Yemenia Airbus A310 accident at Moroni – not a great approach

Obviously nobody has any idea how the Yemenia Airbus A310 crashed at Moroni in the Comoros, but pilots familiar with the airport are cheerfuly admitting that it’s a challenging place to go. In particular the approach to runway 20 at night, in poor weather, is not great – although obviously it doesn’t in itself explain the accident.

Here are a couple of charts, the first showing the visual procedures just to help orient yourself, and the second showing the procedure for the 20. Given the strong south-westerly wind, gusting to 37kt, at the time there’s not much doubt that it was in use. You can see the uncomfortable manoeuvre over the dark sea and potential use of land-based lights for visual guidance with all the known potential for disorientation that it brings. May turn out not to have anything to do with it of course.

France’s transport minister Dominique Bussereau has said that there is talk of the flight having made one approach followed by a go-around and then the accident on a second approach. But he stressed that the information wasn’t confirmed. Local reports talk of wreckage within eight miles of the coast.

Visual chart.

Runway 20 procedure.

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6 Responses to Yemenia Airbus A310 accident at Moroni – not a great approach

  1. ranjit gill July 1, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    This morning news reports confirm that the A310 was banned from flyig into Paris. So what was it doing at Heathrow on Saturday evening?

  2. Mutuelle santé October 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    The landing in some places seems a bit dangerous. The aviation organisation concerned should review the appropriate infrastructure for landing of the aircraft.

  3. Kieran Daly April 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Or on the other hand what was it doing being banned in Paris, which doesn’t seem to be clear at the moment. If in fact it was banned at Paris (anytime recently anyway.)

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