The Merpati MA-60 accident in Kaimana have stirred the country to the point of being ridiculous. Whilst I have kept away from its discussions in the social media to keep my sanity, sometimes, one just cannot stay quiet!
Most of the debate have evolved around "aircraft made in China", or "it is not FAA certified", and, "Why are we using planes made in China when we have our locally built CN235?"
It is very disturbing that no one seems to bother to check the basic facts of the accident. Kaimana Airport, has 1 NDB, but no instrument approach procedures. To land at Kaimana airport, one has to approach visually, meaning, the visibility has to be 5km for you to even start the approach, otherwise one would be illegal.
So with all this talk about how bad the MA-60, everyone seems to ignore the fact that weather at the airport was reported at 2 kilometers, yes, TWO kilometers. Do this on a CN235, an ATR, or any other plane, and crash... Would people still blame the aircraft?
I have heard "cowboys" and/or their backers say they can land below the VFR minimum by using the GPS. Sure, GPS can give you down to the equivalent of a VOR/DME approach but only if your GPS is approved for approaches AND if you are following a certified GPS approach procedure.
Now when you start "playing with fate", you're on uncovered territory regardless how many times you've been in that situation before. When you conduct an illegal GPS approach, what happens when you go-around? If you are approaching Kaimana for runway 01, remember the hills beyond the airport and that your escape path is to make a 180 left turn over the water. This sounds simple, but, to do so in instrument meteorological conditions while making the turn visually can and most likely will give you spatial disorientation!
Let's be fair here! As much as I do not like the MA-60, as much as I think it's a plane wreck waiting to happen, in the case of this accident one must not just look at one's view and be objective... WHY LAND WHEN THE CONDITIONS WOULD YIELD YOU AN ILLEGAL APPROACH?
When will people here stop blaming anything but ourselves when we have only ourselves to blame? Let's be fair shall we?
posted from Bloggeroid