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The Black Hole Approach

''Black hole'' approaches posed a significant hazard to airlines during the 1970s. Since then, a number of advances - ground proximity warning systems, the successful push to have VASI and ILS systems installed on more air carrier runways, and head-up displays - have greatly reduced the incidence of ''black hole'' approach incidents and accidents among carriers flying large jet aircraft. Pilots of regional airlines, however, typically fly more total approaches, more ''black hole'' approaches, and more approaches to runways without vertical guidance. All pilots may benefit from this review of ''black hole'' approaches - especially the explanation of why pilots may be lured into flying into terrain or obstacles despite having the runway in sight throughout the approach.

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