Add it to your Sim practice: Autoland interfered

January 3, 2019 / Comments (0)


/ By Editorial Staff

There is a great learning in practicing approaches on a simulator, but how often are interference (and confusion) practiced?

In November of 2011, a spokesman for Munich airport said a Singapore Airlines flight with some 200 passengers aboard slid off the runway just after landing. Luckily nobody was injured.

We learned more about the incident from the investigation report, which came out more than 7 years later, and AEROSSURANCE’s post . There are some interesting lessons to learn here. A Boeing  777-312ER,  9V-SWQ of Singapore Airlines, was flying from Manchester to Munich on 3 November 2011.  Shortly after touch-down in Munich, the aircraft veered to the left and went off the runway, before veering right and coming to a stop on the grass on the other side next to the runway.

B777-312ER 9V-SWQ of Singapore Airlines at Munich (Credit: Police via BFU)

B777-312ER 9V-SWQ of Singapore Airlines at Munich (Credit: Police via BFU)

In their safety investigation report, published 85 months after the occurrence, German safety investigation body, the BFU, explains that:

…the co-pilot was initially Pilot Flying (PF) during the flight Manchester – Munich. Based on the latest weather information at Munich, visibility 2,000 m, cloud base 300 ft, the Pilot in Command (PIC) decided to assume the role of PF, as the SOPs (FCOM/NORMAL PROCEDURES/OPERATION) of the operator required, and the co-pilot became Pilot Monitoring (PM). The PIC decided to conduct an automatic approach and autoland.

A BAE 146-RJ85 taxied along taxiway B4 to runway 08R as the B 777 was about 2.9 NM ahead of the runway threshold 08R and 3.4 NM behind the BAE 146-RJ85 when it received take-off clearance.

As the B777 was about 50 ft above the runway in the flare phase the airplane began to slowly bank left up to 3.5°.  As the B777 flew above the runway threshold 08R, the BAE 146-RJ85 was in front of the localizer antenna and interfered with the localizer signal.

The PIC called out: “Okay, flaps twenty.” At approximately 420 m beyond the runway threshold the airplane touched down with the left main landing gear and 132 kt (KIAS). At that time the Auto Flight System (AFS) switched to rollout mode.

The autopilot was still engaged as the airplane moved toward the left runway edge and veered off the runway with a speed of 123 kt (KIAS) about 944 m beyond the threshold in the area of taxiway B4. For about 400 m the airplane rolled through the grass north of runway 08R in a slightly curved right hand turn. The largest lateral deviation from the runway was reached at about 1,242 m beyond the threshold; speed was 109 kt KIAS. Because of the system design the autopilot disengaged due to crew inputs via the rudder pedals.

9vswq 777 ground track

The airplane turned right by about 40°, re-entered the runway close to the intersection with taxiway B6, about 1,566 m beyond the threshold. The aircraft crossed the runway with a heading of about 120°. Speed was still 71 kt KIAS.

The airplane veered off the runway again, turned left by about 40°, and came to a stop in the grass south of and parallel to runway 08R.

Let us know what you think.


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