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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

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UPS cargo crash near Birmingham AL

Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:14
  #341 (permalink)  
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Little info from a controller. Capt flying, a/c crossed FAF at or just below altitude specified on chart, at 1 mile a/c was at 150 ground speed and UPS normally use r/w 18 if available .
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:26
  #342 (permalink)  
 
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In all my airliner flying, if you don't have the field in sight at MDA you Go Around, not level off. I accept other operators / nations may differ...
If you are doing a non precision approach without VNAV minimums and a DA, aren't you supposed to level off at MDA? Then go missed at the MAP.

Last edited by legomaniac; 17th Aug 2013 at 22:26.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:28
  #343 (permalink)  
 
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So you treat the MDA as a DA which it was not intended to be treated as? Nor is it legal do descend below, for that matter, unlike an actual DA, which is designed with the assumption that it is the altitude where the *decision* to continue or miss will be made, and the inevitable descent below is assumed?

You can set a DA (using the NPA MDA) for a non precision approach. Yes, you will descend slightly below DA in the event of a missed approach. The approval is contained in many airlines Ops Specs these days. There are limitations on the procedure that provide obstacle clearence etc.

Last edited by JPJP; 17th Aug 2013 at 22:28.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:41
  #344 (permalink)  
 
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At EOR -13 seconds, one of the crew remarks "Runway in sight".
Which "could" lead one to believe that until then they were not visual.

Mind you they may well have been visual earlier and have run into some predawn ground fog and an associated inversion which projected the PAPI at a reduced angle. Review of the KBHM Met data shows that conditions were right, e.g. 92% relative humidity and little wind. Conditions above the rising ground to the North of 18 may well have been more conducive to such a mirage.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:46
  #345 (permalink)  
 
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...and UPS normally use r/w 18 if available.
You're kidding.

Good post RF4, and Mach's observation is not unreasonable at this point...

The chart thing is macabrely interesting...possibly flying an approach at night using a chart with ambiguities as to whether the approach is NA or not....an approach that apparently was not NA with the VGSI available...and then not making it to a point that it made a difference anyway.

Also of macabre interest is that the approach was flown at 0451 LCL, evidently 9 minutes before (0500) 06 would have been available with its magic ILS.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:52
  #346 (permalink)  
 
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Which "could" lead one to believe that until then they were not visual.
Or not. I know that I have been occasionally guilty of making the "runway in sight" call well after it was in fact sighted.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 22:56
  #347 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed, runway in sight is a required callout on an IAP even on a CAVU day in my SOP.That said, in response to a E-GPWS call, it seems a bit odd, correcting would seem more appropriate call out, go around call even better.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:02
  #348 (permalink)  
 
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If you are doing a non precision approach without VNAV minimums and a DA, aren't you supposed to level off at MDA? Then go missed at the MAP.
Even if LNAV-only minima are published, most airlines would still calculate and use a constant-descent profile. Dive and drive is old news.

If you arrive at the DDA and don't see anything, the missed approach is treated like an ILS missed. If for some reason you cocked up the descent rate and arrive at the DDA significantly prior to the MAP, you climb but don't turn yet.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:09
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aterpster
pipeliner:

Quote:
Sir,

Why would an approach (like LOC 18) have the minimums be NA for night only? Does that imply some terrain issues between MDA/DDA and the TDZ?
The Jeppesen minimum box is wrong. The note at the top is correct. You can check the FAA chart, which is correct.
Aterpster or pipeliner. What does this exchange refer to?
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:10
  #350 (permalink)  
 
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The NTSB has also indicated that:

"The autopilot was engaged until last second of recorded data"

Assuming, and again, assuming that the recorded data ended at or very close to impact, this info is *very* interesting.

Last edited by FIRESYSOK; 17th Aug 2013 at 23:11.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:10
  #351 (permalink)  
 
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The NTSB have just concluded their latest press conference regarding this flight. They announced that the autopilot and autothrust were engaged until impact and that both engines were operating mormally. Target speed was 140kt so the aircraft must have been properly configured.
It is interesting that all of the automatics were being used below MDA. Do UPS advocate the use of CWS? The A300 can use CWS or CMD. With CWS the pilot makes the inputs.

Last edited by tubby linton; 17th Aug 2013 at 23:15.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:21
  #352 (permalink)  
 
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Little info from a controller. Capt flying, a/c crossed FAF at or just below altitude specified on chart, at 1 mile a/c was at 150 ground speed and UPS normally use r/w 18 if available .
I'll raise the partial B.S. flag on this one. I talked with a friend who drives the 'bus for UPS. He's been to BHM many times and says he has never landed on 18. The captain was indeed flying from what the NTSB press conference said earlier.

