Russian Transport Overrun at St. John’s

 - March 3, 2014, 12:30 PM
A number of factors led to the runway overrun of a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 at St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board. The first issue centered on the crew’s decision to land on Runway 11 despite a 13-knot tailwind component that exceeded the manufacturer’s limitations. Reported weather at St. John’s at the time of arrival was a 500-foot ceiling and visibility of four miles in mist. Pilot technique played a role when, in an apparent attempt to achieve a smooth touchdown, the thrust levers were never completely retarded to idle until the four-engine transport was more than 2,000 feet down the runway. The aircraft did not touch down until it had traveled approximately 3,700 feet beyond the runway threshold, which left just 4,282 feet remaining. In addition to the wind and pilot-technique issues, the TSB also determined that the Il-76’s anti-skid system had been incorrectly serviced sometime before to the trip to St. John’s. The hydraulic lines were installed backward in such a way that the anti-skid brake pressure was released on the wheels that were experiencing effective braking and reapplying pressure to wheels that were already skidding. As a result, the aircraft also experienced reverted-rubber hydroplaning at various locations along the runway. The Il-76 suffered only minor damage in the incident.