|Quoting roswell41 (Reply 42):|
A go around would have been possible all the way down to touch down and could have been accomplished safely. Reaching decision altitude is only the point at which the pilot must see something out the front window in order to land the plane. In fact, it may have been possible to reject the landing right after the wheels had touched the ground. Based on the crew's actions, I think they honestly believed they were landing at the correct airport or they would have gone around up to the moment they actually touched down. I'll add though, that rejecting the landing after a certain point after touchdown (probably within a second or two of wheel touchdown) could have ended in disaster.
I think you reinforced my point? When did the crew realize that there was something not right? At touchdown?, probably. IMO that is to late to do a go around. The spoilers deploy on touchdown, the reversers are armed and probably being deployed. Way to late for a go around. We will have to wait and see when they actually knew they were at the wrong airport. IMO if it was at the point of touchdown and they would have activated TOGA they would have augured into the hill off the end of the runway. It takes time for the spoilers to retract, thrust reversers to stow and engines to spool to T/O power. I am betting we will all see this pilot made the correct decision to get it stopped instead of a go around. CFM56-7's take appx. 6 seconds to accelerate from Hi-idle to Take-off power. The engines would already be dropping from Hi-idle to ground idle anyway. If the crew did not realize their mistake until close to or touchdown the correct decision was made to stop the Aircraft!
I stayed at a hotel last night but it was not a Holiday Inn. But, I do know the aircraft quite well and what I have said is true.
I am truly thankful that it all worked out.