After reading this article, I still don't understand how the pilot "landed" in the water several miles short of the runway when the radio altimeter still showed 200ft AGL. Someone suggested that both altimeters failed. But when I read the NTSB report, it blamed the "Un(der)qualified" crew instead. Anyone know what's going on here?
Capt. Asoh said that he was making a coupled approach, but because of problems with his pressure altimeter, he was relying on the more accurate radio altimeter for verification of altitude. Capt. Asoh set the radio altimeter to give a light at a decision height of 211 ft (63.3 m). When the light blinked on ... he was nearly in the waters of San Francisco Bay - Richard Silagi
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The improper application of the prescribed procedures to execute an automatic-coupled ILS approach. This deviation from the prescribed procedures was, in part, due to a lack of familiarization and infrequent operation of the installed flight director and autopilot system." - NTSB AAR-70-02
Tower: "Cessna xxxx, state your intentions", Cessna: "To become airline pilot"
Buckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3503 times:
If you are on an normal approach with a fully laden airliner, 200' is not a big vertical distance. Often, go arounds that are conducted below 100' RA, the a/c is expected to actually make contact with the surface before actually climbing (because of inertia and turbine thrust lag). The other thing to consider is that the radio altimeter is usually mounted in the forward section of the a/c, and would give an indication that is higher than the actual aircraft height AGL if the nose was in even a slight pitch up attitude.
I would assume that, when the a/c was on the approach, the captain would think that he was on the g/s, and when he was surprised to find that he was still over the water, the reaction time in this case would have suffered a bit. Again, 200' with a normal jet descent rate won't give you a lot of time to make a decision and react.