NTSB Addresses Landing Distances, Crew Fatigue

 - June 19, 2008, 11:54 AM

The NTSB issued a number of recommendations yesterday stemming from an April 12, 2007, landing overrun of a Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich. None of the 49 passengers or three crewmembers aboard were injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. According to the Safety Board, “The probable cause of this accident was the pilots’ decision to land without performing a landing distance assessment, which was required by company policy because of runway contamination initially reported by [airport] ground operations personnel and continuing reports of deteriorating weather and runway conditions during the approach.” Additionally, the NTSB said the pilots’ “poor decision-making likely reflected the effects of fatigue produced by a long, demanding duty day.” Another contributing factor cited by the Safety Board was the airport operations supervisor’s “use of ambiguous and unspecific radio phraseology in providing runway braking information.” In its recommendations to the FAA, the NTSB urged the Takeoff/Landing Performance Assessment Aviation Rulemaking Committee to address the need for training on and criticality of conducting landing distance assessments before landing on contaminated runways. It also wants better friction assessments for contaminated runways and more attention on fatigue management.