A “delayed decision to initiate a go-around after an approach had become unstabilized” lead to the hard landing of a Hawker 800XP on Dec. 20, 2020, that substantially damaged the airplane and seriously injured the copilot, according to a newly released NTSB final report. The twinjet was on a Part 91 business flight.
The Safety Board said the pilots were conducting an ILS approach in night IMC to Farmingdale, New York, when they were advised by the tower controller that the weather had deteriorated below minimums. At the time, the captain was the pilot monitoring and the first officer was the pilot flying. Since the airplane was inside the FAF and stabilized, both pilots agreed to continue and said they had the runway approach lighting in sight at the 200-foot decision height.
As the first officer continued, he looked outside, saw that the weather had deteriorated, and was “no longer comfortable” with the approach. He pressed the takeoff and go-around switch at about 50 feet agl, added full power, and called for the flaps to be retracted to 15 degrees. However, the airplane hit the ground about five seconds later.
The CVR recording revealed that the copilot flew a coupled approach to 50 feet agl when he initiated the go-around. But the NTSB noted that a coupled approach was not authorized below 240 feet agl on this procedure.