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Old 12-15-2005, 04:15 PM   #1  
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Default NTSB: Southwest Plane at Midway Needed More Runway

NTSB: Southwest Plane at Midway Needed More Runway

Friday December 16, 2005 12:31 AM


AP Photo CX109

By ANNA JOHNSON

Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - A jetliner that skidded off a landing strip and into a city street needed about 800 more feet of runway to come to a safe stop, federal investigators said Thursday.

The Southwest Airlines jet crushed a car, killing a 6-year-old boy, after it skidded off a 6,500-foot runway and crashed through a fence at Midway International Airport earlier this month.

A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the airplane touched down with about 4,500 feet of runway remaining, but snowy conditions and other factors meant the plane ideally needed about 5,300 feet of runway, according to a report released Thursday.

Jim Hall, a former NTSB chairman not involved in the investigation, said the pilots landed the plane too late.

``You can come to the conclusion that the plane landed long. It touched down too far down the runway,'' he said.

The jet's actual stopping distance was about 5,000 feet, the NTSB report said. A tail wind contributed to the accident because it caused the plane to land faster than normal, according to the report.

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Beth Harbin declined comment on the NTSB's findings.

Midway, which is surrounded by dense neighborhoods, lacks the Federal Aviation Administration's recommended 1,000-foot buffer zone at the end of its runways. Only 82 feet separated the end of the runway and the fence the aircraft crashed through.

Chicago aviation officials have said the FAA has determined there is not enough room at the end of Midway's airstrips to install beds of crushable concrete that can slow an aircraft if it overshoots a runway.

Midway is among nearly 300 commercial airports in the U.S. that don't have adequate runway buffers. A recently passed federal law requires the airfields to extend runway barriers by 2015 or build the concrete beds.

City Department of Aviation officials did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday about the NTSB report.

Investigators said last week that the plane's reverse thrusters, which should have slowed the jetliner, didn't immediately kick in when the pilots tried to deploy them.

The captain also told investigators that the plane didn't decelerate normally so he applied the brakes manually. When the first officer noticed the problem, he moved his seat forward to apply maximum braking, the NTSB said in its report.

Both crew members said they applied maximum pressure to the brakes as the airplane skidded off the runway and came to a stop in the street.

Air traffic controllers said the runway's conditions were fair for most of the runway and poor at the end, according to the NTSB.

It was the first fatal crash in Southwest's 35-year history.

Last edited by Boeingguy; 12-15-2005 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:13 PM   #2  
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My understanding is both directions of that runway have a precision approach. Can anyone explain why the airport would be asking guys to land with a 10Kt tailwind especially with poor runway conditions? I am unfamiliar with Chicago.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:37 PM   #3  
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Minimums are slightly lower on 31 vs. 13 I believe
 
Old 12-15-2005, 05:49 PM   #4  
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It also has to do with what runways i.e. approachs that are in use at O'hare. The gate for 13c is too close to ord for the tracons comfort I guess? I have never seen 13c used. Maybe the do use it but I have never seen it. Usually the will have you do ILS 31C circle to 22 or something. Low weather, contaminated runway, 10 kt tailwind and a short runway. Welcome to Chicago!
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:15 PM   #5  
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They do use it...rarely. Thanks to modern electronic logbooking, I have landed on 13C less than 1% of all the times I have landed there in the last 13 years. (505 total MDW landings with 2 of them on 13C). I would agree about ORD sort of being the higher power as to traffic flow. The fun meter has been pegged more than once landing at that airport.
 
Old 12-15-2005, 07:55 PM   #6  
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NTSB: Plane touched down too late

After agreeing with a Southwest Airlines dispatcher that it was safe to land amid a blowing lake-effect snowstorm, the pilots of Flight 1248 that crashed at Midway Airport touched down long---more than 2,000 feet beyond the edge of the 6,522-foot runway, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

The plane hit the runway forcefully, bouncing and becoming momentarily airborne again, during a 29-second landing attempt that needed at least another 800 feet of runway to avoid hitting anything or anyone.

There was also a longer delay than previously reported in deploying the aircraft's thrust reversers, which are designed to assist the braking system in stopping the plane.

The captain told investigators that he had trouble moving the lever that activates the thrust reversers, which are supposed to begin working as soon as the plane lands. In a separate post-accident interview, the first officer said he reached over after "a few seconds'' and was able to trip the thrust reverser release.

