Flight Training - February 2014 - 48

ADVANCED PILOT»

Jabara
Beech
McConnell
(intended
destination)

ONE LOOK at the sectional chart and it's easy to understand how a Dreamlifter
can land at a small airport.

had landed there. After several
exchanges with air traffic control,
the pilots figured out where they
were. After all, there were likely no
charts on board the airplane that
depict smaller airports, except perhaps a low-altitude en route chart.
The nav database likely didn't
depict Jabara.
This brings up another point
many pilots raise: With GPS and
all the wizardry in the cockpit,
how did these guys end up landing
at the wrong airport? Doesn't the
airline have requirements to load
the approach into the flight management system even when flying a
visual approach?
The answer to the first question
is pretty simple: No matter what's
set in the box, if you turn off all the
automation and fly visually, you're
simply flying a 900,000-pound
Piper Cub. All you need is a windshield, the seat of your pants, and
occasional glances inside to check

48 /

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

airspeeds for flap/gear deployment
and target approach speed. There's
no alarm that will signal you are
flying an approach to the wrong
airport.
Most airlines do have a requirement for the crew to load an
approach in the box to have a
back-up display. But since the
runways at McConnell and Jabara
are the same alignment and Jabara
is located on the extended final for
McConnell, it probably appeared
to the crew that the airplane was
right on the magenta line depicted
on the nav displays. Throw in a

pretty set of approach lights on
a dark night, not much crosschecking inside the cockpit by
either pilot-and next thing you
know, you've landed at the wrong
airport.
If it sounds like I'm defending
these pilots, I'll admit that I am. It
is easy to confuse airports at night.
It's easy to be lured by the siren
song of a well-lit runway after a
long day of flying. Throw in some
fatigue as many cargo pilots experience, and the temptation is even
stronger. I, too, have fallen for all
the same lures that likely trapped
these pilots. Thankfully, something
triggered my brain or my copilot
realized that something was amiss
well before we dropped in on the
wrong field.
Ironically, during the time that
the Dreamlifter incident occurred,
pilots were being vilified for
spending too much time eyesinside rather than flying visually.
"Pilots relying too much on automation," the headlines read. This is
a perfect example of what can happen when pilots spend too much
time eyes outside at night.
All of us, at some point in our
careers, will do something dumb in
an airplane. Some will be dumber
than others. To err is human. To
say "That'll never happen to me!"
is just an invitation for karma to
show up someday and remind you
to keep your ego in check.
Pete Bedell is a pilot for a major airline. He
holds type ratings in the BAe Jetstream 41,
Canadair RJ, and Boeing 737.

IFR QUIZ: LDA Into Hartford
Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD) in Connecticut is home to one of the
most unique instrument approaches in the world. Try your hand at the
LDA (localizer directional aid) approach and see if you have the skills to
find the runway in instrument meteorological conditions in this Air Safety
Institute Safety Quiz online (www.aopa.org/asf/asfquiz/2013/131129/
ldaintohartford).


http://www.aopa.org/asf/asfquiz/2013/131129/Idaintohartford http://www.aopa.org/asf/asfquiz/2013/131129/Idaintohartford http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Flight Training - February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - February 2014

Flight Training - February 2014
Contents
Member Benefits
Right Seat
Letters
Fun on the Water
Success Story News
How It Works
After the Checkride
News Abeam the Numbers
Training Products
News Final Exam
Asi News
News
Flight Lesson
Accident Report
Around the Patch
Flying Carpet
Flight Training Excellence Awards
Awards Recipients
All for You
Dream Maker
Weather
Career Pilot
Instructor Report
CFI to CFI
Career Advisor
Accident Report
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training - February 2014
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - February 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - February 2014 - 2
Flight Training - February 2014 - 3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Member Benefits
Flight Training - February 2014 - 5
Flight Training - February 2014 - Right Seat
Flight Training - February 2014 - 7
Flight Training - February 2014 - Letters
Flight Training - February 2014 - 9
Flight Training - February 2014 - Fun on the Water
Flight Training - February 2014 - 11
Flight Training - February 2014 - Success Story News
Flight Training - February 2014 - How It Works
Flight Training - February 2014 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Abeam the Numbers
Flight Training - February 2014 - Training Products
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Final Exam
Flight Training - February 2014 - Asi News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 19
Flight Training - February 2014 - News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 21
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - Around the Patch
Flight Training - February 2014 - 25
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - February 2014 - 27
Flight Training - February 2014 - 28
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training Excellence Awards
Flight Training - February 2014 - 30
Flight Training - February 2014 - 31
Flight Training - February 2014 - Awards Recipients
Flight Training - February 2014 - 33
Flight Training - February 2014 - All for You
Flight Training - February 2014 - 35
Flight Training - February 2014 - 36
Flight Training - February 2014 - 37
Flight Training - February 2014 - 38
Flight Training - February 2014 - 39
Flight Training - February 2014 - Dream Maker
Flight Training - February 2014 - 41
Flight Training - February 2014 - 42
Flight Training - February 2014 - 43
Flight Training - February 2014 - Weather
Flight Training - February 2014 - 45
Flight Training - February 2014 - 46
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Pilot
Flight Training - February 2014 - 48
Flight Training - February 2014 - Instructor Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - CFI to CFI
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - 53
Flight Training - February 2014 - 54
Flight Training - February 2014 - 55
Flight Training - February 2014 - Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover4
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