Final Report: Pilot failed to maintain control

 - March 26, 2007, 7:26 AM

Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Rapid City, S.D., Jan. 17, 2004–The NTSB determined that the left wingtip of the Skywest CRJ hit the runway because of the copilot’s failure to maintain control and the captain’s delay in initiating remedial action. Factors contributing to the accident were the low ceiling and low visibility due to fog, and the aircraft’s deviation from expected performance because of airframe icing.

The flight had held waiting for weather to improve, and the crew began the approach with half-mile visibility. Entering the top of the fog layer, they received an ice caution message. They turned on the wing and engine inlet anti-ice, but accumulation was rapid, from half to five-eighths of an inch. (There was no early stall due to icing before touchdown and no indication that airframe icing had caused any loss of control.)

The pilot spotted the runway when they were 140 feet agl and the copilot, the pilot flying, was having trouble maintaining speed and directional control. The captain told the Safety Board he “again said something about more thrust and keeping the nose down.” The captain took control but the left wingtip scraped the runway. None
of the 35 people on board was injured.