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FR Descending Below Min Height At Memmingen  
User currently offlinesenchingo From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 111 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 17 hours ago) and read 3995 times:

Just read the report on AV Herald: http://avherald.com/h?article=459fa8f6&opt=0 (happened in September already).

Please try not to turn this into another FR bashing thread.

Required minimum height for approach was 1000ft AGL, but the crew (on visual app) descended through 450ft AGL when both EGPWS warnings ("caution, terrain" and later "terrain, pull up") went off.

Looking at the report of BFU it shows 211kts, flaps 5, gear down. Doing -3200fpm sink rate at this config to me seems like quite a powerful push down, while still being that far away from the runway.

Crew initiated a go around and landed safely on the second try.

On AV Herald, there was a comment which made me think:
"This show the fact that Ryanair try not letting pilots manually flight the aircraft, but only operate the aircraft with automation as much as possible.So they forget how to handle the aircraft."
Is there any FR policy to reduce manual flying as much as possible? How come 2 licensed pilots can't do a relatively easy approach like this one? Flying for FR, shouldn't they have had quite a few landings at Memmingen?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 16 hours ago) and read 3856 times:

I will simply state policy on use of autopilot which, like every major commercial operation I know of, is maximum use of the autopilot.

However, it is stated that hand flying can be completed when considered appropriate below FL245. There are a number of restriction on this, mainly to do with airspace structure, weather and aircraft serviceability.



[Edited 2012-12-04 06:02:32] Edited for clarity

[Edited 2012-12-04 06:03:12]

User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8884 posts, RR: 75
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 16 hours ago) and read 3774 times:

Looks like they were on base with a considerable tailwind which they appear not anticipate making them overshoot. Maybe an element of overbank without enough back pressure leading to the higher descent rate while turning onto final. While turning towards the runway they went through what appears to be an inversion layer, a considerable wind shift in a small altitude change.

The crew did the correct thing, a go-around. These should be non-punitive, and encouraged, if the crew did not go around an approach like this can quickly turn into a landing incident. a go around an another with the wind profile known turns into a uneventful landing.

Given they were on a visual approach, the minimum should be the runway, not 1000' unless they were given another instruction like not below 3000 ft until DME or similar. The Avherald report is only part of the BFU report, the latter may provide more detail.

Doing the go-around and reporting the incident in my view is a sign of a robust company safety system. here was two changes to "cover up" this event, the crew and operator have taken neither.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2631 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

That's one, possibly two pilots probably looking for a new job  


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 2):
here was two changes to "cover up" this event, the crew and operator have taken neither.

There would have been no way to cover this event up. The flight data monitoring would have been sending a few messages back to the company! However yes the crew did the right thing, go around.


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8884 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

Quoting Boeing77W (Reply 4):
The flight data monitoring would have been sending a few messages back to the company!

If they have it installed, it is not free to install, transmit, or process the data.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2930 times:

It is installed and very much utilised

User currently offlineSenchingo From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2716 times:

News:
FR asked AV Herald to remove the report, as they state there was no "minimum" stated during this event.

BFU however refused, as pilots even in VFR have to follow the IFR rules (1000ft AGL).
BFU stated that descending through 1000ft does not have an immediate investigation necessary, but comming close to 450ft does.
They rate the case as "exceptionally" serious, as 450ft including two a/c system warnings put passengers and material at high risk.

The rating of "exceptionally serious" is equal to "close to crash" as BFU states.

http://www.aero.de/news-16410/BFU-Ry...-IFR-Sicherheitsmindesthoehe-.html


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8884 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2508 times:

Quoting Boeing77W (Reply 6):
It is installed and very much utilised

I did some research, I see they do not use the ACARS network for this, they have a custom GSM setup that I did not know about.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 7):

BFU however refused, as pilots even in VFR have to follow the IFR rules (1000ft AGL).

A visual approach does not mean VFR, the flight rules remain IFR, the crew has to maintain clear of cloud etc (remains in VMC which is not the same as VFR). The statement made by Ryanair is correct, there is no minimum for a visual approach, there maybe something that has not been published yet, e.g the ATC clearance "make visual approach runway 24 not below 3000 until 4 DME".

A lot of airlines have two different criteria as well for being stabilized, some say in instrument conditions they need to be stable by either 1500 or 1000' and when visual 500'.

Normally a clearance for a visual approach does not include a vertical restriction, so in the absence of further information I would suggest what Ryanair has said is correct. The approach was "untidy", they did however have the common sense to give it away and have another go.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinesenchingo From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

I'm sorry, i might have not been clear on this.

Also under IFR, 1000ft is considered minimum safe altitude. And as stated above, BFU said descending through 1000ft is not automatically reason for a report/check, but going to 450ft is.

Quoting zeke (Reply 8):
The approach was "untidy", they did however have the common sense to give it away and have another go.

BFU rates this incident as exceptionally serious, or in other words "close to crash". I agree with you that the crew did the right thing to give up but on the other hand, what else should they have done? Maybe some seconds later they would have crashed.

Update 2:
Now there's an official statement from AV Herald regarding the clinch between them and FR:
http://avherald.com/h?article=45a1cb11&opt=0


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2367 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 8):
A lot of airlines have two different criteria as well for being stabilized, some say in instrument conditions they need to be stable by either 1500 or 1000' and when visual 500'.

This might be what they're talking about when they say "minimum altitude". The aircraft was descending at 3280fpm at 900' above the airport, and then at 1740fpm 400' above the airport. So regardless of whether Ryanair's policy is to be stabilized by 1000' or 500', they had busted that altitude.

Still, the crew did what one is supposed to do in the event of an unstabilized approach - go around. So I don't really see what the big fuss is about.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8884 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

Quoting senchingo (Reply 9):
Also under IFR, 1000ft is considered minimum safe altitude. And as stated above, BFU said descending through 1000ft is not automatically reason for a report/check, but going to 450ft is.

I do not understand that logic, the 1000 ft and 450 ft mean nothing by themselves to me on a visual approach. The aircraft at some time needs to get to ground level to land. There is obviously something I am missing, all I see is an untidy approach, they tried correcting it, and then gave it away for another go. That is the correct action any airline would expect, all I could suggest is that the BFU would have wanted the crew to have gone around earlier, then we start going away from a factual discussion to one based upon subjective views.

It should be also worth noting that this airport is not at sea level, their barometric altimeter does not display the their height above the airport directly.

Quoting senchingo (Reply 9):
BFU rates this incident as exceptionally serious, or in other words "close to crash".

Only if they persisted with it, it had the potential to be serious (so does every landing). however history shows they went around and it was really a non-event.

Its easy after the event to go around criticizing saying they should have done x/y/z, it is what it is, nothing can be changed, including their correct decision to go around.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
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