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planecane
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:38 pm

Any guesses as to why the pilot keyed the radio to get the horrifying last audio on an ATC communication recording? Is it possible he was about to communicate a change of plan or go around to ATC and made the decision a few seconds too late?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:13 pm

Unconscious squeezing of the mic button
 
Spotter1967
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:40 pm

a detailed analysis of the crash is here. https://feitoffake.wordpress.com/2021/1 ... r-27-2021/
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:22 pm

Not entirely accurate, wrong approach for example, but interesting that this appears to be the first jet for both pilots. The captain was relatively recently off SOE. That, combined with the fact both this company and local ATC/operators are known to fly this mash-up of IFR to VFR visual approach to land on an adequately long runway put, I’d submit, pressure on this less experienced pilot to “get in”. Reports are it was common for the KSEE ATCT to ask inbounds to report VFR and cancellation of IFR to join the pattern. He might have local familiarity, but not in a fast jet at night, under a ceiling. I’ve seen this chain elsewhere, the “new guys” see the “old heads” pull off tricky maneuvers and think it’s appropriate without fully understanding the risks.
 
Spotter1967
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:16 pm

Why didn't the crew decide for an approach of runway 27R like N36BL did many times at nighttime? I have the impression that is was just N880Z which frequently at night did this circle to land. N94GP is another Learjet flying for Aeromedevac. It also uses the righthand pattern for 27R most of the times.
https://feitoffake.wordpress.com/2021/1 ... es-to-27r/
 
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tb727
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:31 pm

wjcandee wrote:
tb727 wrote:
Nope, as a whole, it isn't. I look back at my 135 days and I did stuff I wouldn't dream of doing today because I just thought it was the way it was done.

The Lear wing is very unforgiving on the 30 Series, especially down low and slow while circling and fully configured. The Learjet will get you into, and out of, trouble very quick.


Good to see you on this thread, our friend. So, I am just curious, given what I know from years ago about your extensive experience in aircraft this size: Is there anything about the approach plate for the LOC-D arrival to KSEE that would have precluded them, in a Lear, from shooting straight down that approach and onto 27R in IFR, or, as is apparently a local practice, cancelling IFR at DEBEY and plopping it VFR on the runway straight ahead? There has been a lot of talk on the forum about it being a "circling" approach, apparently because of what's in the box in the lower left, and thus forbidden at night per the T box restrictions, but my own impression is that, as GalaxyFlyer pointed out, this is not an approach specifically to Rwy 27R but rather an approach to KSEE generally, so does this necessarily mean that circling was required to all runways? I'm just not sure I understand why people are assuming that the Lear couldn't make the runway straight in on the IFR gradient without circling. And -- thus -- Juan Browne wasn't wrong to say that they had a straight in LOC-D arrival that they could have taken that would have had them lined up and ready to land on 27R. Upthread here, I reported a little research that I had done showing that of the 12 approaches this aircraft made to KSEE in the past 2 months, there was a single one straight-in to Rwy 9L (presumably VFR), and every one of the others, including approaches at night, in weather, etc., were all straight over the hills on at least the track of the LOC-D arrival and right down onto 27R with no circling. I'm just confused as to why some folks are saying that such an approach was NA at night.

Thought that your wisdom on this would be helpful to the class if you choose to weigh in. Or anybody else who does this stuff, for that matter.

Current approach plate: https://flightaware.com/resources/airpo ... AP/all/pdf


Thanks, it's sad to see this accident. The LOC-D was not an option because it says circling 27R NA(not available) at night in the notes, a-D is a circling approach with only circling approach minimums. So in actuality, although it is mostly straight at the runway, it's a circling approach. The other note about not circling NE of 27R can be somewhat misleading but basically leaves you with going to right traffic to 9 or coming over the field and entering right traffic to 17, neither of which are practical, 9 with caution because of the 1624' obstacle WSW of the field.

The biggest issue was that the weather is right at or below mins from what I see on ASN with the Lear being a Category C, along with the steep gradient would make it a dangerous endeavor all around. Say it was even daytime, crossing DEBEY at 2700 to a an elevation of 388 feet for 27R you need to start a visual descent to land about 3.4 miles from the end of the runway at a steep 6.88%. The visibility was showing 3 miles with a ceiling of BKN 2000, they would have been IMC and not even been able to see to do it then either. The minimums are at 3 miles.

In the back of a pilots mind is once you ask for that visual workaround by cancelling IFR, is that you have to land because you just went VFR. We aren't always in the Go-Around mindset when we should really always have a way out, especially at a field one operates out of on a very regular basis.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:37 pm

Spotter1967 wrote:
Why didn't the crew decide for an approach of runway 27R like N36BL did many times at nighttime? I have the impression that is was just N880Z which frequently at night did this circle to land. N94GP is another Learjet flying for Aeromedevac. It also uses the righthand pattern for 27R most of the times.
https://feitoffake.wordpress.com/2021/1 ... es-to-27r/


I think every one of those arrivals at night were in much better weather than the accident flight. The accident crew would not have acquired the airport from the position where N36BL started the pattern.

The smart way to fly the LOC-D would be, at minimums, ask, “is the weather at this altitude and position, good enough to fly the normal pattern?” Yes, continue, No, head for CRQ or SAN and rent a car.
 
