Re: AA BDL MD-80 Incident

From: (Ethan Schell)
Organization: <none>
Date:         29 Nov 95 01:36:20 
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In article <airliners.1995.1848@ohare.Chicago.COM>, "Joseph D. Farrell"
<> wrote:

> For those of you who may have heard of this, on 12 Nov @ 01.45 local an
> AA MD80, operating as AA1572 ORD-BDL clipped the top of a ridge, shearing
> off 13 feet of tree-tops making an approach to RWY 15 @ BDL.  There is NO
> published instrument approach to this Runway.  Their is a VOR/TACAN
> approach to R15...

Since there is a VOR Rwy 15 approach, then there is a published approach.

> ... which requires a minimum altitude of 2000 feet at 10 miles
> decreasing to 1080 feet at the point at which the impact with ground 720
> AGL/780 feet above tree-tops.

The minimum descent height (MDH) at that point is 908 feet AGL.

> My problem with this is that at that time winds were 120-160, 25kts gusting
> to 44 kts, and the ceiling was 740 feet.

What was the visibility? That is an important part of the minimums.

> What oin gods green earth were
> the pilots doing accepting a nonI-LS approach into these conditions with
> the obstacle less than 4 miles from their touchdown with only a working
> localizer.  I'm sorry, but this was not a safe approach into these
> conditions, it may be legal since the controllers cleared the a/c, but
> was it safe is another issue.  Check the BDL R15 VOR/TACAN approach in
> the Terminal Procedures pubs, for this a/c legal minimums were NOT
> available at the time of the final approach.

It is interesting to note there are four ILS, three VOR and one NDB
approach into BDL, all of which have circle to land MDAs/MDHs less then
that for the VOR Rwy 15 (with the exception of the ILS Rwy 6 CAT II &

Ethan Schell

Your life vest is under your seat.