Embraer E170, Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2007–The Shuttle America Embraer was substantially damaged when it hit a localizer antenna and a fence after overrunning snow-covered Runway 28 when landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The 74 people on board, including the captain, first officer and two flight attendants, were not injured.
The June 2003 fatal crash of a Bombardier CRJ100 operated by Brit Air (a subsidiary of Air France) near Brest airport in France, was caused mainly by the pilots’ forgetting to select the autopilot approach mode (appr) when they began their approach, according to the final report of the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA). The pilot was killed and five of the other 23 occupants of F-GRJS were injured in the accident.
The probable cause of the Nov. 22, 2004 crash of a Gulfstream III during an attempted ILS Runway 4 approach to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, according to the NTSB, “was the flight crew’s failure to adequately monitor and cross-check the flight instruments during the approach.
The 70-seat Embraer 170 regional jet has received certification from Brazilian aviation authority Centro Tecnico Aeroespacial and from the European Aviation Safety Agency to perform Category IIIa (CAT IIIa autolanding) operations. CAT IIIa autolanding requires an autopilot system to safely land the airplane at low visibility (600 ft or 200 meters runway visual range) and in adverse weather conditions.
The Department of Defense (DOD) recently unveiled its program for JPALS, the joint precision approach and landing system. The DOD describes JPALS–which is similar to, and compatible with, the FAA’s GPS local area augmentation system (LAAS), with the addition of a few military bells and whistles–as a critical future system for all Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines aircraft.
Landings to below Cat I and II ILS minimums have been possible for more than three decades, but the price of admission until recently has been autoland certification of the aircraft and crew.
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