Ertro
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:06 pm

Revelation wrote:
The time he spends repeatedly criticizing training firms would be better spent going through DMMS in a calm manner, or pointing his audience at training resources that do teach things the way he wants them to be taught if he can't do so himself.


If there is any meaningful change needed it can only happen through official and proper channels. His videos do not reach the necessary audience. I bet 99% of viewers of his videos are not pilots flying these kind of planes. Whatever he would start doing in detailed teaching would go to completely wrong audience who does not need it. The proper audience on the other hand should not be assumed to start taking advice from random videos they might find on youtube or facebook but instead from real official training firms.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 4:24 pm

Ertro wrote:
If there is any meaningful change needed it can only happen through official and proper channels. His videos do not reach the necessary audience. I bet 99% of viewers of his videos are not pilots flying these kind of planes. Whatever he would start doing in detailed teaching would go to completely wrong audience who does not need it. The proper audience on the other hand should not be assumed to start taking advice from random videos they might find on youtube or facebook but instead from real official training firms.

I agree with the thrust of your post, but think unofficial sources do get a reasonable amount of attention. Done well, they could influence current and future decision makers. Done poorly like this one is, they will be ignored.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:25 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The 17 runway is too short for a Lear 35 to land when wet, that’s the reason for the visual pattern to the landing runway.


At a former operator, we consistently SMS downed KSEE as an airport unless the crew could leave the enroute environment and visually land in day VMC conditions. The few times owners/customers raised an eyebrow, showing them the SMS system in operation was usually all that it took for them to accept the pilot's decision.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:28 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The 17 runway is too short for a Lear 35 to land when wet, that’s the reason for the visual pattern to the landing runway.


At a former operator, we consistently SMS downed KSEE as an airport unless the crew could leave the enroute environment and visually land in day VMC conditions. The few times owners/customers raised an eyebrow, showing them the SMS system in operation was usually all that it took for them to accept the pilot's decision.


Pretty much the same here, Sir, but we’ve never been asked for KSEE. Lots of mountain airports, too narrow runways, small airports with small ramps to save a 10 minute drive.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 8:03 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:

Pretty much the same here, Sir, but we’ve never been asked for KSEE. Lots of mountain airports, too narrow runways, small airports with small ramps to save a 10 minute drive.


We had an owner with a home in ASE who would beat our pilots to the KASE or KTEX divert decision. He had been to ASE crash funerals and had utmost respect for the challenges of ASE and TEX. His argument was always he'd like to be the first to hangars/rental cars/motel rooms at Rifle or Eagle or Montrose, than the last, who gets to go to GJT or Denver.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 9:46 pm

Something that hits my mind a little is ice. Does anyone know if there were ice issues? I would think just a little tiny bit on those wings, in a tight turn could be pretty bad. A stall definitely seems plausible as well.

As someone mentioned earlier, he asked for the lights to be turned up. Perhaps he was somewhat disoriented? Maybe a mix of spatial disorientation coming in and out of the clouds as well? So many possibilities, and so many combinations of everything that could have contributed.



What a sad outcome.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:51 pm

Not at 10c, no ice
 
wjcandee
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 12:18 am

FlapOperator wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

Pretty much the same here, Sir, but we’ve never been asked for KSEE. Lots of mountain airports, too narrow runways, small airports with small ramps to save a 10 minute drive.


We had an owner with a home in ASE who would beat our pilots to the KASE or KTEX divert decision. He had been to ASE crash funerals and had utmost respect for the challenges of ASE and TEX. His argument was always he'd like to be the first to hangars/rental cars/motel rooms at Rifle or Eagle or Montrose, than the last, who gets to go to GJT or Denver.


Lucky man. Smart owner. Too many egos have been cut down for good at ASE.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 12:34 am

F9Animal wrote:
Something that hits my mind a little is ice. Does anyone know if there were ice issues? I would think just a little tiny bit on those wings, in a tight turn could be pretty bad. A stall definitely seems plausible as well.
As someone mentioned earlier, he asked for the lights to be turned up. Perhaps he was somewhat disoriented? Maybe a mix of spatial disorientation coming in and out of the clouds as well? So many possibilities, and so many combinations of everything that could have contributed.
What a sad outcome.


Agreed at the sad outcome. I think we all want this to be more than a simple screwup. But the more I look at the situation, relatively-inexperienced captain, challenging approach, low altitude (maybe due to weather), difficult visibility in mist, enters the pattern east of the runway rather than west, starts the turn to base well-before the norm for his company/aircraft and therefore has the time pressure of a shortened downwind, lines up on the downwind somewhat west of the norm for his company/aircraft, again shortening the time/distance available on final, is apparently below the tops of enroute terrain, and appears to start the turn to final a little later than some earlier flights (although perhaps not), all possibly resulting in a need to pull more bank/elevator than normal, probably below minimum speed for the maneuver, and pretty-clearly stalls the right wing and spins in. If he's low and making turns short of where they normally would be made, he's not wanting to further shorten the time to accomplish things by advancing the throttle. Arguably, he was in trouble the moment he crossed the airfield east of the runway at the altitude that he did, and turned to base where he did.

