Air France A319 at Tunis on Mar 24th 2012, extreme rate of descent on glideslope intercept, GPWS alerts and descent below safe altitude
Last Update: June 14, 2013 / 17:00:27 GMT/Zulu time
The French BEA released their final report in French concluding the probable causes of the incident were:
- The crew commenced an unstabilized approach following a decision to initiate and continue the approach, that started above profile and would have required remedial action to resolve.
- inadequate communication between the crew who after a change of runway did not:
* define and implement a strategy to properly adjust the trajectory
* define criteria to abort the approach and reposition for another approach
- the documentation provided by the operator does not include operational limits to intercept a glideslope from above the profile
The BEA referenced the occurrence of F-GLZU, see Report: Air France A343 at Paris on Mar 13th 2012, intercepted mirror glide slope, large pitch oscillations and approach to stall stating, that one of the safety recommendations issued to EASA as result of that investigation was the requirement for operators to provide limits to flight crew for intercepting glidepathes from above the profile. The safety recommendation was re-iterated.
The BEA reported that the first officer in post flight interviews reported that a discussion had taken the attention of both flight crew throughout cruise flight. The approach briefing was thus started only after they had left FL350 descending towards Tunis. He realised they were above profile and made the captain aware of this fact twice, but having been commander on other aircraft types before he did not want to encroach the captain's decisions. Due to the unusual request to do an orbit on final approach his work load got so high, that he did not think of calling for a go-around. He did not hear any of the GPWS alerts, explaining he was focussed on the stabilisation criteria at 500 feet. Following the flight he believed he confused sympathy and cockpit resource management, which prevented him to fulfill his role as pilot monitoring.
The captain said in his interviews, that he realised at FL100 the approach was compromised. Given the excellent weather he wanted to descend the aircraft onto the profile however. He heard the GPWS "Sink Rate" but did not hear the other GPWS alerts.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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