Av Hazard publicizes safety and operational concerns to help prevent accidents but it works only if we hear from you. Use the postage-free Av Hazard card to describe the hazard and return it to Pro Pilot. To obtain an official FAA review send NASA an ASRS form. For immediate action, call the airport, FBO, ATC, FSDO or the 24-hour FAA Safety Hotline at 800-255-1111. Note: Telephone numbers for all US Towers and ARTCCs are published in Ac-U-Kwik and Pilots Express Airport/Heliport/FBO directories. To report safety concerns outside the US, contact ICAO HQ at 514-954-8219 or via fax at 514-954-6077. ICAO has worldwide telephone and fax numbers to expedite Av Hazard reports to civil aviation authorities.
Laser hazard at YUL
While heading 215° to join the localizer course (238°) for Rwy 24R at YUL (Trudeau, Montreal QC, Canada) for a night landing in VMC, the cockpit was illuminated by a green laser beam from approximately 3-5 sm west of the final approach course. The laser continued to track the cockpit from an estimated 90° angle to an angle of 120° from the right side of the aircraft. Both pilots experienced flash blindness and were hit 6–8 times, each time for 1 or 2 seconds. The total event lasted approximately 20–30 seconds. The event was reported to YUL Tower. The source of the laser was just about 3 sm northwest of the approach end to Rwy 24R at YUL. It appeared to be coming from the rooftop. According to local authorities, it has been an ongoing problem.
__ATP, Bombardier CRJ
- Incorrect use of lasers is extremely dangerous for flightcrews and airports must do everything possible to stop the events whenever possible. Kudos to the flightcrew for reporting the hazard to ATC, airport authorities and the police, in addition to spreading the word about the hazard to flight crews traveling to YUL at night through this venue.
No more “position and hold”
Effective Sep 30, 2010, ATC will no longer issue a “position and hold” clearance when they want a flightcrew to taxi onto a runway and await takeoff instructions. NTSB recommended the change to ICAO terminology “line up and wait” 10 years ago and FAA has finally agreed and changed the terminology to align with the ICAO standard. For more information on “line up and wait” visit the FAA website at faa.gov, NOTICE N JO 7210.754, Line up and wait (LUAW) operations. This new LUAW policy should help reduce the risk of runway incursions for international flightcrews operating in the US.
Shallow approach to landing accidents
Reading about Jack Roush coming in low and slow crashing his aircraft at Oshkosh this year, I have seen this many times in my career as people believe they can make shorter landings low and slow. I have also seen this method (below glideslope approaches) taught at facilities such as FlightSafety in order to make shorter landings. I think this is an industry problem which should be addressed. Low and slow does not make for a shorter landing but a bigger crash. It is amazing to see how few “jet” pilots do not understand that higher approaches will reap shorter landings and who think the opposite is true. It is unfortunately arrogance in the aviation community to ignore even the most basic flying skills. This does not even take into account that below-glideslope approaches are illegal. If a jet cannot land in the appropriate runway on glideslope then the pilot shouldn't be there in the first place.
- Many approach and landing accidents are the result of unstabilized approaches with the pilot not ready for the landing and/or dramatically changing the flight characteristics too low to the ground. All aircraft, especially turbojet aircraft, should use a stabilized approach method—that is, the aircraft is on an established speed, glidepath, landing gear configuration and other items as required in an SOP which defines the elements of a stabilized approach prior to descending below specified altitudes. FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook states the flying characteristics of jet airplanes make a stabilized approach an “absolute necessity.” The handbook goes on to say the optimum approach angle for jet airplanes is 2.5–3.0 degrees. An approach angle of 2° instead of the recommended 3° glidepath can increase the landing distance by 500 ft, not reduce it.
“Precautionary emergency” means what?
We were enroute in Boston Center’s airspace and I heard an airliner declare a “precautionary emergency.” They reported that 1 engine had erratic oil pressure for a period of time then stabilized. Their request was to continue to their destination 1 hr 20 min away under the safety of emergency handling. I am curious as to the ramifications for declaring an emergency and not landing at the nearest suitable airport.
__ATP, Citation X
- It is intriguing how a pilot may think that declaring a “precautionary emergency” provides a safer environment for any emergency. That being said, many aircraft flight manuals do not require engine shutdown or landing as long as the engine oil pressure remains above a certain PSI or the torque does not exceed a certain limit. However, airlines are supposed to operate at the highest level of safety and should not take chances. The pilot glossary in the AIM defines an “emergency” as a distress or urgency condition. There is no definition for precautionary or precautionary emergency so it seems unwise to declare a “precautionary emergency” and then not take appropriate “highest level of safety” action.