And everything that happened did so in less time than it took you to read all that. Wing stalled, he didn't recover, and in they went. Tragic. Horrible. Over in 3 seconds. And our brains don't WANT to imagine that that can happen that way and that fast, to a happy crew after a successful mission, a couple of blocks from Home. But it can and did.

Let's hope that people really heed the call for additional training and procedures, defining and teaching pilots to calculate a minimum maneuvering speed with a significant buffer, rather than finding out the limits of the aircraft the way this poor crew did. Gryder may not have communicated his point well, but the point's still valid. On a 757/767/777, there's an amber hook on the PFD that's gonna tell you where you need to be airspeed-wise to have the proper buffer; that this aircraft didn't have such a thing doesn't mean that the pilot shouldn't have known what that speed was, or even how to calculate it.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:16 am

Day VMC, not busy, ASE could be fun; twilight, IMC, rather scary. The airport over 50 years hasn’t had a bad accident record, one big one, a GIII into the bluff on final and the CL60 with one fatality. But, still, it’s like DCA— you’re on your A game there.

The captain at KSEE had some very old self-employed. CFI time and 2 years at this operation. The co-pilot looks similar, commercial pilot with SIC type. The pilot shortage strikes again.
 
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N747PA
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 2:16 am

Revelation wrote:

My personal advice is to forget this clown, he's a real life version of the proverbial uncle you hope you don't have to sit next to at family gatherings. Channels like Blancolirio and Mentour Pilot and Mini Air Crash Investigation do it better, IMO.


Does anyone know if he was fired from Delta?

https://www.ajc.com/news/local/delta-suspends-jailed-pilot/kNz1A9uDMWVK106R6xOPnL/
 
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Aesma
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:38 am

As a non pilot I've often wondered about circling (flying circles in general, in fact), manually, how do you do it, is it only using visual clues and experience, do you plan for it and count down seconds or something before initiating the turn, then have a target bank angle and target speed ?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:15 am

Flying circles or orbits, is pretty much visual—how tight a circle you want determines the bank angle. Circling to land, as in this case, is a bit more complicated. At KSEE, off the GPS 17, the PF would time for 10-15 seconds after passing perpendicular to the landing runway (27); begins a 30 degree banked turn to parallel the runway (nominally downwind). Then, time about 15-20 seconds past the threshold to begin the turn to the runway. The threshold would be about 45 degrees off the PF’s (assuming in the left seat) shoulder. The PF would primarily keep the field insight while the PM monitors the instruments, calling speed, altitude and bank angle. The PF would fly the turns with instrument reference. All checklists and configuration changes done prior to the final approach fix. Altitude is circling minimums or higher until turning toward final. Airport is in sight the whole maneuver. Speed is Vref +10-20 knots.
 
AABusDrvr
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:32 am

This is one of those things the "1500 hours in a Cessna is useless to becoming a professional pilot" crowd should think long and hard about. Teaching students in the pattern, and ground reference maneuvers, is something that absolutely translates to "real" flying.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:38 am

Very true, understanding wind by ground reference is an important skill lost in ILS only world.
 
TokyoImperialPa
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:33 am

A few key clues for me stand out:
⦁ The audio time between his expletives and the end is shorter than the video time of the airplane falling, suggesting to me that the plane was already descending by the time the pilot noticed the situation.
⦁ The flighy arc shown on the map, when compared with the previous arcs flown by this pilot/plane, is wider than is normally flown and puts the plane on a heading to creash into the very hill that the IFR-ban is trying to prevent crashes into.
⦁ The bad weather and the low clouds

So my view of events are:
1. Flight has to circle towards runway due to length, but as IFR is banned during night time, VFR is chosen and the pilot chooses a low altitude to keep below clouds.
2. He takes an unusally wide arc that puts him on a heading towards the hill
3. He looks to where he presumes the runway would be as a marker to turn towards it, but does not see it, so he asked the ATC to turn the runway lights brighter. Presuming that he has gone too far and also possibly to be able to see the runway more clearly, he banks left and pivots downards to see the runway better.
4. At this point the pilot sees the hill and shouts the first expletive.
5. As the plane is already facing down and banking left, the pilot has a harder time recovering the plane and a Learjet is easier to stall.
6. He stalls and the plane flies inverted (due to initially being banked to the left) into the ground.

The issue would be why he took such a wide arc into the hill? Could flying lower have made him misjudge some distances or miss a landmarker?

I'm a little unsure about what he was doing when he stalled, because I remember a commentator saying that the plane gained altitude before it stalled. I also agree that mist could have played a role in obscuring the airport.
 
bennett123
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:27 am

Why is IFR banned at night?. I always thought that you used instruments at night or in bad weather.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 12:20 pm

GalaxyFlyer : thanks !

TokyoImperialPa : he was already not where he should have been when he crossed the airfield, and that's supposed to be done visually, so it seems he was flying visual, without seeing.
 
26point2
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 1:25 pm

wjcandee wrote:
FWIW, and I think we've well-explored the accident so far, Dan Gryder's video on this is pretty-good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pS17RPgqfI

Caution: it starts out with the accident audio, because he is angry and trying to reach his audience of corporate pilots and executives, and he's particularly-upset that people are being trained in these jets without being taught something that the airlines apparently do, which is DMMS, or defined minimum maneuvering speed, a speed that would give you the ability to put the thing into a 25-30-degree bank on approach when fully-configured without suffering a stall/spin. He claims that the training companies don't teach pilots to calculate it, and that it should be calculated and known before anybody does another circling approach to anywhere. The video is a little-disjointed and technical because he was trying to get it posted promptly, and is clearly-frustrated, but I follow his point.