But data from the plane's flight data recorder now show that the thrust reversers did not activate until about 18 seconds after landing, the safety board said. The delay meant that the thrust reversers were working to redirect air from the jet engines in a forward-upwardly direction for only about 14 seconds before the plane hit the fence.

Preliminary calculations, using radar information and the flight data recorder onboard the Boeing 737-700, show that the plane touched down with about 4,500 feet of runway remaining, said a factual report issued by the safety board.

The aircraft needed about 5,300 feet stopping distance to avoid hitting obstructions, the report said.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...81690.story?co
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:57 AM   #7  
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Default NTSB press release dated 15 DEC 05 - SWA Midway

http://www.ntsb.gov/Pressrel/2005/051215.htm

-LA
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:46 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly4Beer
NTSB: Plane touched down too late

After agreeing with a Southwest Airlines dispatcher that it was safe to land amid a blowing lake-effect snowstorm, the pilots of Flight 1248 that crashed at Midway Airport touched down long---more than 2,000 feet beyond the edge of the 6,522-foot runway, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

The plane hit the runway forcefully, bouncing and becoming momentarily airborne again, during a 29-second landing attempt that needed at least another 800 feet of runway to avoid hitting anything or anyone.

There was also a longer delay than previously reported in deploying the aircraft's thrust reversers, which are designed to assist the braking system in stopping the plane.

The captain told investigators that he had trouble moving the lever that activates the thrust reversers, which are supposed to begin working as soon as the plane lands. In a separate post-accident interview, the first officer said he reached over after "a few seconds'' and was able to trip the thrust reverser release.

But data from the plane's flight data recorder now show that the thrust reversers did not activate until about 18 seconds after landing, the safety board said. The delay meant that the thrust reversers were working to redirect air from the jet engines in a forward-upwardly direction for only about 14 seconds before the plane hit the fence.

Preliminary calculations, using radar information and the flight data recorder onboard the Boeing 737-700, show that the plane touched down with about 4,500 feet of runway remaining, said a factual report issued by the safety board.

The aircraft needed about 5,300 feet stopping distance to avoid hitting obstructions, the report said.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...81690.story?co


Typical news media crap. Everything in this story appears to be factual, but it
still misleading. For example, they talk about landing 2000 feet beyond the end, without mentioning that it is illegal/unsafe to land exactly on the end. To the non-pilot reader, this mis leading statement makes the landing distance seem much worse than it was. It would nice if the trib reporter would actually report the facts as they apply to this case. How hard would it have been to say that the airplane needed 5300 feet of a 6500 foot runway? Even with the extra thousand feet wasted in the flare, they should have had 200 feet to spare. Obviously, the long landing wasn't the main problem.

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Old 12-16-2005, 06:03 PM   #9  
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After reading the NTSB info, it seems this landing was possible but with little room for error. I think I am on solid ground when I assert that SW pilots make more landings than virtually any other major airline pilot out there. You could not ask for a more experienced crew to attempt the landing. Unfortunately they are human and it appears they did not make a perfect approach and landing under conditions requiring near perfection. I hope they are cleared of "wrong doing" because this sounds like the kind of incident that could happen to any of us.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:59 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike734
After reading the NTSB info, it seems this landing was possible but with little room for error. I think I am on solid ground when I assert that SW pilots make more landings than virtually any other major airline pilot out there. You could not ask for a more experienced crew to attempt the landing. Unfortunately they are human and it appears they did not make a perfect approach and landing under conditions requiring near perfection. I hope they are cleared of "wrong doing" because this sounds like the kind of incident that could happen to any of us.
Preliminary calculations show that the airplane touched down with about 4,500 feet of remaining runway and was on the runway for about 29 seconds. Preliminary calculations also show that, for the runway conditions and use of brakes and thrust reverser that occurred, the stopping distance without hitting obstructions would have been about 5,300 feet (the actual stopping distance was about 5,000 feet). In addition, had the airplane landing into the wind, rather than with a tail wind, the stopping distance for a landing would have been about 1,000 feet less.

The investigation has revealed that runway 31C was used as the landing runway because it contained lower landing minimums for aircraft using the ILS approach. If runway 13C was used, the runway most aligned with the wind, pilots would have been unable to land because of insufficient landing minimums.

Too many accident factors: excessive tailwind, landing long, and no thrust reversers for 18 seconds. Sounds like a very poor decsion to land on this runway when a diversion would have been much more appropiate. Wonder if fuel was a factor or just tunnel vision to complete the flight.
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