Re: landing in fog

From:         brianm4463@aol.com (BrianM4463)
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Date:         04 Dec 95 01:14:49 
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There really isn't such a thing as "fog certification",
although there IS something called Category II or
Category III certification, both for aircrews and airplanes.
The ILS equipment and approach profile also must be
certified to the same specification.  This certification
allows a crew and airplane to fly an instrument approach
to lower ceiling and visibility minimums than a normal
ILS approach, which is normally 200' ceiling and 1/2 mile
visibility.

The crew was almost certainly certified in at least Cat II,
as was the airplane.  Generally, Cat II minimums are 100'
ceiling with reduced visibility (called RVR).  A crew can fly
a Cat II approach down to 100', and  if the runway environment is
not visible, they must miss the approach and at their option,
try again.  Cat III can go down to zero-zero, theoretically.

My guess is either:
a) the weather was below Cat II minimums and there was no
Cat III approach available (or the crew wasn't Cat III current) or
b) The airplane wasn't current in Cat II or Cat III for some
reason (pretty unlikely, given where it was flying)

Most likely, the fog was just to doggone thick for a safe
landing.

Just my 2 cents.