Also, Dan's analysis of ground track and such shows pretty-clearly what Juan Browne was saying from the beginning: that this is a classic stall/spin that was entirely-preventable.

One other interesting take is from the guy who posted a video last night which included the dumb comment that the accident crew were probably trying to land 27R so they could be closer to their hangar, which was totally-wrong. He pulled that video and replaced it with this one, which actually gives an interesting analysis focusing on the lower-than-typical altitude that they were flying and the misperceptions that it can cause when estimating one's distance from the runway while on the downwind, and noting that the fog/mist can affect one's perception of distance from the ground. Again, showing the track and altitude of the aircraft makes clear they likely didn't hit anything and this was a typical stall/spin as they made the turn to final. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-kVsCi41i0 This guy intentionally does not include the horrible ATC audio.



Dan Gryder videos have always irked me with his pompous smartest-man-in-the-room delivery...but I still click occasionally because he sometimes has an interesting take on things...even though not always correct. After this one I vow to never click on another Dan Gryder YouTube video again. I have purposefully avoided hearing the KSEE crash audio but he starts his video, without warning, with that horrific audio. Gryder is a sensationalist and no better than all the other YouTubers trying to capitalize on a tragedy.
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 2:04 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
This is one of those things the "1500 hours in a Cessna is useless to becoming a professional pilot" crowd should think long and hard about. Teaching students in the pattern, and ground reference maneuvers, is something that absolutely translates to "real" flying.


Especially when those students are actively trying to cross control stall you in the pattern.
 
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 2:13 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Why is IFR banned at night?. I always thought that you used instruments at night or in bad weather.


All instrument approaches end in some visual segment. For something like a CATIIIC autoland that visual segment is the taxi off the runway. For something like a circling approach, the visual segment starts at the circling altitude to touchdown.

Sometimes, the conditions present (lighting, terrain, other airports, to name a few) dictate that a pilot cannot safely use the approach to penetrate the cloud deck, transition to visual conditions, and maintain that visual contact with the runway while maneuvering (circling) to the runway of intended landing using standard maneuvers (generally accepted as a 30 degree bank turn and rate of descent less that 800-1000 fpm.)

Even a straight in approaches can fall under this as the visual segment requires a significant gradient to land in the touchdown zone of the intended runway.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:18 pm

As soon as the tower told them the lights were full bright - that should have been the indication they were not in safe visual conditions. At that point get-there-itis took over I think and that led to this.

I think they just lost/never had good visual on the field to start their circle.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:01 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
Why is IFR banned at night?. I always thought that you used instruments at night or in bad weather.

All instrument approaches end in some visual segment. For something like a CATIIIC autoland that visual segment is the taxi off the runway. For something like a circling approach, the visual segment starts at the circling altitude to touchdown.

Sometimes, the conditions present (lighting, terrain, other airports, to name a few) dictate that a pilot cannot safely use the approach to penetrate the cloud deck, transition to visual conditions, and maintain that visual contact with the runway while maneuvering (circling) to the runway of intended landing using standard maneuvers (generally accepted as a 30 degree bank turn and rate of descent less that 800-1000 fpm.)

Even a straight in approaches can fall under this as the visual segment requires a significant gradient to land in the touchdown zone of the intended runway.

Great comments. I'll add some stuff based on various sources I've read which echo what you said. I was never instrument qualified so I am definitely not an expert. Corrections are appreciated.

Sources I found helpful:
Would start by saying IFR is not banned at night, there is a RNAV(GPS) approach for 9/17 that I believe is available at night, but 9/17 is too short, 2738 feet, for the LearJet ( ref: [3] ).

Then we're in the realm of your comments, all IFR flights terminate in a VFR segment.

Source [2] tells us the 27 LOC-D approach is a circle-only approach based on the markings of the approach plate also given in [4]. It's the only listed approach so every approach is the circling approach.

Source [1] goes through many aspects of what this means, but in particular it comes with increased minimums beyond standard VFR minimums because you are doing a circle low to the ground and need to keep a ground reference to do this safely.

The answer portion of [2] tells us how the approach may be done in a legal way:

Question 1: Can the LOC-D be flown with the tower closed at all? (The Alternate Minimums clearly state Circling is NA with the tower closed and LOC-D is a circling only approach. But aircraft are commonly cleared LOC-D approach with tower closed...)

Ans: The restriction eliminating the option of flying the LOC-D with the tower closed only applies when designating KSEE as a required alternate.

Question 2: Can you land on 27R with some interpretation of IFR rules?

Ans: At least 2 options:

(1)-Tell approach control (ATC) when they clear you for the approach that you intend on cancelling IFR when you get below the clouds (assuming it's still VFR/VMC). When VFR, cancel IFR and land at your discretion VFR/VMC. If, for some reason, the frequency is overwhelmingly busy and you can't get through in order to say "November**** Cancelling IFR" (hard to imagine) fly the published missed or land on another (none restricted) runway. OR

(2)- Request, at an appropriate time, a "Contact Approach." You would then be responsible for terrain avoidance (still under IFR) and land.

