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FOCUS POINT

collection with evidence of compliance and non-compliance
available to managers.
"There seems to be an unintended acceptance of the current
state of go-around compliance by management," said Curtis.
Formulating SOPs one can fly by
"Both pilot groups felt the go-around criteria for their airline was
not realistic for that operation, that particular day. They made
their own decisions because they knew there was little oversight
from management," Curtis said.
The industry has used the concept of approach "gates,"
altitudes during descent at which key markers of a stabilized
approach must be present in order for the approach to
continue, and touchdown zone parameters, for decades. These
gates are typically set at 1,000 ft agl (300 m) and 500 ft agl
(150 m). This FSF report suggests the addition of a final gate at
300 ft agl (100 m).
"The safety analysis says most aircraft properly loaded, can stop
a descent even at twice the normal rate, and go from flight idle
to a good climb gradient safely from 300 ft," said Marshall. Yet
events unfold quickly at and below 300 ft, and pilots often need
to react with lightening quickness; training plays a huge part in
how a crew manages the last few seconds before and during
touchdown. Crews are typically trained that either pilot can call
a go-around up until thrust-reverser deployment. Deviation from
touchdown zone parameters (long landings) possibly caused
by an unstable approach and/or contaminated runway issues,
however, will turn a deviation into a deadly runway excursion.

Managers were largely unaware
of unstable approach-go-around
compliance and policies in their own
companies.
"Before we said, 'Go-arounds are necessary here.' Now we are
saying, if you are a little bit outside the guidance it is okay to
continue if you have reasonable expectation of being on at the
next gate," explained Curtis.
The report concluded that by allowing some guided decisionmaking during approaches and landings, pilots will be more
likely to trust and voluntarily comply with written policies, in part
because those policies will address the changing environments in
which pilots work, where risk-assessment is constantly occurring.
The report also uncovered issues with SOPs in the touchdown
zone. "Active communication in the landing phase is just as
important," said Curtis. "Because the go-around itself is not
without risk."
Moving forward
"Safe Landing Guidelines, published by Flight Safety Foundation
to address an identified gap in the Approach and Landing
Accident Reduction (ALAR) Tool Kit risk reduction tools, is not
well known by operators and not documented in operations
manuals," the report's authors state.
All that being said, the recommendations in the ALAR Tool Kit,
when implemented properly, do work.
contd. next page

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