|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : tex.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 11100|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Learjet 60|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
landing : go around
|Affiliation||company : corporate|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : multi engine|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 75|
flight time total : 4020
flight time type : 800
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : executed go around|
|Problem Areas||Environmental Factor|
|Primary Problem||Environmental Factor|
We were on a repo flight and arrived into the tex terminal area. The WX conditions were light and variable winds; clear skies; and unlimited visibility. Per company policy; landing at tex is restr to runway 9 only. We canceled our IFR flight plan 5 NM south of the airport. We flew about 10 NM west of tex and commenced the turn inbound to get established on final approach to runway 9. As we aligned with the airport; using the localizer for lateral guidance to the runway; we noticed the extreme amount of sun glare in the windshield. We continued inbound at a safe terrain clearance altitude of 11100 ft MSL per the approach chart and MSA for the area. About 5 NM from the runway; we could not visually see the airport or the terrain east of the airport. I elected to commence a go around. We climbed and circled to the west to clear the rising terrain. We again attempted an approach; beginning 10 NM west of the airport using the localizer for lateral guidance. Once again; we experienced extreme sun glare in the windshield. We proceeded at 11100 ft MSL to 3-4 NM from the approach end of the runway. Once again; we could not see the airport or the rising terrain east of tex and elected to go around a second time. Again; we made a climbing right turn and proceeded wbound away from the terrain. In both approach attempts; the glare worsened as we descended towards the airport; and essentially put us in IMC conditions with no forward flight visibility. The only visibility we had was at the 3 and 9 O'clock position and straight down below us. We discussed our fuel status and alternate airport options. The aircraft had 2500 pounds of fuel on board and all alternate airports were reporting VFR conditions. We decided to wait a few mins since the sun was rapidly rising in the sky. After a short delay; we began the 3RD attempt at landing. During this attempt; I acquired visual contact with the runway environment about 4 NM from the approach end. We left the safe altitude and commenced the final approach to the runway. We required a steep; but stabilized descent and landed without incident. Possible causes: the lack of clouds provided a situation for extreme sun glare in the windshield. This was compounded by the position of the sun relative to a landing on runway 9 and the way the sun was glaring off the mountains surrounding the airport. In the first 2 approach attempts; it essentially created IMC conditions as we approached the airport. Suggestions to prevent reoccurrence: I recommended to our company safety committee to issue an advisory to crews on the hazards of a morning arrival in tex on clear days. The position of the sun in the morning has the potential to make the crew blind with regard to forward flight visibility. The tex approach to runway 9 is an approach that requires an extreme amount of planning and caution due to rising terrain above 14000 ft MSL in all quadrants surrounding the airport. It can only safely be conducted in visual conditions without sun glare. Any obstruction to flight visibility requires an immediate go around with a turn to the west to clear the terrain. Furthermore; the extreme runway gradient (1.9% downhill) when landing on runway 9 makes it essential to have good visual contact with the runway to plan a safe descent and touchdown. Any hindrance to visibility should cause a crew to consider diverting to another suitable airport.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: LR60 FLT CREW REPORTS INABILITY TO SEE TEX RWY 9 AFTER LOC APPROACH DUE TO SUN GLARE AND EXECUTES MISSED APPROACH. THIRD ATTEMPT IS SUCCESSFUL AFTER SUN MOVES HIGHER.