Question 3: What are the limitations on when during an approach you can cancel IFR and legally complete the approach VFR?

Ans: You cancel IFR on the approach when you are operating in legal VFR minimums (Class G in your example).


The way I interpret all of this:

1) Answer 1 is saying you can file a flight plan with the 27 LOC-D approach at night if is your destination, you just can't file it as required alternate.

2) If the tower is open (operating hours are published, they are daytime hours) then you fly the approach and SOCAL Approach hands you off to KSEE Tower so it's considered IFR all the way. If minimums are not met the tower will not clear the landing, you need to then request the holding pattern or an alternate.

3) If the tower is not open, it's legal and customary to fly the approach IFR till close to the airport (point DEBEY on the approach plate) and then you need to determine if you are good with respect to the minimums needed to do the circling approach. If you feel you are good, cancel IFR or request a contact approach and land. If you're not good, stay IFR, declare a missed approach and fly the missed approach pattern and go to the holding pattern or request an alternate. Of course this relies on good judgment, as does so much in aviation.

Like I said, I'm not an expert, feel free to provide clarifications/corrections.
Last edited by Revelation on Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
SoCalPilot
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:01 pm

zuckie13 wrote:
As soon as the tower told them the lights were full bright - that should have been the indication they were not in safe visual conditions. At that point get-there-itis took over I think and that led to this.

I think they just lost/never had good visual on the field to start their circle.

Eh, that means nothing. Runway lights can be very hard time find in urban environments. There's been plenty of times when I had trouble finding the runway and it was a perfectly clear night, especially when flying a traffic pattern.
 
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wxkaiser
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Re: Learjet Crash Tonight in San Diego/ Gillespie - audo/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:02 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Do we know who was actually flying it?


Julian Jorge Bugaj was the first officer (FO) and pilot flying (PF) . He was very likely the pilot with the least experiece on the Learjet.
 
zuckie13
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:30 pm

SoCalPilot wrote:
zuckie13 wrote:
As soon as the tower told them the lights were full bright - that should have been the indication they were not in safe visual conditions. At that point get-there-itis took over I think and that led to this.

I think they just lost/never had good visual on the field to start their circle.

Eh, that means nothing. Runway lights can be very hard time find in urban environments. There's been plenty of times when I had trouble finding the runway and it was a perfectly clear night, especially when flying a traffic pattern.


I get that - but in this case, clearly they were not sure they had the runway lights in sight - hence the request to turn the lights up. Once that's the case, time to abort the approach.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:49 pm

We all look at charts, but FAA 8260-5 is the document that is the source for the charts.

https://www.faa.gov/aero_docs/acifp/NDB ... RECTED.pdf

It references Part 97 making compliance with the approach a regulation, not just a suggestion.

I’m not a local but I don’t understand why they didn’t circle to 9L, just as long, less terrain issues. The approach frequently isn’t used due to Miramar nearby, but circling wouldn’t be a problem for the tower. Here’s where experience counts, the ability to try other non-standard, but better, routes to the desired outcome. I’d bet because the prevailing wind is westerly, pilots were in a “box” thinking the visual to 27R was the only way to land.

To Revelation,

Mostly true, but Part 91 operators can, for good or evil, start the approach without the reported weather meeting the chart minimums, but ATC will inform an inbound that the weather is below mins and ask if it’s a commercial operation. If so, a clearance won’t be issued. The LOC-D is circling approach, but if a normal descent can be made the prohibited circle need not be flown and a straight in landing made. Now, in a jet the 470ft/nm means about 950 fpm, barely okay, but if visual early enough the that gradient maybe reduced by increasing the descent rate a bit earlier.
 
greg3322
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:28 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Mostly true, but Part 91 operators can, for good or evil, start the approach without the reported weather meeting the chart minimums, but ATC will inform an inbound that the weather is below mins and ask if it’s a commercial operation. If so, a clearance won’t be issued. The LOC-D is circling approach, but if a normal descent can be made the prohibited circle need not be flown and a straight in landing made. Now, in a jet the 470ft/nm means about 950 fpm, barely okay, but if visual early enough the that gradient maybe reduced by increasing the descent rate a bit earlier.


It is irrelevant if the approach to 27R could be flown straight in. It is a circling approach regardless and that approach is not authorized to circle at night. The reason is the big hill near the approach end of 27R. The entire reason he canceled IFR was to maneuver to a different runway, which would otherwise not be authorized at night if still IFR.

For the non-pilots, a circling approach does not mean the aircraft has to literally circle, it just means there is a maneuver needed to get to the landing runaway. It could be as simple as a slight turn or more complex that requires several turns.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:50 pm

greg3322 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Mostly true, but Part 91 operators can, for good or evil, start the approach without the reported weather meeting the chart minimums, but ATC will inform an inbound that the weather is below mins and ask if it’s a commercial operation. If so, a clearance won’t be issued. The LOC-D is circling approach, but if a normal descent can be made the prohibited circle need not be flown and a straight in landing made. Now, in a jet the 470ft/nm means about 950 fpm, barely okay, but if visual early enough the that gradient maybe reduced by increasing the descent rate a bit earlier.


