Preliminary Report: Fractional overrun

 - May 15, 2008, 10:04 AM

MITSUBISHI MU-300, CLEVELAND, OHIO, FEB. 10, 2002–Substantially damaged aircraft and uninjured pilots do not often go hand-in-hand but two pilots remained just so in an overrun at Cleveland Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF). The crew was landing after a Part 91 positioning flight from Palwaukee (Ill.) Airport (PWK) in night IMC, with snow and high winds. While the reports are still preliminary, some conflict exists over the point of touchdown: the pilots estimate they landed 500- to 600 ft down the runway; a snow plow operator said it was beyond the midpoint of the 5,101-ft runway.

Operated by Flight Options, the jet was dispatched by company personnel after it completed a flight from Marquette, Mich., to PWK. When the crew arrived in PWK and received the next leg assignment to CGF, the PIC checked weather and refueled. He called CGF tower and asked about the weather and braking reports. A Citation landed moments before and reported braking action as “good.”

The crew departed PWK about 2152 and the SIC flew an unremarkable leg to CGF in the left seat. As they reached the Cleveland area, the approach controller gave the current weather at their destination: 300 ft overcast, visibility one-half mile in snow and winds from 320 deg, variable to 350 deg, at 12 kt to 15 kt gusting to 25 kt. Cleveland Hopkins was closed at the time for snow removal.

Approach controllers vectored the jet for the ILS Runway 23 approach following a Hawker. According to the SIC, the vectoring was poor and he flew through the localizer course. He was re-vectored and established the approach at 2,000 ft. The PIC told investigators he decided that if they did not stabilize the aircraft on the approach by 1,900 ft they would initiate a missed approach.

The ILS Runway 23 procedure places glideslope intercept eight miles out at 3,000 ft. The final approach fix is located 4.1 mi from the threshold at 2,262 ft. Straight-in minimums for the approach are 1,079 ft (200 ft agl).

Both pilots estimated they broke out several hundred feet above decision height and believed the airspeed was not excessive. As the approach stabilized, the PIC reported inbound to the tower and heard the Hawker’s report that the braking action was “poor.” The SIC recalled applying maximum braking at touchdown and felt the airplane begin to slide to the right, but neither pilot felt the anti-skid pulsating. As they realized they were not slowing sufficiently and a go-around was no longer an option, they attempted to slow the aircraft as much as possible before the overrun. Both pilots estimated rolling off the end at between 20 mph and 40 mph. The nosegear collapsed, damaging the pressure bulkhead as it hit a mound, and the aircraft finally stopped.

Condition reports by CGF personnel, which were taken approximately 15 min before the accident, showed Runway 5/23 had a “thin layer of snow” and the runway was plowed. They reported braking action at that time as “good” near the approach end, “fair” in the middle and “fair” at the rollout section. Friction-meter readings for Runway 23 showed “approach end 50, midpoint 45, rollout 45.” Concurrently recorded weather reported “wind from 330 deg at 12 kt, gusts to 22 kt, visibility 3/4 mi in light snow, overcast clouds at 300 ft.”

The snow plow operator parked at taxiway intersection A8, near the departure end, while the aircraft landed. He saw the Hawker land and heard the poor braking action report. He told investigators he watched the MU-300 touch down between the A5 and A6 taxiway intersections. According to the airport’s taxiway diagram, the A5 intersection is about 2,868 ft from the approach end and A6 is about 432 ft farther.