The Aviation Safety Council yesterday recommended that Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) reinforce flight crew training on standardized operating procedures (SOP) when pilots need to go around or land in a tailwind.
The recommendation stems from an incident in which one of the airline’s planes overshot the runway when trying to land at Magong Airport in Penghu on May 16 last year.
The MacDonnell Douglas-82 model aircraft, No. B-28037, carried 172 passengers and crewmembers.
The council’s investigation found that when the pilots tried to land, a strong tailwind forced them to abort their first try and go around to try to land again.
However, the pilots failed to stop the aircraft before the end of the runway on their second attempt, the report said.
The council said the flight crew had not heeded information about the wind when they attempted the second landing, making them unable to continue monitoring and evaluating the impact of the wind on landing.
“This shows that the flight crew did not know how to land under a tailwind,” the report said.
The council also said that the plane’s flight data recorder showed the speed of the tailwind was 21 nautical miles per hour (38.9kph) when the autopilot system was turned off.
The tailwind speed was 14 nautical miles per hour when the wheels of the main landing gear touched the ground.
The pilots did not follow the instructions in the flight crew manual, which require aircraft to land at 10 nautical miles per hour.
The council also found that the FAT flight crew did not use the proper terminology in communications with the control tower personnel.
This meant that the control tower believed the aircraft was landing using VHF omnidirectional radio range, a short-range radio navigation system, when it was operating on an instrument landing system, a system providing precision guidance to aircraft approaching and landing on a runway.
The report said that FAT must reinforce its flight crew training, particularly on standardized operating procedures for transfer of aircraft control between the pilot and the copilot and using the right terminology to communicate with control tower personnel.
The airline must also examine its recruitment of flight personnel, which must be conducted in accordance with company regulations.
The council also asked the Civil Aeronautics Administration to supervise the airline in addressing the listed issues.
It also said airport control tower personnel must consider safety issues if they decide to change the way an aircraft lands.
Tower personnel must consider the time needed by the pilots to make those changes and choose the right runway for the pilots to land on, the council said.