A330-300

https://www.airbus.com/sites/g/files...ft-AC-A330.pdf

Assumptions - based on cockpit windscreen locations, the pilots' eyepoint will be 5.64m above the ground and main gear treads and 3m aft of the nose when flat on the ground. 5.64m is the diameter of the fuselage, and I make the assumption that the gap between the fuselage and the ground, and the pilots' eyepoint below the main cabin ceiling, are about identical.

This forms a triangle:

eyepoint > ground (5.64m)

------------------------------------• (c)
> main gear tread (aft 29m)) > eyepoint with an angle of 11° (c) at the main gear.

Add to that whatever nose pitch-up is normal on approach - I assume +3°. Which makes the "pitch angle (c again)" between the pilots' viewpoint and the gear at touchdown 14°, and put the pilots' view point 7m above the main gear tread.
-

----------------------------------- (c)
Add 1m to that eyepoint-tread height to account for strut extension and eagleclaw-tilted bogie position, to estimate the pilot's eyes will be 8m (26.4 ft) above the trailing main gear wheel tread.

https://www.calculator.net/triangle-...ts=d&x=77&y=20

Naturally...... feel free to critique or massage my assumptions and calculations.
16th Jan 2023, 14:50

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Thanks pattern; the wheel height over threshold for the A330 could be compared with other aircraft identifying the spread of heights that might be expected in normal operation. (See FAA report; note different references for TCH, ILS, RA, https://hf.tc.faa.gov/people/andrew-.../full_text.pdf page 21).

An alternative is to consider the runway distance from the threshold to a common reference point - PAPI location for other runways; this relates the different PAPI TCH altitudes (rwy 22 62ft, rwy 27 70ft).

Approximate distance measurements (G Earth 'measure distance') shows that 22 PAPI is 0.17 'miles' from the threshold markings, grass end. Transposing this distance to rwy 24 PAPI provides an indication of how many touchdown wheel marks could have occurred 'in the grass' - rubber marks on 27 concrete, for the same distance as 22, (photo from G Earth).

The other difference is that the evidence from a low approach on 22 remains for everyone to see (wheel marks in the grass), but may not be so easily determined on 24 - 'that's not my wheel rubber'.
Thus for identical flights and conditions the outcome is determined by what remains to be seen; low TCH on 24 could be a 'non-event'; identical low TCH on 22, … Pprune posts.

Safety thoughts; operators of long body aircraft should choose runways with higher TCH, or use long-body PAPI - none at EDAM?
Also choose the longer runway to avoid risk of ducking under due to a perceived shorter runway.

Last edited by safetypee; 17th Jan 2023 at 14:18.
16th Jan 2023, 20:39

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They probably had green green indication on the papi. The lights shining through the grass! 🤔😬👀
17th Jan 2023, 01:13

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Nice shout out to Dave Gunson!
17th Jan 2023, 09:17

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Originally Posted by safetypee
Safety thoughts; operators of long body aircraft should choose runways with higher TCH, or use long-body PAPI - none at EDAM?
Also choose the longer runway to avoid risk of ducking under due to a perceived shorter runway.
Or just keep the basic flying skills up and land the damn plane where it is supposed to.

​​​​​​
17th Jan 2023, 09:41

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I think this is likely a case of pilots developing bad habits, such as intentionally landing below the glideslope and with three reds on the PAPI.
17th Jan 2023, 11:06

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Originally Posted by zerograv
lucky indeed ...

Given that the main landing gear on the 330 is tilted upwards when the aircraft is airborne, I would hazard a guess that what contacted the soft ground, just before the runway, were the wheels of the rear axle.
When the wheels of the rear axle came in contact with the runway edge, this would have caused a bit of a violent untilting of main gear, slamming the wheels of the front axle on the runway.

Potential to damage the gear interface unit, which can cause the system to think that the aircraft is in the air, making brakes and reverse unavailable, leaving the crew with nothing available to stop the aircraft after the touchdown. Iberia in Quito comes to mind.
The Iberia accident at Quito in 2007 (they've had more than one incident/accident there!) didn't cause them to lose all braking. They did lose autobrake (wiring to the wheel tachnomter broke) and they disconnected the anti-skid system. Not sure why they disconnected autoskid, but that combined with the surprise and inevitable delay in applying manual braking probably didn't help them to stop on the runway. https://avherald.com/h?article=422bdd7d has a summary of the accident report.

