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Lufthansa Cargo, Fuel Emergency Forces Landing

A Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11, registration D-ALCM performing flight GEC-8408 (dep Nov 5th) from Novosibirsk (Russia) to Shanghai Pudong (China), was on final approach to Pudong's runway 34R at 02:23L (18:23Z Nov 5th) when the crew went around when they could not establish visual contact with the runway at minimums. The aircraft positioned for another approach to runway 35R, but went around a second time from minimums at 02:40L (18:40Z) about 17 minutes after the first go-around. The aircraft entered a hold at 900 meters (2900 feet), then positioned for a third approach to Pudong's runway 35R and touched down at 03:15L (19:15Z) about 52 minutes after the first go around. The aircraft rolled out without incident and taxied to the apron. China's CAAC reported in a safety bulletin, that low visibility procedures were in effect due to fog. RVR for runway 34R at 02:24L was 1500 meters, RVR for runway 35R at 02:41L was 175 meters and below CAT II minima. Air Traffic Control recommended to divert to Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport about 24nm west of Pudong Airport, the crew declined however reporting they were low on fuel with 30 minutes remaining. The crew instead decided to attempt another approach to Pudong's runway 35R, at that time RVR was 200 meters, the controllers reminded the crew the weather conditions were still below minimum conditions required for the approach. The crew performed an emergency landing at 03:16L and rolled out safely with 1.6 tons of fuel, about 15-20 minutes endurance remaining. On Apr 3rd 2017 Germany's BFU reported in their November Bulletin (erroneously stating the aircraft landed on Nov 5th 2016 03:16L) that the airport was covered in fog causing a number of missed approaches. The crew declared emergency due to low fuel and performed another ILS CAT II approach to Pudong's runway 35R and landed. Following landing about 2.0 tons of fuel were remaining on board, the required minimum fuel reserve was 3.3 tons. The BFU have accredited a representative to the investigation of China's CAAC. The occurrence aircraft was involved in another landing below minimum fuel reserve on Jun 5th 2016 in Mexico, see Incident: Lufthansa Cargo MD11 at Mexico City and Acapulco on Jun 5th 2016, landed below final fuel reserve and dropped a nose wheel in Argentina on Nov 10th 2016, see Accident: Lufthansa Cargo MD11 at Buenos Aires on Nov 10th 2016, dropped left nose wheel upon touchdown.

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