Emirates A380 descends far below its proper path while landing, finds report


Emirates A380, moscow, Domodedovo International Airport, General Civil Aviation Authority

Dubai - The plane landed successfully on its third attempt.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 21 Apr 2020, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Apr 2020, 4:39 PM

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority has published the full report of an Emirates A380 incident where it found that the aircraft had descended far below its proper path of descent when it came for landing at the Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow.

The incident had happened on September 10, 2017 and the final investigation by the UAE aviation regulator has been issued recently.

After two unsuccessful landing attempts, EK131 flight landed successfully on the third attempt. All 448 passengers onboard that flight remained safe.

Investigators found that the aircraft had descended to 504 feet above the ground while it was still 7.4 nautical miles away from the threshold of runway before the crew decided to skip the landing and made a go-around.

It found that the descent below the cleared altitude during the first approach was due to an erroneous flight crew perception that the aircraft would capture the proper path of descent, and insufficient coordination between the flight crew members.

It noted that the co-pilot focused on the horizontal position of the aircraft to establish on the localiser -- a system used to guide aircraft along the axis of the runway -- and neither of the two pilots maintained a correct awareness of the aircraft vertical position.

The second landing attempt was discontinued after a relatively long discussion between them due to expectations of the co-pilot that radar control may not provide the flight crew with vectors to intercept the localiser at an angle of 45 degrees or less when the aircraft was 90-degrees to the final approach track.

It said the co-pilot did not confirm the correct aircraft vertical position by checking other available indications such as the pressure altitude, navigation and vertical display, or the approach procedure chart.

"The co-pilot's action in carrying out the procedure was because he thought that the aircraft was high as indicated by the invalid glideslope deviation, and his perception that the aircraft would be established on the localiser very soon, in about three to four seconds. In fact, the actual aircraft position was already below the 3-degree glideslope, and the aircraft would have established on the localiser far beyond his expectation," said GCAA report.


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