It is irrelevant if the approach to 27R could be flown straight in. It is a circling approach regardless and that approach is not authorized to circle at night. The reason is the big hill near the approach end of 27R. The entire reason he canceled IFR was to maneuver to a different runway, which would otherwise not be authorized at night if still IFR.

For the non-pilots, a circling approach does not mean the aircraft has to literally circle, it just means there is a maneuver needed to get to the landing runaway. It could be as simple as a slight turn or more complex that requires several turns.


I’m not sure that’s true. Please look at the linked 8260 I posted, CHANGES, CHG 4: the previous edition said, “Night Landing 9L, 17, 27R, 27L, 35 NA” to “Circling 27L, 35 NA”. The earlier edition essentially said, Procedure NA at Night, but by changing “Landing” to “Circling” allows a straight in landing from the LOC-D approach. In any case, the accident crew was flying the GPS 17.

Ref AIM 5-4-20

When either the normal rate of descent or the runway alignment factor of 30 degrees (15 degrees for GPS IAPs) is exceeded, a straight-in minimum is not published and a circling minimum applies. The fact that a straight-in minimum is not published does not preclude pilots from landing straight-in if they have the active runway in sight and have sufficient time to make a normal approach for landing. Under such conditions and when ATC has cleared them for landing on that runway, pilots are not expected to circle even though only circling minimums are published. If they desire to circle, they should advise ATC.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:27 pm

greg3322 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Mostly true, but Part 91 operators can, for good or evil, start the approach without the reported weather meeting the chart minimums, but ATC will inform an inbound that the weather is below mins and ask if it’s a commercial operation. If so, a clearance won’t be issued. The LOC-D is circling approach, but if a normal descent can be made the prohibited circle need not be flown and a straight in landing made. Now, in a jet the 470ft/nm means about 950 fpm, barely okay, but if visual early enough the that gradient maybe reduced by increasing the descent rate a bit earlier.


It is irrelevant if the approach to 27R could be flown straight in. It is a circling approach regardless and that approach is not authorized to circle at night. The reason is the big hill near the approach end of 27R. The entire reason he canceled IFR was to maneuver to a different runway, which would otherwise not be authorized at night if still IFR.

For the non-pilots, a circling approach does not mean the aircraft has to literally circle, it just means there is a maneuver needed to get to the landing runaway. It could be as simple as a slight turn or more complex that requires several turns.
he can report the airport in sight and be cleared or re cleared for a visual approach and remain IFR
 
FlapOperator
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:30 pm

32andBelow wrote:
he can report the airport in sight and be cleared or re cleared for a visual approach and remain IFR


That is the likely intent of the LOC-D approach, in my opinion, that likely in any turboprop/fan aircraft, will require far higher than the charted minimums.

If the data that he was circling at 350' AGL is accurate, he's likely well below any circling approach MDA or VFR traffic minima.
 
filejw
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 1:33 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not entirely accurate, wrong approach for example, but interesting that this appears to be the first jet for both pilots. The captain was relatively recently off SOE. That, combined with the fact both this company and local ATC/operators are known to fly this mash-up of IFR to VFR visual approach to land on an adequately long runway put, I’d submit, pressure on this less experienced pilot to “get in”. Reports are it was common for the KSEE ATCT to ask inbounds to report VFR and cancellation of IFR to join the pattern. He might have local familiarity, but not in a fast jet at night, under a ceiling. I’ve seen this chain elsewhere, the “new guys” see the “old heads” pull off tricky maneuvers and think it’s appropriate without fully understanding the risks.


I think your right on the money here ! Huge difference between a new guy following instructions from above to preform a questionable verse and old timer like yourself who says why am I doing this ?
 
32andBelow
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 7:06 am

filejw wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not entirely accurate, wrong approach for example, but interesting that this appears to be the first jet for both pilots. The captain was relatively recently off SOE. That, combined with the fact both this company and local ATC/operators are known to fly this mash-up of IFR to VFR visual approach to land on an adequately long runway put, I’d submit, pressure on this less experienced pilot to “get in”. Reports are it was common for the KSEE ATCT to ask inbounds to report VFR and cancellation of IFR to join the pattern. He might have local familiarity, but not in a fast jet at night, under a ceiling. I’ve seen this chain elsewhere, the “new guys” see the “old heads” pull off tricky maneuvers and think it’s appropriate without fully understanding the risks.


I think your right on the money here ! Huge difference between a new guy following instructions from above to preform a questionable verse and old timer like yourself who says why am I doing this ?

Canceling IFR and proceeding visually happens all day every day even by 121 carriers. Why is this being presented as so non standard?
 
OldB747Driver
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:21 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Canceling IFR and proceeding visually happens all day every day even by 121 carriers. Why is this being presented as so non standard?


I believe it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but "Cleared for a visual approach" is not cancelling IFR. Pt 121 Carriers have very defined regulations on exactly when a 121 operation can cancel IFR and doing so to enable a circling maneuver below 1000 AFE isn't one of them.
 
Ertro
Posts: 204
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 3:05 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Canceling IFR and proceeding visually happens all day every day even by 121 carriers. Why is this being presented as so non standard?


