It is way too soon to speculate about what might have caused the Gulfstream IV runway excursion crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass. on May 31, but the NTSB preliminary report’s focus on the gust lock system raises some questions.
The European Operators Flight Data Monitoring Working Group B–part of the European commercial aviation safety team (ECast)–last week released its study into the precursors of runway excursions. The objectives of the working study were to create best practices for addressing runway excursion problems, as well as to provide guidelines for implementing flight data monitoring (FDM) software tools to identify relevant data.
Later this month, the FAA plans to begin testing a new lighting system at Boston Logan Airport that will warn arriving pilots when their runway is occupied by another aircraft. Called the enhanced final approach runway occupancy signal (eFaros), the new system flashes the existing precision approach path indicator lights to indicate the runway is not safe for landing long before the aircraft is committed to touchdown.
The Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) labeled an American Airlines flight crew’s reduced situational awareness as the primary cause of the December 2009 runway excursion by a Boeing 737-800 at Kingston Airport. The aircraft departed Miami carrying 148 passengers and a crew of six, and all occupants survived the accident.
Preliminary Report: TBM 700 Crashes into Reservoir
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said an additional go-around might have prevented a January 23 wet-runway excursion involving a chartered Fairchild SA-226 turboprop at Archerfield in Queensland.
An anticipated $35 million runway reconstruction and expansion project at Dallas Executive Airport is expected to begin this summer. The plan calls for a phased rehabilitation program on the airport’s 6,451-foot and 3,800-foot runways, followed by an extension of main Runway 13/31 to 7,000 feet, in 2016, making the field more appealing for large-cabin business jet operations.
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.
Flight crews headed for Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) should pay special attention to the new Rnav (GPS) Z Runway 22L approach published February 6. The new procedure could increase the potential for conflict with smaller general aviation aircraft traveling along Lake Michigan’s western shoreline. The new RNP/GPS procedure will bring traffic across Chicago’s lakeshore just south of the downtown buildings for a straight-in to 22L.
The January 5 crash of a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R during the crew’s second attempted landing at Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE) has prompted pilots to question both their own limitations and the difficulties involved in landing at the Denver resort. Even under visual conditions, mountains that rise 5,000 to 6,000 feet above field elevation make Aspen a one-way-in, one-way-out airport: land on Runway 15 and depart from Runway 33.