DALLAS — Aviation accidents are rarely the result of a single cause, and there are frequently multiple links in the chain of events that all conspire to produce an unfortunate incident. One common analogy that aviators often refer to is linked to the holes within many layers of cheese all lining up at the same time.
Once investigators have sifted through the various streams of data recorded by the aircraft, vital clues should be revealed. The cockpit voice recorder records what the crew was thinking and planning at the time. In contrast, the data recorder provides a highly detailed replay of a wide range of aircraft parameters.
In addition to these recorders located near the tail of the aircraft, multiple channels of engine and system data are frequently streamed to airlines and engine manufacturers.
Combining all of this data will allow accident investigators to build a clear picture of the most dominant factors that contributed to the accident. In this post, I’ll discuss some issues pilots may face during landing and the training they go through to minimize the risk of accidents when confronted with an unstable approach.
Runway excursions continue to be a significant threat to the industry. Given that the maneuver of landing an aircraft is still performed manually, with the exception of extremely poor visibility, human vulnerability continues to be challenged.
My feature on how pilots calculate landing performance mentioned how the industry has been working hard in recent years to emphasize the importance of prior planning rather than simply relying on ‘this usually works at this airport.’
Prior to landing, pilots can always fly a go-around, which is when an approach is discontinued and a climb is performed away from the runway. It is also known as a missed approach or an overshoot. This alternative maneuver is still available in many aircraft…
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