Captain Says Controllers at Fault during Missed Approach

AINsafety » August 19, 2013
August 19, 2013, 2:55 PM

The captain of an Embraer ERJ-145 has highlighted what he says was a “serious threat to flight safety” caused by the actions of air traffic controllers during an approach to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT) last January.

According to testimony recently given through NASA’s confidential aviation safety reporting system (ASRS), the flight in low-visibility conditions (reported as one quarter mile) encountered radar altimeter problems that eventually caused the crew to miss their first Category II ILS approach at CLT and head to an alternate.

The operator’s maintenance department later cleared the ERJ to return to CLT for a successful Category II approach. “While on the ILS approach to Runway 36C, and inside the outer marker, we heard the tower clear a departing aircraft into position and subsequent takeoff from Runway 36C,” said the captain. “This seems to be a clear violation of JO7110.65U (3-7-5 #2). Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have witnessed these actions from tower controllers.”

Rule 7110.65U, from the handbook of ATC operations, restricts aircraft from entering the localizer critical area on the ground to avoid possible reception interference by an inbound aircraft. The section referenced by the captain says ATC should “not authorize vehicle or aircraft operations in or over the [ILS critical] area when an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS OM…when conditions are less than reported ceiling 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles.”

 

FILED UNDER: 
Share this...

Comments

No Avatar
Jerry G
on August 23, 2013 - 4:36pm

I applaud the Author for filing a NASA report on a possible safety issue within the Air Traffic System. I am surprised that a Pilot would actually know this rule, but he missed a key element to ATC availability within this paragraph. As you see below from the quoted paragraph there are exceptions and one of them is a departing aircraft. At times there are departing aircraft located in the ILS Critical area, prior to the arriving aircraft reaching the outer marker. This aircraft is authorized to depart. Had the departing aircraft NOT been located within the ILS critical area, then I would agree with the Author, otherwise ATC did nothing wrong.

(a) Do not authorize vehicle or aircraft operations in or over the area when an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS OM or the fix used in lieu of the OM when conditions are less than reported ceiling 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles, except:

(1) A preceding arriving aircraft on the same or another runway that passes over or through the area while landing or exiting the runway.

(2) A preceding departing aircraft or missed approach on the same or another runway that passes through or over the area.

No Avatar
Rob Mark
on August 27, 2013 - 11:46am

You'd be surprised how sharp some pilots are about ATC Jerry.

You are correct that an exception includes getting an airplane out of the ILS critical area as that inbound approaches.

However, the ground controller working in this kind of weather is supposed to be sure that aircraft don't taxi into the critical area in the first place. Once they are there though, as you mentioned, they must either takeoff or cross over the runway itself to exit the critical area.

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.

 
X