Update on the Brazilian air crash

It seems that the pilot wanted to abort landing. See today’s news:

The pilot of the TAM A320 that crashed late Tuesday at Sao Paulo Conganhas apparently tried to abort the landing and pull up as he contacted the rain-slickened, 6,365-ft. runway at Brazil’s busiest airport.

CNN reported that cutting of grooves for rainwater into the recently resurfaced runway, 35L, had not been finished, while Bloomberg News said the airport shut down 18 times during the first quarter because of flooded runways. Brazilian courts addressed the safety of CGH for large aircraft in February, with an appeals court overturning an initial ruling that banned larger planes from the facility.

CNN and the Associated Press reported from Sao Paulo that the initial investigation revealed that the aircraft was seen attempting to lift off following touchdown. Both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have been located, and at least 158 bodies have been recovered, according to press reports. The aircraft was en route from Porto Alegre. Reuters reported that the airport’s secondary runway reopened yesterday.

The A 320 aircraft was manufactured in 1998 and was bought by TAM airlines this January.

This way it seems that slippery, bad quality runway was the major cause of the tragedy, although the airport’s officials claim the runway has been resurfaced recently and it was in a good condition.

“I can confirm that there was no possibility of skidding on this runway,” said Armando Schneider Filho, director of engineering for the nation’s airport authority Infraero. “Twenty minutes before the accident, Infraero performed a visual inspection of the runway and detected no problems,” he added. “It was wet but there was no accumulation of water.”

Pilots say landing on the 6,362-foot-long (1,039 meters) runway at Sao Paulo’s Congonhas airport is so challenging that pilots liken it to an aircraft carrier — if they don’t touch down precisely within the tarmac’s first 1,000 feet (305 meters), they’re warned to pull up and circle around again. The ungrooved runway becomes even more treacherous in the rain when it turns into a slick landing surface.

Resource: ATW Online, CNN.

By Szafi


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