While the NTSB investigation into last month’s runway incursion at Denver International Airport continues, the pilot of one of the aircraft involved said blowing snow, which reduced visibility and covered the taxiway, caused disorientation, leading his Key Lime Air Metroliner to taxi onto an active runway. Pilots of a Frontier Airlines A319 that had been cleared to land saw the Metroliner while only 50 to 100 feet above the runway.
On March 3 Falcon 900EX N973M sustained minor damage during a landing overrun at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. According to the NTSB preliminary report issued today, the trijet was initially cleared for the ILS to Runway 6. However, after a wind check reported the wind from 290 degrees at 10 knots, the pilots requested clearance to land on the reciprocal Runway 24.
Transport Canada increased the minimum visibility required before beginning an approach from the previous 1,200 feet to 1,600 feet, effective December 1. Transport Canada also amended the regulations to prohibit commercial operators, including air taxis, from beginning an approach under conditions in which a successful landing is unlikely.
Runway 14/32 opened in late November at Boston Logan International Airport. The new runway should reduce delays an average of 25 percent, but up to 90 percent when strong northwest winds are blowing. Runway 14/32 isn’t available all the time, but only when northwest or southeast winds are blowing at 10 knots or higher.
Raytheon Beech King Air 100, Pawtucket, R.I., Aug. 13, 2006–The NTSB said that the cause of the gear-collapse accident was the pilot’s misjudging distance and speed during final approach, which resulted in an undershoot and subsequent gear collapse. The 3,374-hour commercial pilot said that while landing on Runway 33 with a seven-knot wind at 300 degrees, the right main gear touched down about two feet before the runway.
Responding to recommendations from Canada’s Transportation Safety Board after at least two low-visibility landing accidents, Transport Canada increased the minimum visibility required before beginning an approach from the previous 1,200 feet to 1,600 feet, effective December 1. The visibility measurement can be made by a sensor or by a qualified observer if a visibility sensor has not been installed or is out of service.
The statistics tell the story. Over the last four years, there have been 1,475 runway-incursion incidents at controlled airports in the U.S., an average of one a day. Data from other countries are not readily available, but experts say incursions are on the rise worldwide. While the Federal Aviation Administration has focused primarily on pilot education initiatives to warn of the dangers of incursions, avionics makers have other ideas.
The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile of France have issued approvals for limited use of Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) in Europe. The EASA STC covers RAAS installation on the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60, while the French authority approved the system for the Boeing 777.
The EMAS arrestor bed at the end of Teterboro (New Jersey) Airport’s Runway 6 is difficult to see at night, and two jets have taxied into the bed, made of porous concrete by ESCO’s Engineered Material Arresting System Division and designed to stop aircraft traveling at high speed. On October 25, a Challenger taxied into the EMAS after landing, one week after installation.
Raytheon Beech King Air 200, Leonardtown, Md., Oct. 12, 2006–Landing on Runway 29 at St. Mary’s County Regional Airport, King Air N528WG touched down on the main gear in a “firm but normal” landing, approximately 1,200 feet down the runway and within four or five feet of the right of centerline. As soon as the airplane touched down, the landing gear warning horn sounded intermittently for several seconds, and the right wing began to drop.