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Gonzalo
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Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:32 pm

Apparently the frequent problems of smog affecting Beijing are a big factor in the on time performance of the airline industry in China.

Chinese aviation authorities have told pilots who fly to Beijing they must be qualified to land their aircraft in the low visibility common in the city due to smog.
Effective January 1, pilots flying from the 10 busiest Chinese airports into the capital must be qualified to use an instrument landing system on days when smog reduces visibility to around 400 metres (1,315 feet).

I would though a pilot flying an airliner should *ALWAYS* be qualified to use an instrument landing system, not only when there is smog or fog, but anyway....

http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1386855585.html

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LAXintl
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:37 pm

We just had a discussion about this

Beijing Pollution Affecting PEK? (by Burchfiel Nov 5 2013 in Civil Aviation)


But yes life goes on. Really no different than other weather issues airline operations can experience on regular basis.
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ytz
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I would though a pilot flying an airliner should *ALWAYS* be qualified to use an instrument landing system, not only when there is smog or fog, but anyway....

It's probably more a reinforcement of proficiency and expectation to do it even when the rest of the region is VFR.
 
U2380
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:59 pm

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I would though a pilot flying an airliner should *ALWAYS* be qualified to use an instrument landing system, not only when there is smog or fog, but anyway....

I'm sure you are aware of this already, but there are different Categories of ILS Approach.

The minima being discussed here are below the 'basic' CAT I approach. Basically, if I have interpreted it correctly, all this means is that CAAC are requiring pilots be rated for at least CAT II.

A very brief summary on the UK CAA's website:
http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1428&pagetype=90&pageid=8196



[Edited 2013-12-12 08:03:57]

[Edited 2013-12-12 08:08:11]
 
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Gonzalo
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
We just had a discussion about this

But AFAIK this new rule by the Chinese regulator was not known yet...

Quoting U2380 (Reply 3):
I'm sure you are aware of this already, but there are different Categories of ILS Approach.

The minima being discussed here are below the 'basic' CAT I approach. Basically, if I have interpreted it correctly, all this means is that CAAC are requiring pilots be rated to at least CAT II.

Yep... What I mean is, I had the impression of every major operator flying anything bigger than a B1900 into a major airport where you have very often fog and smog / bad weather problems, should have their crews trained to deal with that *Before* the regulators request a specific qualification to land in that place..... maybe this is more a political / PR thing from the Chinese government....

Rgds.
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Bellerophon
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:38 pm

Gonzalo


...Effective January 1, pilots flying from the 10 busiest Chinese airports into the capital must be qualified to use an instrument landing system on days when smog reduces visibility to around 400 metres (1,315 feet)...

An RVR of 400m is below CAT 1 limits (550m RVR), and would require an approach to be made observing CAT 2 requirements.

If the Chinese authorities require a capability to land in an RVR of 400m, then I believe, for most operators and most aircraft types, this will require autoland be fitted, serviceable and used for the landing.

The exception being, so I understand, that some US operators have FAA dispensation to hand-fly down to CAT 3 limits with an appropriate head-up display fitted. Whether the Chinese authorities accept this dispensation for US aircraft operating into Chinese airfields, I don't know.

There are many extra requirements, in equipment, procedural and training, not only on the aircraft, but also on the airfield and with ATC, that must be complied with in order to operate below CAT 1 limits. It may be these aspects that the Chinese authorities wish to emphasise.


...I would though a pilot flying an airliner should *ALWAYS* be qualified to use ans instrument landing ystem...

Broadly speaking, they will be, however, a couple of possible exceptions spring to mind.

Firstly, it is not unusual to be assigned an aircraft with an unserviceable autoland system, or one that becomes unserviceable en-route, both of which will restrict most operators to Cat 1 limits.

Secondly, some operators may restrict new Captains to Cat 1 limits, for a short period of time or until they accomplish a certain number of autolands, after they first qualify on an aircraft, whilst they gain experience on type.


Best Regards

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26point2
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:48 pm

No visual approaches to Beijing? OZ pilots are good to go!
 
peterinlisbon
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:36 pm

LOL, they'll be the only airline in there. When the smog goes away they'll have to divert to somewhere else.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:14 pm

Does this also require the airplane to always be capable of CAT 2 ILS landings? That would significantly impact the MEL capabilities of the airplane since there are countless reasons why an airplane would be restricted to CAT I landings or better visibility only.
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apodino
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:03 am

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 5):
If the Chinese authorities require a capability to land in an RVR of 400m, then I believe, for most operators and most aircraft types, this will require autoland be fitted, serviceable and used for the landing.

The exception being, so I understand, that some US operators have FAA dispensation to hand-fly down to CAT 3 limits with an appropriate head-up display fitted. Whether the Chinese authorities accept this dispensation for US aircraft operating into Chinese airfields, I don't know.

It is irrelevant. The only widebody type with a HUD on US airlines is currently the 787, and I do not believe that UA is flying it into PEK as of yet, though they may be flying it elsewhere. The 777 and the 747 are the other two types regularly flown by US carriers into PEK, and both of these use an Autoland for CAT III approaches.

AFAIK, only a couple of other types in the US are flown with HUDs. These include the 737 NG, and the Q400, and neither of these airplanes are ever used to China for obvious reasons.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 8):
Does this also require the airplane to always be capable of CAT 2 ILS landings? That would significantly impact the MEL capabilities of the airplane since there are countless reasons why an airplane would be restricted to CAT I landings or better visibility only.

Chances are, a plane wouldn't even be dispatched ETOPS if there was an issue prior to departure with CAT 2 or 3 requirements. I don't know how CAT 2 and 3 requirements relate to ETOPS requirements though, but I would have a hard time sending a plane on a very long flight with that type of MEL on the plane if the forecast even hinted at something like this.
 
YYZatcboy
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:49 am

Quoting apodino (Reply 9):
Chances are, a plane wouldn't even be dispatched ETOPS if there was an issue prior to departure with CAT 2 or 3 requirements. I don't know how CAT 2 and 3 requirements relate to ETOPS requirements though, but I would have a hard time sending a plane on a very long flight with that type of MEL on the plane if the forecast even hinted at something like this.

Cat II/III requirements have nothing to do with ETOPS. You can dispatch aircraft ETOPS with all that on MEL all day long because it does not effect your ETOPS ALTNS which are all based on CAT I or higher limits and it has nothing to do with your performance over the ocean in any way.

We all know forecasts change, especially on long flights. That's why you have an alternate. You can dispatch an aircraft to a destination that can shoot nothing more than NDB approaches into a place with 0 vis and 0 ceiling all day long so long as you have a suitable alternate. Its totally safe and legal.
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Francoflier
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RE: Pilots Who Land In Beijing And The Smog / Low Vis

Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:15 am

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
smog affecting Beijing are a big factor in the on time performance of the airline industry in China.

Smog has relatively little effect on the very poor On time Performance of Chinese airlines and operators flying into China.

The poor management of the airspace is the main culprit.
The Chinese military basically controls the airspace in china, and have little interest in using it in a way that would be efficient for civilian operators.
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