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Sun, Apr 24, 2011

NTSB Releases Prelim On Andrews/Obama Go-Around

Much Ado About Spacing???

There are few pilots with any significant accumulation of flight time that haven't been forced into a go-around when spacing issues became ponderous. While the media is writing this up as another example of ATC problems, most of us know it for what it was... a spacing problem that simply didn't go as the controller/pilots planned and necessitated one more shot at the approach. Been there, done that...

NTSB Identification: OPS11IA499A
14 CFR Armed Forces
Incident occurred Monday, April 18, 2011 in
Aircraft: , registration:
Injuries: Unavailable

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On Monday, April 18, 2011 at 5:06pm: EXEC1F/B737 inbound to Andrews Air Force Base (ADW) heading 220 to join the ILS runway 19 approach descending to 4000 feet. (Reach) RCH3115/C17 (Heavy) was vectored in front of EXEC1F for the ILS runway 19 approach. Closest Proximity 2.94 miles.

Both EXEC1F and REACH3115 were landing at Andrews Air Force Base and radar vectored for an ILS approach to runway 19L. REACH3115 was a heavy jet and EXEC1F was a B737. The required separation is 5 miles in trail for wake turbulence separation.

The radar controller at Potomac TRACON vectored EXEC1F within 3.08 miles of the heavy jet and advised the pilot he was 4 miles in trail. The radar controller advised the pilot of EXEC1F to use caution for wake turbulence, cleared the aircraft for the ILS approach and instructed the pilot to contact Andrews Tower.

As soon as EXEC1F contacted the tower, the tower controller asked ECEX1F to make "S" turns on final to get additional spacing. The pilot of EXEC1F did comply with the request, however, the spacing had continued to deteriorate to 2.94 miles. The tower controller then instructed EXEC1F to "go around" because the spacing was not adequate for landing. The weather was reported to be Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC).

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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