Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
Ansett NZ
Review Ansett New Zealand's use of configuration procedures designed to obviate unwanted GPWS warnings.
Reply Text
Since the accident, Ansett New Zealand has critically reviewed its policy as regards aircraft configuration. The Company considers it significant that while the Manufacturers Manual is silent on the issue of non-precision approaches, in general, the manufacturer's recommendation in relation to precision approaches is that the flaps are extended to approach setting before guide slope capture, i.e. descent. (See Flight Manual section 4/3/7).

The practice of early configuration is intended to enhance rather than compromise safety of the flight during the landing approach phase, and the procedure does not prevent the GPWS from providing effective warning. The early configuration procedure appears common to a number of airlines, indeed to all airlines both in New Zealand and overseas that Ansett New Zealand has contacted regarding this matter.

It would therefore appear, that Ansett New Zealand's policy and procedure of aircraft configuration reflects "mainstream" aviation practice and is not a procedure or practice unique to the Company. Accordingly, before the Company takes any further steps in relation to this practice and/or departs from the practice, Ansett New Zealand proposes to further study and review the practice with a view to assessing whether the advantages of positive flight safety resulting from the practice outweigh any safety disadvantage.

In short, Ansett New Zealand has adopted the recommendation by reviewing the Company's procedure, but to date no change to the Company's procedure has been initiated.
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