Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:42 am

First Air Under Investigation....Again

Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:37 am

Thought this kinda interesting, although First Air has had countless incidents, this is the first time that someone is actually associating some blame to the airport.

Frankly, this just brings back memories of C-GNWI, the plane that was planted on landing in YZF (Yellowknife) several years back, although this one was considerably less damaging, thankfully.

Investigators probe plane's foggy weather landing
Last Updated Fri, 27 Feb 2004 20:02:25
EDMONTON - The Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether foggy conditions caused the near disastrous landing of a plane at the Edmonton International Airport.

A First Air plane landed beside the airport's runway in thick fog on Wednesday morning. None of the 31 passengers on the charter flight from a northern gold mine were injured.

John Lee, an investigator with the TSB, said after it missed the runway, the plane struck a taxi sign, and damaged its left engine. The pilot managed to taxi the aircraft back onto the runway before coming to a halt.

The TSB is analyzing the plane's flight recorders at its Ottawa lab. Lee says his team of investigators has not discovered any mechanical problems with the aircraft and will shift the focus to the plane's navigational systems and the weather conditions.

John Morris, a spokesperson for Navigation Canada, says it was up to the pilot, not air traffic controllers, to decide whether conditions were safe to land.

"The pilot has that authority and decision-making power because only the pilot can see from the air what the approach is like and what the runway is like," said Morris.

A veteran pilot says the airport needs to update its runway equipment.

Ken Green says that many international airports, such as Vancouver and Toronto, have a landing system that makes it possible to do automatic landings in any weather.

"In Edmonton they are not equipped with that kind of landing system," said Green, who has flown for 40 years and has used the Edmonton airport many times. "It's more of an antiquated system."

An airport spokesperson admitted that its landing technology is old, but said there are simply not enough planes using the airport to justify installing a newer system.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

RE: First Air Under Investigation....Again

Sat Feb 28, 2004 2:33 pm

Hey Derrick, nice to see you posting again!

From the information provided in the article, which of course is not necessarily 100% accurate, it would seem this is pilot error. The pilot must have proper visual reference to the runway on approach, and if this is not the case, the pilot must initiate a go-around. I'm interested to see how this develops.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:42 am

RE: First Air Under Investigation....Again

Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:39 pm

I can only see one other reason that it would be non-pilot error, and that is improperly tuned/calibrated navigation system for the ILS and various other navigational equipment upfront. However, seeing as Edmonton isnt a CAT III approach, (And I very much doubt their 732's have autoland) once the pilot reached the MDA, he should of noticed that he was way off centreline, and certainly could of been able to tell the difference between snow/grass and a black runway.

I've flow ILS' down to minimums, (standard mins), and generally as long as your navigational tools work, you shouldn't have any problems.

Perhaps there was an exceptionally strong X-wind? Either way, First Air has had its fair share of pilot related screw-ups, hopefully this will spell the end of them.

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