I believe the problem is not that is is non-standard like you said but exact opposite. The problem might be that it was 100% standard for this company even in conditions where it is problematic and deviating from this standard could have been right thing to do but landing on some other airport might not have felt appealing. More experienced pilots might have been able to detect the situations where deviating from this "standard" procedure would be necessary and landing to somewhere else at this particular night. Or more experienced pilot would have been able to execute this very tricky standard procedure better. Or decide that this standard procedure is too tricky for inexperienced pilots and the plane might be better to have its home base on some other airport where there is a runway that is actually 100% suitable for this plane and its operations.
 
TokyoImperialPa
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:13 pm

In this situation it is prohibited to circle to the said runway (27R) at night as per FAA rules, but I believe there is a loophole that means you can cancel IFR and adopt VFR (forcing the ATC to accommodate you). He should not have flown circle into that runway at all if he was following published procedure.

When I said that "IFR was banned", I tied it to the earlier part of the sentence and I meant that it was banned to circle to 27R using IFR as per FAA, not that IFR was banned full stop.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:15 pm

A naive question/observation. For small aircraft, part of circling is to ensure there are no other aircraft on or about to land or take off. Hence the question, say a plane wants to land at Bremerton airport in less than desirable weather conditions, there are fairly decent straight in approaches, but are there any towers available to tell the pilot that no one else is using the airport at that particular time. Bremerton does not have a 'tower' so far as I know.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:35 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A naive question/observation. For small aircraft, part of circling is to ensure there are no other aircraft on or about to land or take off. Hence the question, say a plane wants to land at Bremerton airport in less than desirable weather conditions, there are fairly decent straight in approaches, but are there any towers available to tell the pilot that no one else is using the airport at that particular time. Bremerton does not have a 'tower' so far as I know.


ATC separates known IFR traffic in controlled airspace, so, if cleared for approach into Bremerton, the flight will be the only IFR flight on the approach. If the weather is VFR in the traffic pattern and there is traffic, the IFR inbound will announce its position and have to fit in the traffic pattern. If it’s below VFR, there shouldn’t be traffic. This is very familiar going at thousands of airports.

I’ve actually, IIRC, been to Bremerton from BFI in those conditions in a Global. I’ve also been at Canadian airports located in Class G airspace where there is no ATC below about F180, just make position reports and state intentions in the blind.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 4:38 pm

TokyoImperialPa wrote:
In this situation it is prohibited to circle to the said runway (27R) at night as per FAA rules, but I believe there is a loophole that means you can cancel IFR and adopt VFR (forcing the ATC to accommodate you). He should not have flown circle into that runway at all if he was following published procedure.

When I said that "IFR was banned", I tied it to the earlier part of the sentence and I meant that it was banned to circle to 27R using IFR as per FAA, not that IFR was banned full stop.



It’s not a loophole, it’s a regulation on flight operations and it’s application in real operation.
 
Ertro
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 5:59 pm

Every loophole ever has been using regulations that have been intended to have real applications as reasons why the regulation exist but using them in a creative way that they were not intended to be used.

In this case IFR to 27R was prohibited as being too risky because of terrain and prohibited even when using the most optimal flight path when planning to land on 27R. Now they found an way to basically perform something more risky than what was prohibited by approaching the airfield from unnatural direction by "faking" a landing to 17 and performing a lot of low altitude manouvers in what appears to be marginal VMC with clouds below the terrain which was the reason why regular planned and optimal IFR flight was prohibited.

I see people say that IFR was allowed and not just the circling but I have also seen people say that they were unable to write 27R to their IFR flight plan because that would have broken some rules. That is why they had to write a fake 17 landing to their IFR flight plan when they never intended to land on it because that runway is just way too short. Don't know which is right on the regulations. Something is just the reason why they wrote 17 to the flight plan and approached the airfield from that direction and only when they were below the quite low hanging clouds they could declare cancelling IFR and start manouvering their plane to land on 27R.

On blancolirio channel there is a comment from "back the badge" saying that also the "straight" approach to 27R is actually a circling approach and so prohibited and even if it is not it cannot be used by this airplane type because the approach angle is too steep to keep speeds low enough for learjet.

I am an EMS pilot in the San Diego area. The LOC-D approach is also a circling approach (Rwy 27) into KSEE. It is ridiculously steep, and the pilot may not have been able to keep his aircraft slow enough for the straight in approach to make it. You have to lose 2300’ in 3.1 miles with 6.88 descent path. This is steeper than the approach into Aspen. CO. At 120 knots you’d be going to 2 miles a minute. To leave the final fix altitude of 2700’ and make the runway in 1.5 minutes straight in was probably undoable. I think approaches into Gillespie at night are dangerous in faster jet type aircraft. The airport is in a bowl surrounded by hills
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 9172
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Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 6:46 pm

Ertro wrote:
Every loophole ever has been using regulations that have been intended to have real applications as reasons why the regulation exist but using them in a creative way that they were not intended to be used.

In this case IFR to 27R was prohibited as being too risky because of terrain and prohibited even when using the most optimal flight path when planning to land on 27R. Now they found an way to basically perform something more risky than what was prohibited by approaching the airfield from unnatural direction by "faking" a landing to 17 and performing a lot of low altitude manouvers in what appears to be marginal VMC with clouds below the terrain which was the reason why regular planned and optimal IFR flight was prohibited.

