Possible Ground Switching Failure in Jackson Hole Overrun

 - January 5, 2011, 3:56 AM

A problem with a weight on wheels (WOW) switch is being eyed in the American Airlines Boeing 757-200 that ran off the end of snow contaminated Runway 19 at Jackson Hole, Wyo., on December 29. The flight from Chicago with 181 aboard ended up in the snow 658 feet beyond the end of the 6,300-foot-long runway; however, there were no injuries or damage to the aircraft. Sources told AIN that the incident aircraft had a previous problem with its WOW switch system that automatically deploys spoilers, thrust reversers and autobrakes once sensors detect weight on the main landing gear. Passenger video shot just forward of the left wing shows a perfectly positioned touchdown, but the thrust reversers failed to deploy until 30 seconds into the landing roll. American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle could not confirm or deny the report about the faulty WOW switch. The NTSB declined comment, but did revoke American’s party to investigation status after it violated protocol by downloading the aircraft’s digital flight data recorder (DFDR) before turning it over to the Board. Martelle insisted that the DFDR data was not compromised, nor was there any “attempt to circumvent the collaborative process with the NTSB or FAA.”