Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Exclusive: Lion Air crash pilot felt jet "dragged" from sky

Recently in the Bay Area we have experienced continued extreme windy conditions accompanied by major turbulence with SFO regularly reporting winds up to 45-50 kts.  Many of the smaller airports such as SQL, PAO, and HWD have reported winds as high as 28 gusting 38 kts. 

A few days ago around 2 pm a student and I were going out for some traffic pattern work at PAO.  The winds were manageagle but then started picking up dramatically as we taxied out.  By the time we took off the winds were 18 gusting to 22-25 kts about 30 degrees off the runway heading.  So I said to my student that the first one would be a test and we would make a decision wether to continue after that.

Sure enough it was quite turbulent, and then on final the preceding aircraft reported -15 kts of windshear.  Well that made the decision...and we terminated the flight.  ATC is required to announce the pilot report of windshear and then record it on the subsequent ATIS. When I flew for the airlines, any detection of windshear was an automatic go-around.

Exclusive: Lion Air crash pilot felt jet "dragged" from sky

By Tim Hepher and Trisha Sertori

PARIS/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - The pilot whose Indonesian jet slumped into the sea while trying to land in Bali has described how he felt it "dragged" down by wind while he struggled to regain control, a person familiar with the matter said.

All 108 passengers and crew miraculously survived when the Boeing 737 passenger jet, operated by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air, undershot the tourist island's main airport runway and belly-flopped in water on Saturday.


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