Ryanair has had another "serious" approach incident. So what? It happens to other carriers.
But questions need to be asked. Why does an airline with such a high-quality training organisation, and a pilot selection system that does not allow dummies into its flightdeck, end up with a string of approach incidents like these?
The Rome Fiumicino go-around was the most worrying, but it is easier to understand how the situation developed because the pilots began their first approach in a very high workload situation, dodging thunderstorms and coping with a runway change. The Skavsta and Knock approaches were rushed by the pilots, but since the circumstances were not particularly demanding, their actions are more difficult to comprehend. The most recent incident - at Cork - was an unforced piece of undisciplined flying by the captain. Carrying out an orbit to lose height on approach on a brilliant day is a valid manoeuvre. Forgetting about altitude and height above ground level is just slack.
Ryanair chief pilot Ray Conway ensures his crews see flight-data monitoring video replays of incidents like the one at Knock. The airline's standard operating procedures are sound.
So why? We said it before: the Irish Aviation Authority needs to commission a report on the human factors of low-cost operations to find out if there is a connection.
Source: Flight International