Handling approach to land

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An increasing trend has been identified where pilots mishandle or mismanage their aircraft and flight profile when unexpected events arise during the approach to land. When compared to other phases of flight, the approach and landing has a substantially increased workload. Pilots and crew must continuously monitor aircraft and approach parameters, and the external environment to ensure they maintain a stable approach profile and make appropriate decisions for a safe landing.

Unexpected developments, or any confusion about roles or procedures can contribute to decisions and actions that increase the safety risk to the aircraft and its passengers.

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What can you do?

Standard operating procedures ensure consistency of crew interaction and aircraft operation during an approach and landing.

Make sure you are familiar with the procedures for the approach well ahead of time. If you have any concerns or observe any deviations from the briefed approach, communicate this to the other flight crew without hesitation.

Good communication is vital. If there is any confusion or uncertainty, clarify the situation and take timely action to rectify any deviations before they become a problem.

If there is any doubt about the safety of the aircraft, conducting a go-around is a perfectly legitimate option. Safety trumps scheduling or dignity.

More information

A number of occurrences during the approach to land have been investigated by the ATSB:

Last update 23 November 2018