New Pilots

ATR: Operators have freedom to set crosswind limits

2015 12 10

Crosswind limits for ATR turboprops are not fixed thresholds and carriers should adapt them to suit their own operation, the airframer insists.

ATR’s response follows concerns expressed by Romania’s civil aviation safety authority that crosswind limits published in the flight crew operating manual are too high.

The authority had formally commented on the limits during the inquiry into aCarpatair ATR 72 landing accident at Rome which substantially damaged the aircraft.

Investigators found the turboprop’s crew had conducted the approach at high speed in strong gusting crosswinds.

ATR’s operating manual lists maximum demonstrated crosswinds, for a dry runway approach, of 35kt for the ATR 72 and 45kt for the ATR 42.

But the Romanian authority believes the published limits should be reduced because the aircraft becomes difficult to handle close to these thresholds.

ATR points out, however, that the airframer does not define the crosswind limit because it is not part of the certification.

Although the operating manual features demonstrated values, ATR states: “Typically operators define their own crosswind limits and incorporate those within their standard operating procedures.”

ATR also emphasises the Carpatair inquiry’s conclusion regarding the excessive approach speed of the aircraft. The airframer says it recommends “adherence to the quoted approach speeds”.

It intends to give “feedback” to the investigation into the 2 February 2013 accident, which was carried out by Italian authority ANSV.