Re: A310, low visibility landing in Zurich, Switzerland

Organization: Planet Internet
Date:         31 Oct 95 00:31:42 
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In article <airliners.1995.1613@ohare.Chicago.COM>, <>

> My parents flew from Cyprus to Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, in a Cyprus
> Airlines Airbus A310. In Kloten, the weather was foggy with only a few
> patches of ground visible from the air.
> Well, my parents told me about a few things that the captain did:
> - The captain announced that he wouldn't anticipate a problem due to the
> low visibility. My parents thought that this was a rather strange
> announcment.

Hi, aircraft are capable of landing with zero visibility and zero
cloudbase.  This is called a CAT III-approach. The aircraft, crew and
aerodrome has to be qualified for that. Schiphols Amsterdam is capable of
that. With a CAT III-appraoch the auto-pilot land the plane. Also if the
aircraft and aerodrome is equped with the right tools the aircraft taxies
itself of the runway. You don't them need any visibility.

If the A310 and the pilot or aerodrome was capable of a CAT III/autoland
I don't know.

To give you my honest opinion: Your parents are worrying to much. They
should just sit back and relax and let the pilot fly the airplane. In my
opinion people do always have an opinion about an airline or aircraft or
pilot without knowing the fine details. If the pilot did not operate safely
his aircraft and made mistakes he would probably got fired. That is the
way it works.

Tip: Next time when you fly, ask the stewardess if you can have a look in
the cockpit and ask the pilots their opinion.

P.S.: I hope your parents had a nice holiday...