889091 wrote:Were they running late? Was the cockpit crew about to time out?
They crashed in good weather right in the middle of the day. I am trying to understand why they chose to press on, even though they were coming in hot and high...
You know what, it doesn't matter why. I'm not being mean, I'm saying that there's really no excuse for this conduct. It isn't the Captain's authority, absent a true emergency, to violate the company rule that requires a stabilized approach. I know that Sky Gods do it, but they shouldn't. Because it's not up to them to take away the significant blanket of safety that this rule provides. 99 percent of the time it isn't necessary, but this accident will probably end up being an example of why it exists. A passenger expects to have the safety provided by that rule, specifically that the crew will have everything completely set-up and minimal issues and minimal distractions loooong prior to landing, and an omg-it's-so-boring uneventful and safe landing. High workload situations will necessarily-occasionally lead to something like this, especially if the tower or aircraft throw something else at you while you're already in the high-workload situation, and there's just no explanation or excuse for unnecessarily-inflicting it on yourself and those stuck in the little shiny tube with you. The WN at LGA, WN's Howard Peterson going off the end and into a gas station in Burbank ("My fault, my fault, my fault...there goes my career."), and on and on and on. There's a reason it's a hard and inflexible rule -- because when it's disobeyed it opens the door to incidents like this.
That these pilots were oblivious to the ding-ding-ding-ding that you can hear in the tower tape is an indication of exactly why they should have never put themselves in this situation in the first place. And it should be (but probably won't be) a cautionary tale for all.
And not for nothin', ten billion hours of PIC time or not, the complete lack of awareness of (or just complete mismanagement of) the aircraft's energy state from before the accident sequence all the way through it is more than a little disconcerting. Awareness of and ability to manage the aircraft's energy state is a key component of airmanship -- and a key component of safety -- and here these guys for whatever reason (incompetence, distractions, whatever) got it deadly-wrong.
I don't mean to keep repeating this, but if I'm sitting in the back, it's not up to the guys in front (unless it's an emergency) to make me an involuntary participant in (and possible victim of) their knowing decision to do things differently and less-safely than the Company requires. It's not their right or place, and while I have a lot of empathy for a guy like Peterson, that you are willing to do this once should be the last time you fly anybody but your lonesome self in an airplane -- because you have basically shown yourself willing to break the sacred trust that you have with your passengers.
The CVR here is going to be one for the ages.