The verdict has been in for a long time; stabilized approaches are an essential part of a safe landing.
Instrument landing system
Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Providence, R.I., Dec. 16, 2007–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the Air Wisconsin CRJ’s hard landing at Theodore Francis Green State Airport was the pilot’s attempt to salvage the landing from an instrument approach that exceeded stabilized approach criteria, resulting in a high sink rate, likely stall and hard landing that overtaxed the structural limitations of the airplane.
Eurocopter SA 365N-1D Dauphin, District Heights, Md., Sept. 27, 2008–The Maryland State Police medevac helicopter crashed in a park in District Heights, killing the commercial pilot, a paramedic, a field provider and one of the two patients aboard. The heli- copter had picked up the two auto accident victims and was flying them to a hospital.
Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, Kent, UK, Feb. 5, 2008–No one was injured when the Citation Bravo encountered wind shear on approach to Biggin Hill Airport. Airspeed fell below 100 knots and the autopilot pitched the nose up to maintain the glideslope. The right wing dropped in a stall but the ATP-rated pilot recovered and continued the approach. The aircraft bounced on landing.
Honeywell engineers are now developing a software upgrade for the AgustaWestland AW139 medium twin that optimizes the helicopter’s Primus Epic avionics system for the rigors of search-and-rescue operations.
BOMBARDIER CL-600-2B19 CRJ-100ER, BREST, FRANCE, JUNE 22, 2003–Air France Flight 5672 departed Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE) in France at 11:15 p.m. with a planned destination of Brest-Guipavas Airport (BES). As the Canadair Regional Jet 100ER (F-GRJS) approached Brest, the crew was cleared for a Runway 26L approach. The aircraft was seen deviating to the left of the runway centerline and above and below the glideslope.
Switzerland has the notoriously difficult approach over the mountains into Lugano Airport. In England, it’s London City’s steep 5.5-degree glideslope to touchdown that can really test an aviator’s skills. And of course, the dead-end approach into Greenland’s Kangerlssaq Airport in the Sondrestrom Fjord can be a doozy when the weather turns bad.
Embraer E170, Cleveland, Ohio, Feb.
Although WAAS LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches have been popping up at airports around the U.S. at an impressive rate, only a handful of business jets are approved to fly the procedures. That’s because most flight management systems don’t yet support the new type of approach and some airplanes might not be approved to do so without costly upgrades.
The first fully integrated multi-mode receiver (MMR) for use with microwave landing systems completed a series of successful test flights recently. MMR maker Rockwell Collins said the tests would lead to certification early next year. TSO approval for the MMR unit should be in hand by the end of the first quarter, with initial deliveries starting soon after to the U.S. Air Force.