Something to think about on final approach

As I noted in the previous entry about the findings of our airline safety review at the half-way point in 2013, runway excursions remain the most popular accident. No world region appears to be immune, although some are particularly good at it.

A study published early this year by the Netherlands-based NLR Aviation Safety Institute reveals that the most common causal factor in runway excursions – whether overruns or veering off the side – is runway contamination, whether water, snow, slush or ice. Runway surface contamination is a factor in nearly 58% of all excursion.
This is the bit to think about on approach: the NLR has worked out that if a runway is contaminated, the risk of a runway excursion is 13 times that of landing on a dry runway.
The next thing to think about is how your approach is going: are you fast or high? Landing beyond the touchdown zone is a factor in 39% of overruns, and touching down too fast a contributor in 20% of cases.
There are plenty of other significant factors, all charted in the NLR report.


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One Response to Something to think about on final approach

  1. Edgar Evans 26 July, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    After WW2 up to the late fifties, in Western Australia, there were some country
    aerodromes where at night the runway was only lit on the left side by
    either one row of electric lights or kerosene flares. These aerodromes, with only one R/W
    were miles from any town lights whatsoever. Thus there was total
    darkness except for the one row of lights. For this night visual
    approach in the Airline’s DC3′s we had only: A/H, ASI, ALT, T/B, VSI and
    D/G(Directional Gyro). On all approaches we had to position overhead either visually followed by a down wind and base leg to final, or if not, by the Aerodrome NDB and a procedural descent to become visual -hopefully, followed by a low level circuit not BLO 500′. Cross wind max was from memory 30Kts. On occasions, in the North, we would be called out for a medical emergency to a cattle station(ranch) at night in the middle of nowhere where the landing strip was only dimly lit on one side by two or three vehicle headlights. Now in this computer fixated age, airline pilots can’t visually fly a daylight approach to SFO putting hundreds of pax lives (and others) at risk of death. AF 447? A330 Ex Rio de Janeiro for Paris, crashes at sea killing hundreds because the pilots couldn’t manually fly without the ASI (pitot frozen). Where on earth are the legislators, making it compulsory for pilots to be CERTIFIED competent for basic manual flying skills. I suggest my description above of night approaches in complete darkness with one row of lights and max cross wind be the PASS MARK!!

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