Losing all brakes might be possible... but is it that likely. Surely you can still apply manual brakes even if the air/ground logic says air?
17th Jan 2023, 14:13

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O O T, misplaced humour ?
the stranger,
procede,
You appear to have missed the point - that identically flown landings on 27 or 22, with similar 'normal' variation in flight path can have different outcomes because of the relative positions of PAPI and threshold. 22 being more critical in having the lesser distance - lower TCH, and, but not directly relevant, grass immediately before the threshold vice hard surfaces elsewhere.
There is no need to question skills or bad habit; instead question our conclusions for landings on either runway re a touchdown approx 0.17 miles before the PAPI location; why differentiate.

An occurrence such as this is 'statistically' likely from normal operations, the difference is in the outcome 'evidence', a bias in our safety perceptions.
Safety interventions should look at factors other than the human.

Is the lack of long-body PAPI the policy at EHAM, or country wide? If so then consider what advice should be published re rwy 22, which is also an operator choice.

procede, you may wish to calculate the height difference between 2R 2W and 3R 1W at the threshold.
17th Jan 2023, 23:42

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Originally Posted by nicolai
Not sure why they disconnected autoskid,
I think that disconnecting the antiskid is a action in the event of Loss of braking, which, I think, is a 'memory checklist' on the Airbus.

Have a look at the first pages of the following ...

Korean Air A330 off runway in Phillipines
18th Jan 2023, 11:03

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For reference, here's a video of a 747-400 landing on that runway:

Just posting that here because, judging from a couple of reactions on Twitter and elsewhere, some people seem to think that EHAM runway 22 is not really suitable for anything bigger than a 737. It certainly is.

(Mind you, the FAS of this 747 is comparable to that of a 737-900 under similar conditions, except the latter doesn't have the jumbo's braking performance.)
18th Jan 2023, 16:47

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Of note in that 747 video, the approach is made at three white/one red on the PAPI, transitioning to four white just above 100 feet ("Minimums").

Am I right in assuming that is SOP for a heavy if there is not a dedicated tall-aircraft PAPI?
18th Jan 2023, 18:28

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Originally Posted by safetypee
O O T, misplaced humour ?
the stranger,
procede,
You appear to have missed the point - that identically flown landings on 27 or 22, with similar 'normal' variation in flight path can have different outcomes because of the relative positions of PAPI and threshold. 22 being more critical in having the lesser distance - lower TCH, and, but not directly relevant, grass immediately before the threshold vice hard surfaces elsewhere.
I would be very careful using rubber marks on 24 and 27 for your "case", as it is not unheard for aircraft of a certain local carrier to land as short as possible on both ruwnnways as their parking spots are next to rwy24.

So those marks could be deliberate, skewing your calculations. Further more, if the runway, including papi is up to required specs, it still comes down to basic skills. Especially as this kind of incident has not happened before in the last 10 years on that runway.

18th Jan 2023, 19:46

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Also, in the landing video the aircraft appears to be flown on the ILS glide slope at least to the 100 foot call out. Then slightly above in the flare. In a 747, that should confirm the observation of a visual glide slope of 3 white, one red as the aircraft neared the runway.
19th Jan 2023, 08:54

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the_stranger, hhmmm

On one hand you caution the interpretation of pictures.

On the other, one operator is sufficiently skilled in deliberately 'landing short" (27), whereas another lacks skill (22) ~ 'blame and train'.

22 has a blacktop surface, no rubber marks for comparison; thus if not seen, short touchdowns are non events. Yet marks in the grass become significant events.
So a 'skilled' landing short on 27 is a non-event, but on 22 it is … …

Better to argue the merits or hazards of the physical situation, 27 vs 22, than to debate behaviour biased by knowledge of outcome - interpretation of pictures.
19th Jan 2023, 09:36

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Originally Posted by zerograv
I think that disconnecting the antiskid is a action in the event of Loss of braking, which, I think, is a 'memory checklist' on the Airbus.
Yes, it is

Edit to add: that switch is how you select alternate brakes.

Last edited by Uplinker; 19th Jan 2023 at 10:22.
19th Jan 2023, 09:47

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Can I ask a "threat and error management" question

Why are heavies being obliged to use runway 22 at an airport where five longer runways are available.

Seems to be an unnecessary threat.

Would EHAM have permitted rejection of that runway.as I heard a BA 787 do at New Orleans the other day ( reject 20 in favour of 11).
19th Jan 2023, 10:23

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You can always request a longer runway if required 'due performance reasons'.