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pschlute

Autoland

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I have been simming for many years and must admit I dont know the answer to this autoland question.

 

My understanding is that if an aircraft and crew are certified for a Cat II or Cat III autoland, it can be performed at a Cat II or  III equipped airport. But is there any restriction on using autoland on a runway that does not have Cat II or III capability...ie just ILS ?

 

Peter

 

 

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ILS can be used for practice approaches in VFR conditions without an aircraft CAT rating certification - but Autoland is not allowed and pilots must manually fly the landing as far as I am aware

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I've been retired for nearly 20 years, but before that,we were allowed to use a CAT1/11/111 ils for practice autolands. The proviso was that you probably wouldn't get the proper protection unless traffic was light,and therefore extra vigilance was required. It was necessary for such practice since we were required to do at least one autoland/month to stay current.

 

The rules may well have changed by now.

 

Colin B

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Here we go again...

 

There is no such a legal restriction that would forbid using autoland at cat I ILS signal, although it can be forbidden by company sop or aircraft manual.

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Here we go again...

 

There is no such a legal restriction that would forbid using autoland at cat I ILS signal, although it can be forbidden by company sop or aircraft manual.

 

I suggest that depends on what you define as "autoland". There is a Decision Height over at least 200 ft for CAT I landings at which the pilot must take the decision to continue the landing or not.  In the EU that's a legal requirement.

 

 

I

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I have been simming for many years and must admit I dont know the answer to this autoland question.

 

My understanding is that if an aircraft and crew are certified for a Cat II or Cat III autoland, it can be performed at a Cat II or  III equipped airport. But is there any restriction on using autoland on a runway that does not have Cat II or III capability...ie just ILS ?

 

Peter

In every landing the pilot is responsible for the safe flight path of the aircraft. If he doesn't like where it's going/what it's doing it's expected that he'll take over and save the day.

 

Autolands are no different, that's why they're so uncomfortable for pilots, you can't just leave it to do it's thing, you're constantly watching it thinking about what you'd be doing and comparing it to the autopilot... they're rarely the same so you have to judge if it's being dangerous or going wrong and you need to take over or if it's flying within your "comfort zone".*

 

The different CATegory of approaches is just about your decision Alt/Height and visibility requirements, CAT 1 usually being around 200ft and 550m. CAT 111B being zero and about 75m (so you can see enough to taxi off the runway).

 

You can attempt an autoland on any runway with an ILS (that's not offset or unusually steep etc) but if that ILS is uncategorised then there's a much higher chance that the aircraft will not follow the approach satisfactorily and you'll have to take over, usually late on near the ground (with all the associated stress and butt clenching that that involves) and isn't much fun. Obviously a CAT111 installation will not always be protected so you can still have problems but it's less likely.

 

At my airline every runway is classified based on it's approach facilities and the airline's experience with it. It's not uncommon for us to have an entry in the AIS for an airport that asks us to do autolands on certain runways to get autoland data/feedback for that runway with an aim to upgrading that runway classification for proper low vis use. This is independant of the ILS category (although obviously you'll never get full autoland classification for an ILS that isn't CAT111!).

 

* This is why real CAT111B approaches in anger are so unpleasant, you're trying to judge if the autopilot is doing the right thing but as you approach the ground you have pretty much zero information to base your decision on. It's really not nice in the flare waiting to see if it goes "Thump, dunk dunk dunk dunk" or "crunch". The relief as the nose comes down and you see the white lights of the runway is immense, you've then got your eyes peeled for the red lights at the end of the runway as you brake quite hard. Your back is also usually recovering as autolands are often not very pretty.

 

The answer to your question is "no", there's no restriction other than the approach DA/DH and vis limits and your responsibilities as a pilot to walk away from the landing (and if you want brownie points to taxi it to the gate and use it again).

 

Hope this helps,

 

Ian

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