Descent below Minimum Vectoring Altitude
14 Dec 2015
On 26 October 2010, a B738 was radar vectored towards mountainous terrain and simultaneously given descent clearance to an altitude which was 5000 feet below the applicable MVA, whilst in IMC without full flight crew awareness. Two TAWS ‘PULL UP’ hard warnings occurred in quick succession as a result. The flight crew responses were as prescribed and the subsequent investigation found that the closest recorded proximity to terrain had been 655 feet. It was established that the controller had ‘forgotten’ about MVA. Nevertheless, the event alsoemphasises the responsibility of flight crews to maintain awareness of terrain, regardless of whether they are under radar control.