Russian authorities have detailed a serious incident during which an Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER captured a false glideslope on approach to the new runway 24R at Moscow Sheremetyevo, descending to low altitude before executing a go-around.
The incident occurred on 18 December and involved a go-around after the ground-proximity warning system sounded, according to a communication from federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia.
Sheremetyevo’s runway 24R, the airport’s third, opened in September last year but Moscow residents, particularly those in high-rise apartment buildings in the Lobnya district to the east, have expressed concerns about noise and the proximity of aircraft.
In December a local campaign group publicly highlighted an incident in which an aircraft had been observed at low altitude – the group claimed it was below the sixth floor of a high-rise – descending through fog while still 5km from the airport.
Rosaviatsia has confirmed, in a 4 February communication, the campaign group’s suspicions that an Aeroflot 777 was involved.
It says the descent below the correct approach path to 24R occurred as a result of aircraft systems capturing a false glideslope – but has not elaborated on this claim.
Aeroflot conducted an investigation into the triggering of the ground-proximity system, says Rosaviatsia, which turned up breaches in the established procedures for carrying out an approach to runway 24R, adding that the captain was subsequently dismissed and additional training ordered.
Rosaviatsia adds that the Russian state air traffic management corporation carried out further analysis of the 777 flight – the SU209 service from Shanghai – with the intent of providing crews with effective information about deviations from approach paths.
Sheremetyevo’s air navigation service is also set to receive new systems over 2020-21 to enhance control capabilities for the third runway.
Rosaviatsia says that it believes the measures taken by Aeroflot and the air navigation service are “sufficient” to eliminate the shortcomings.