|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : geg|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : geg|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
enroute : on vectors
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 85|
flight time total : 13000
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
We discussed the destination airport's WX (better than 5000 and 5) and the fact that the primary (ILS) runway was OTS due to recent resurfacing. That gave us another amply long runway (25), but no approach navigation aid back up except an off field VOR/DME with which to approximate our distance out and a lighted VASI. Lured by the reported good visibility and my first officer's recent familiarity with this operations, we elected to accept radar vectors to the airport expecting to spot the runway with its lighted VASI in plenty of time to establish our stabilized approach. The air carrier ahead reported difficulty seeing the field due to the setting sun and he was vectored away to the north. We were vectored in, and when we couldn't see the runway from what I estimated to be 3 mi out, the controller suggested a vector across the field so as to set up a visual downwind leg. At about that time we saw the 4 white lights of the VASI and I went for it. In retrospect I estimate that we were within 1 1/2 mi of the threshold and 2000' above it (a minimum of 1500' above normal!). Instead of accepting the cross field vector, I went to flight idle, full flaps and gear and s-turned right and left in order to get down and line up. Final placement over the threshold was reasonably good, but the landing bounced us back into the air. It wasn't until we stopped at the gate at precisely scheduled arrival time that I realized what poor judgement I had used. Schedule is the third priority behind safety and comfort. I had compromised the first 2 while distressing my passenger and embarrassing my entire crew. The local controllers should be more aware of what an extreme restriction to visibility a low angle sun can be and pass the word to approach control and include it on ATIS.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: UNSTABLE APCH AND HARD LNDG INTO THE SUN AT GEG.
Narrative: WE DISCUSSED THE DEST ARPT'S WX (BETTER THAN 5000 AND 5) AND THE FACT THAT THE PRIMARY (ILS) RWY WAS OTS DUE TO RECENT RESURFACING. THAT GAVE US ANOTHER AMPLY LONG RWY (25), BUT NO APCH NAV AID BACK UP EXCEPT AN OFF FIELD VOR/DME WITH WHICH TO APPROXIMATE OUR DISTANCE OUT AND A LIGHTED VASI. LURED BY THE RPTED GOOD VIS AND MY F/O'S RECENT FAMILIARITY WITH THIS OPS, WE ELECTED TO ACCEPT RADAR VECTORS TO THE ARPT EXPECTING TO SPOT THE RWY WITH ITS LIGHTED VASI IN PLENTY OF TIME TO ESTABLISH OUR STABILIZED APCH. THE ACR AHEAD RPTED DIFFICULTY SEEING THE FIELD DUE TO THE SETTING SUN AND HE WAS VECTORED AWAY TO THE N. WE WERE VECTORED IN, AND WHEN WE COULDN'T SEE THE RWY FROM WHAT I ESTIMATED TO BE 3 MI OUT, THE CTLR SUGGESTED A VECTOR ACROSS THE FIELD SO AS TO SET UP A VISUAL DOWNWIND LEG. AT ABOUT THAT TIME WE SAW THE 4 WHITE LIGHTS OF THE VASI AND I WENT FOR IT. IN RETROSPECT I ESTIMATE THAT WE WERE WITHIN 1 1/2 MI OF THE THRESHOLD AND 2000' ABOVE IT (A MINIMUM OF 1500' ABOVE NORMAL!). INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING THE CROSS FIELD VECTOR, I WENT TO FLT IDLE, FULL FLAPS AND GEAR AND S-TURNED RIGHT AND LEFT IN ORDER TO GET DOWN AND LINE UP. FINAL PLACEMENT OVER THE THRESHOLD WAS REASONABLY GOOD, BUT THE LNDG BOUNCED US BACK INTO THE AIR. IT WASN'T UNTIL WE STOPPED AT THE GATE AT PRECISELY SCHEDULED ARR TIME THAT I REALIZED WHAT POOR JUDGEMENT I HAD USED. SCHEDULE IS THE THIRD PRIORITY BEHIND SAFETY AND COMFORT. I HAD COMPROMISED THE FIRST 2 WHILE DISTRESSING MY PAX AND EMBARRASSING MY ENTIRE CREW. THE LCL CTLRS SHOULD BE MORE AWARE OF WHAT AN EXTREME RESTRICTION TO VIS A LOW ANGLE SUN CAN BE AND PASS THE WORD TO APCH CTL AND INCLUDE IT ON ATIS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 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.