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Complex Weather Conditions and Awareness

Complex Weather Conditions and Awareness

On 14 September 2010, the crew of a Sichuan Airlines Airbus A319 continued an ILS approach into Wuxi despite awareness of adverse convective weather conditions at the airport. Their inattention to automation management then led to a low energy warning and the inappropriate response to this led to the activation of flight envelope protection quickly followed by a stall warning. Inappropriate response to this was followed by loss of control and a full stall and high rate of descent. The crew eventually recovered control of the aircraft at less than 900 ft AGL and made an uneventful diversion to Ningbo.

The event was identified as a Serious Incident and an Investigation was carried out by the CAAC assisted by QAR data and flight crew interviews. An examination of the aircraft by engineers in Ningbo on arrival found that it remained airworthy. The reported cause of this incident was the “flight crews’ inappropriate decisions and handling under adverse weather conditions”.

When approaching complex weather conditions, flight crews should keep alert to all relevant flight data, improve their situation awareness, make early preparation for decisive action to prevent inappropriate decisions and actions that can bring the flight at increased risk.

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