Narrative: WE WERE ON A REPO FLT AND ARRIVED INTO THE TEX TERMINAL AREA. THE WX CONDITIONS WERE LIGHT AND VARIABLE WINDS; CLR SKIES; AND UNLIMITED VISIBILITY. PER COMPANY POLICY; LNDG AT TEX IS RESTR TO RWY 9 ONLY. WE CANCELED OUR IFR FLT PLAN 5 NM S OF THE ARPT. WE FLEW ABOUT 10 NM W OF TEX AND COMMENCED THE TURN INBOUND TO GET ESTABLISHED ON FINAL APCH TO RWY 9. AS WE ALIGNED WITH THE ARPT; USING THE LOC FOR LATERAL GUIDANCE TO THE RWY; WE NOTICED THE EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUN GLARE IN THE WINDSHIELD. WE CONTINUED INBOUND AT A SAFE TERRAIN CLRNC ALT OF 11100 FT MSL PER THE APCH CHART AND MSA FOR THE AREA. ABOUT 5 NM FROM THE RWY; WE COULD NOT VISUALLY SEE THE ARPT OR THE TERRAIN E OF THE ARPT. I ELECTED TO COMMENCE A GAR. WE CLBED AND CIRCLED TO THE W TO CLR THE RISING TERRAIN. WE AGAIN ATTEMPTED AN APCH; BEGINNING 10 NM W OF THE ARPT USING THE LOC FOR LATERAL GUIDANCE. ONCE AGAIN; WE EXPERIENCED EXTREME SUN GLARE IN THE WINDSHIELD. WE PROCEEDED AT 11100 FT MSL TO 3-4 NM FROM THE APCH END OF THE RWY. ONCE AGAIN; WE COULD NOT SEE THE ARPT OR THE RISING TERRAIN E OF TEX AND ELECTED TO GO AROUND A SECOND TIME. AGAIN; WE MADE A CLBING R TURN AND PROCEEDED WBOUND AWAY FROM THE TERRAIN. IN BOTH APCH ATTEMPTS; THE GLARE WORSENED AS WE DSNDED TOWARDS THE ARPT; AND ESSENTIALLY PUT US IN IMC CONDITIONS WITH NO FORWARD FLT VISIBILITY. THE ONLY VISIBILITY WE HAD WAS AT THE 3 AND 9 O'CLOCK POS AND STRAIGHT DOWN BELOW US. WE DISCUSSED OUR FUEL STATUS AND ALTERNATE ARPT OPTIONS. THE ACFT HAD 2500 LBS OF FUEL ON BOARD AND ALL ALTERNATE ARPTS WERE RPTING VFR CONDITIONS. WE DECIDED TO WAIT A FEW MINS SINCE THE SUN WAS RAPIDLY RISING IN THE SKY. AFTER A SHORT DELAY; WE BEGAN THE 3RD ATTEMPT AT LNDG. DURING THIS ATTEMPT; I ACQUIRED VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE RWY ENVIRONMENT ABOUT 4 NM FROM THE APCH END. WE LEFT THE SAFE ALT AND COMMENCED THE FINAL APCH TO THE RWY. WE REQUIRED A STEEP; BUT STABILIZED DSCNT AND LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT. POSSIBLE CAUSES: THE LACK OF CLOUDS PROVIDED A SITUATION FOR EXTREME SUN GLARE IN THE WINDSHIELD. THIS WAS COMPOUNDED BY THE POS OF THE SUN RELATIVE TO A LNDG ON RWY 9 AND THE WAY THE SUN WAS GLARING OFF THE MOUNTAINS SURROUNDING THE ARPT. IN THE FIRST 2 APCH ATTEMPTS; IT ESSENTIALLY CREATED IMC CONDITIONS AS WE APCHED THE ARPT. SUGGESTIONS TO PREVENT REOCCURRENCE: I RECOMMENDED TO OUR COMPANY SAFETY COMMITTEE TO ISSUE AN ADVISORY TO CREWS ON THE HAZARDS OF A MORNING ARR IN TEX ON CLR DAYS. THE POS OF THE SUN IN THE MORNING HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE THE CREW BLIND WITH REGARD TO FORWARD FLT VISIBILITY. THE TEX APCH TO RWY 9 IS AN APCH THAT REQUIRES AN EXTREME AMOUNT OF PLANNING AND CAUTION DUE TO RISING TERRAIN ABOVE 14000 FT MSL IN ALL QUADRANTS SURROUNDING THE ARPT. IT CAN ONLY SAFELY BE CONDUCTED IN VISUAL CONDITIONS WITHOUT SUN GLARE. ANY OBSTRUCTION TO FLT VISIBILITY REQUIRES AN IMMEDIATE GAR WITH A TURN TO THE W TO CLR THE TERRAIN. FURTHERMORE; THE EXTREME RWY GRADIENT (1.9% DOWNHILL) WHEN LNDG ON RWY 9 MAKES IT ESSENTIAL TO HAVE GOOD VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE RWY TO PLAN A SAFE DSCNT AND TOUCHDOWN. ANY HINDRANCE TO VISIBILITY SHOULD CAUSE A CREW TO CONSIDER DIVERTING TO ANOTHER SUITABLE ARPT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.