Re: landing in fog

From: (Steven G. Thomson)
Organization: Internet 1st, Inc.
Date:         04 Dec 95 01:14:51 
References:   1
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  or MIME structure (Susan Leibowitz ) wrote:

>I'm curious...a friend of mine was coming into LA on an L-1011.. It was
>on one of those very foggy days.  They tried to land three times and
>then gave up and landed in Las Vegas.

>The rumor on the plane was that the pilot wasn't fog certified.  Does
>that make sense?

>And why wouldn't they've been able to use instruments to land?

The weather must be at or above certain minimums before the pilot can
begin the approach. This minimum can vary from runway to runway, and
depends on many factors, such as all the approach radio aids, and
lighting working. A typical example is that the cloud ceiling must be
200 ft above the ground, or higher, and the visibility must be at
least 1800 ft as measured electronically on the ground.

A big airport, like LA would have runways that allow a lower
visibility approch, but the pilot and aircraft must be certified to
use these lower than normal minimums.

If the Captain had just transitioned to this aircraft type, he would
have a higher than normal minimum for his first 100 hours in command.

If the weather is legal to begin the approch, the pilot will descend
to the minimum allowable altitude on instruments. The non-flying pilot
watches out the windscreen for the runway environment. When he has the
landing runway in sight, he calls this out, and the flying pilot
completes the landing visually. If they don't see the runway at the
minimum altitude, the flying pilot initiates a missed approach. They
might attempt another approch or two, if the weather seems to be
picking up.

If the weather stays below minimums, and promises not to improve, they
will fly to their alternate airport to land. If the weather might
improve, and they have the fuel to hold, they will do so, and wait for
an improvement, while always saving enough fuel to fly to their
alternate airport, where the weather is good, and keeping their
minimum reserve fuel.




Steven Thomson
St. Louis, Missouri - Gateway To The West