The Touchdown Set-Up
Be prepared for any last-minute corrections when landing
About 12:19:28, the captain stated, “I got an Airbus right here, and another one out there looks about level with us.”
About 20 seconds later, the approach controller cleared flight 647 to descend and maintain 2,000 feet. At about 12:20:20, the captain advised the first officer that they had intercepted the localizer, adding, “We’re not yet cleared for the approach.”
The first officer responded, “That’s noted.”
At 12:21:00, the pilots told the approach controller that they saw the airport. The approach controller then radioed, “FedEx six-forty-seven-heavy cleared approach runway three-six-right. Maintain 170 knots until MCGHE [6.7 DME miles out], and you can contact the tower now.” The captain acknowledged the clearance and then switched to the MEM tower frequency.
At about 12:21:53, the MEM local controller advised, “FedEx six-forty-seven-heavy, MEM tower, number two following a heavy Airbus two-mile final, caution. Wake turbulence, runway three-six-right. Gain and loss of 10 [knots] short-final runway three-six-right, cleared to land.”