Not lined up!

Pro Member First Officer
HowardsRock First Officer

I don't usually have this problem, but the other day, I was flying my 737-400 from San Antonio to Wash-Dulles. I intercepted the ILS into runway 1L about 25-30 miles out. Descent was no problem...the autopilot seemed to be lining the plane up nicely (it had plenty of time to get lined up - 25 miles out and going slow). But when I got near the threshold, I was too far to the right of the runway. Had I tried to go ahead and land, I would have touched down on the runway, but would have slid off of it to the left very quickly. So I decided to abort the landing. I went full throttle, raised the gear and the flaps, but by that time it was too late. The plane struck the ground and then went haywire. Needless to say, I killed 150 people including myself.

Any ideas what could have gone wrong? I thought using the autopilot to line up (ILS freq dialed in, using NAV) was supposed to line you up perfectly with the centerline. Does the autopilot also correct for crosswinds?

Just can't figure out what happened. Very unusual.

3 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
kianok First Officer

Not sure about the crosswind but i'm sure the ILS should keep you on course.

Had a similar problem while landing at London City airport...... while tracking the ILS the plane way over compensates resulting in a rollercoaster decent! maybe a bug????

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

It's possible that the ILS for that airport is messed up. It's happened before. I think Radarman knows some type of fix...

Pro Member Trainee
Prozac919 Trainee

You shouldn't use the autopilot to land on an ILS approach (unless you have an autoland system and the approach is certified for it -- ie CAT III ILS). If you fly a coupled approach, you should disconnect the autopilot no later than IFR minimums (usually 200' for a CAT I ILS, 100' for a CAT II ILS). The category of ILS is printed at the top of the approach procedure.

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