I see people say that IFR was allowed and not just the circling but I have also seen people say that they were unable to write 27R to their IFR flight plan because that would have broken some rules. That is why they had to write a fake 17 landing to their IFR flight plan when they never intended to land on it because that runway is just way too short. Don't know which is right on the regulations. Something is just the reason why they wrote 17 to the flight plan and approached the airfield from that direction and only when they were below the quite low hanging clouds they could declare cancelling IFR and start manouvering their plane to land on 27R.

On blancolirio channel there is a comment from "back the badge" saying that also the "straight" approach to 27R is actually a circling approach and so prohibited and even if it is not it cannot be used by this airplane type because the approach angle is too steep to keep speeds low enough for learjet.

I am an EMS pilot in the San Diego area. The LOC-D approach is also a circling approach (Rwy 27) into KSEE. It is ridiculously steep, and the pilot may not have been able to keep his aircraft slow enough for the straight in approach to make it. You have to lose 2300’ in 3.1 miles with 6.88 descent path. This is steeper than the approach into Aspen. CO. At 120 knots you’d be going to 2 miles a minute. To leave the final fix altitude of 2700’ and make the runway in 1.5 minutes straight in was probably undoable. I think approaches into Gillespie at night are dangerous in faster jet type aircraft. The airport is in a bowl surrounded by hills


The landing runway is not in the flight plan, not an entry there in any flight plan form. He didn’t “fake” anything, he flew an approach (RNAV GPS 17) with the intention and belief, based on the ASOS reported weather, that he could descend to VMC, which was reported, cancel and fly a visual pattern. It’s not an unusual plan, BUT requires the training, experience and discipline, to say—this isn’t the weather I need to land VFR. He, by the videos was well below both the circling and VFR traffic pattern altitudes.

If the descent gradient is too steep on 27R, how do they land there? They do it by VISUALLY seeing the runway early enough to wash off the altitude to fly a 2-3 mile final at a “normal descent”. There are loads of steeper than 3 degree final segments flown daily—KVNY for one, virtually all the mountain airports. That’s not the issue it’s trying to fly an approach in weather that doesn’t allow for required visual cues to obtain the correct flight path.

PS: I posted the FAA AIM reference on flying straight in landings from circling SIAPs above.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 6149
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 7:09 pm

Ertro wrote:
Every loophole ever has been using regulations that have been intended to have real applications as reasons why the regulation exist but using them in a creative way that they were not intended to be used.

In this case IFR to 27R was prohibited as being too risky because of terrain and prohibited even when using the most optimal flight path when planning to land on 27R. Now they found an way to basically perform something more risky than what was prohibited by approaching the airfield from unnatural direction by "faking" a landing to 17 and performing a lot of low altitude manouvers in what appears to be marginal VMC with clouds below the terrain which was the reason why regular planned and optimal IFR flight was prohibited.

I see people say that IFR was allowed and not just the circling but I have also seen people say that they were unable to write 27R to their IFR flight plan because that would have broken some rules. That is why they had to write a fake 17 landing to their IFR flight plan when they never intended to land on it because that runway is just way too short. Don't know which is right on the regulations. Something is just the reason why they wrote 17 to the flight plan and approached the airfield from that direction and only when they were below the quite low hanging clouds they could declare cancelling IFR and start manouvering their plane to land on 27R.

On blancolirio channel there is a comment from "back the badge" saying that also the "straight" approach to 27R is actually a circling approach and so prohibited and even if it is not it cannot be used by this airplane type because the approach angle is too steep to keep speeds low enough for learjet.

I am an EMS pilot in the San Diego area. The LOC-D approach is also a circling approach (Rwy 27) into KSEE. It is ridiculously steep, and the pilot may not have been able to keep his aircraft slow enough for the straight in approach to make it. You have to lose 2300’ in 3.1 miles with 6.88 descent path. This is steeper than the approach into Aspen. CO. At 120 knots you’d be going to 2 miles a minute. To leave the final fix altitude of 2700’ and make the runway in 1.5 minutes straight in was probably undoable. I think approaches into Gillespie at night are dangerous in faster jet type aircraft. The airport is in a bowl surrounded by hills
using an ifr procedure to get to VFR conditions is hardly a loophole tho. It’s a totally valid maneuver. If they are unable to reach VFR they would either land as the approach says or they would execute the missed approach. All a circling approach does it get you to the airport environment.

you don’t file an Intended landing runway in a flight plan. You don’t even write an intended approach. You can sometimes figure out what approach they want if they filed the IAF and the IAF only goes to one approach.

All that being said what was done could have been bad judgement but the procedures used are typical and are used around the system.
 
11C
Posts: 389
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:25 pm

Re: Learjet Crash December 27 2021 in San Diego/ Gillespie - audio/video

Sun Jan 02, 2022 7:14 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The 17 runway is too short for a Lear 35 to land when wet, that’s the reason for the visual pattern to the landing runway.


At a former operator, we consistently SMS downed KSEE as an airport unless the crew could leave the enroute environment and visually land in day VMC conditions. The few times owners/customers raised an eyebrow, showing them the SMS system in operation was usually all that it took for them to accept the pilot's decision.

That makes a lot of sense. Canceling IFR in that terrain, under a ceiling, with reduced visibility does not.

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