Foz do Iguaçu (via Porto Alegre) – a close call

Posted: June 27, 2011 in Brazil

I had thought I would be making a simple flight of just over 2 hours from Belo Horizonte to Foz do Iguaçu…Hadn´t planned on flying into a tropical storm. The turblance was the worst I have EVER experienced and the landing was something else! Zero visibilty, bouncing around violently, drinks being knocked over, pitching from side to side. Under carriage was down, flaps fully extended and down, plane slowing and loosing altitude. I guess we were coming in with the assistance of ILS

a ground-based instrument approach system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching and landing on a runway, using a combination of radio signals and, in many cases, high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing – wikipedia

 This relies on the pilot making visual contact before making the final decision to land. It was at this point I experienced my first MISSED APPROACH,

if the pilot flying or the pilot in command determines by the time the aircraft is at the decision height (for a precision approach) or missed approach point (for a non-precision approach), it the that the runway or its environment is not in sight, or that a safe landing cannot be accomplished for any reason, the landing approach must be discontinued and the missed approach procedure must be initiated immediately – wikipedia

Sounds pretty harmless and simple enough but wow it is pretty intense! Basically the pilot pumps the accelerator to full blast, the engines howl and over 50 tonnes of falling Boeing 737-300 bottoms out with a jolt and starts to lift again.

Some very scared sick looking locals who were clearly distressed by the experience. We were re-routed to Porto Alegre which was the nearest ILS catagory 3 airport and all put up in the 4 star Intercontinental Hotel.


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