Home » ASN News
AAIU: pilot misidentifies building lights for approach lights; descends below M
19 September 2007

On 16 August 2007, 23:34 a serious incident occurred to McDonnell Douglas MD-83, G-FLTM, while on approach to Dublin Airport (DUB). The aircraft had earlier departed Lisbon as flight FLT344E with the co-pilot acting as Pilot Flying (PF). As a result of maintenance on the main runway (RWY 10/28) at Dublin Airport, RWY 34 was the active runway. Weather conditions were good at the time of the incident.
At approximately 5NM from touchdown on RWY 34 the aircraft began to deviate left of the approach course. The aircraft continued to descend below the MDA without proper visual identification of the runway in use.
On the instruction of ATC the aircraft turned right and climbed to a safe altitude. The aircraft was given radar vectors by ATC to an approach on RWY 16 and landed without further incident.
It was found that lighting from a 16-storey building situated at Santry Cross appeared, at night, to resemble the red and white lights of a runway approach light system. The building is equipped with four fixed red obstacle lights situated on the roof. (AAIU)