Today's NTSB press conference said that the FDR data shows the autopilot was on until one second before the end of FDR data and the autothrottles were on until the end of the FDR data. The CVR recording runs for several seconds after the FDR data ended.

Airspeed on approach was about 140 knots, approximately what was expected for this approach configuration.

Flight control inputs seem to correlate with flight control surface position indications and engines seem to have responded normally to autothrottle commands.

An FAA flight test of the runway 18 PAPI showed that it was indicating within one hundredth of a degree of the correct path.

Robert Sumwalt misspoke while answering a question and at one point referenced the ILS to runway 18 but he knows the difference, he flew for Piedmont and US Air for 24 years.
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:31
  #353 (permalink)  
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Maintaining autopilot & autothrust engagement at this point in the approach isn't that unusual - the disconnect and manual landing usually occurs somewhere between 600 and 400ft AAE, (ed., for non-pilots, to be clear, this would NOT have been an autoland). Autoflight use can be a significant aid on a challenging approach and/or when one is fatigued. Whether this is the case here is for the Human Factors people to determine.

What needs to be understood is the state of the FCU (Flight Control Unit) controls, particularly what descent mode was used - FPA, V/S or VNAV, and that hopefully will be in the data. The fact that the EGPWS sounded a Sink Rate warning may very well indicate the use of selected vs. programmed descent modes, in particular whether the mode was "FPA" or "V/S"...

Last edited by PJ2; 17th Aug 2013 at 23:35. Reason: add statement re 'not and autoland'
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 23:35
  #354 (permalink)  
 
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Are you saying it would be normal to allow the automatics to fly the airplane into the ground?

I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 00:06
  #355 (permalink)  
 
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The A300 doesn't have an FPA mode for an AP approach like the 320 series and beyond. It does have a Final Approach sub mode of it's standard Profile mode to do VNAV approaches. If properly setup, P.SPD and P.DES would be the FMA's, I believe and there is a vertical deviation scale in the box and on the ND. The AP also disconnects automatically at DDA -50 in Profile.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 00:17
  #356 (permalink)  
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PSJ, thank you very much for the clarification on FPA.

Firesysok, please re-read what I wrote.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 00:17
  #357 (permalink)  
 
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The minimum altitude to use vertical speed is 160ft on the approach according to the FCOM 2.01.30p1. The question is why on a clear night would you continue to use the kit below MDA? I find that the transition from auto to manual flight on the A300 takes a little while to get the feel of the aircraft and I personally would have disengaged the automatics at MDA. The A300 automatics are not as harmonized as well as some of the later Airbus products.
As previous posters have written you cannot select the FPA mode through the autopilot but there is nothing to stop you displaying it on your PFD. The A300 allows each pilotto decide whether they want to look at FD ,the Bird or Raw data through a selector switch. The later Airbus architecture specifies that both pilots have the same presentation by using one button.

Last edited by tubby linton; 18th Aug 2013 at 00:23.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 00:25
  #358 (permalink)  
 
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Google earth history Runway 18

Looking at history in Google earth you can see and confirm the work done 1997 removing buildings and later substantial earthworks being carried out on the approach to runway 18. Dates on GE can be out a few years.
Runway 18 stays the same extension was on runway 23 which was reclassified to runway 24, heading on 18 did not change? It does look to be leaning towards 190 heading on Google earth.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 00:34
  #359 (permalink)  
 
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OK465 the answer is yes to both.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 01:05
  #360 (permalink)  
 
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V/S or Profile can be used with a LOC appr and LOC* then LOC would be the FMA in either case. The A300 has a very old FMS and unless upgraded by UPS, it has likely been suffering from memory issues with all of the stuff that didn't exist when it was created back in the early 80's. EPGS, complex OPD's, RNAV approaches, huge influx of new enroute waypoints, etc.

Long story short, something has to give and operators sometimes selectively remove approaches and waypoints from the database to fit the space. UPS has a big theatre of ops, so it's easy to see this being an issue. It's possible that there were no database approaches available to the crew, which would X out the use of profile and put them in dive and drive mode with vertical speed. Also the NTSB reported 140kt approach speed is pretty high for an A300, probably pretty close to the landing weight limit for a flaps 30/40 landing
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