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Florida Flyer 01-19-2010 11:11 PM

PSA CRJ 200 Skids off Runway at CRW
 
Of all the airports to have an over-run incident, I think CRW (Charleston, West Virginia) is one of the least desirable. Thank goodness for the EMAS. Without it, I fear we might have had 33 fatalities. Anyone who has ever been to CRW knows the unforgiving landscape that awaits aircraft that over-run a runway (think immediately falling 1000 feet down a steep hill side into a ravine). Amazingly, the aircraft stopped approx. 100 feet from the edge of the hill top after plowing through 3/4 of the EMAS barrier. I'm just thankful that nobody was hurt in what could have been a major catastrophe.

Plane skids off runway at Yeager; airport reopens - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A US Airways Express regional jet carrying 30 passengers and three crew members aborted its takeoff at Charleston's Yeager Airport on Tuesday, rolled onto an overrun area at the end of the main runway, and came to a stop in a specially designed safety zone about 100 feet from the edge of the hilltop airport.

No one was injured in the incident, which took place shortly before 4:30 p.m. The airport remained closed until the 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet, which was bound for Charlotte, N.C., could be removed from the safety zone.


The safety zone contains a runway-wide Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS), comprised of concrete blocks designed to collapse under the weight of an airplane and bring it to a safe stop. It was installed in 2008 for $5 million as part of Yeager's new runway extension project.

The jet's wheels were buried in the EMAS material, with its fuselage coming to rest only a few feet above the specially engineered pavement.

A crane was brought in and used to remove the aircraft from the safety zone. The airport reopened shortly before 10 p.m.


"The EMAS system did exactly what it was supposed to do," said Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper. "My understanding is that the US Airways plane rolled through about three-fourths of the EMAS at the Charleston end of the runway.


"If it hadn't been for the EMAS, I'm convinced a catastrophic accident would have occurred."


Passengers were taken off the plane and back into the terminal.

"It was a little scary, but everyone remained calm," said Julia Shaffer of Valrico, Fla.


"We were going pretty fast down the runway and then all of a sudden we started to slow down and it started to get bumpy. Then we completely stopped," said her 14-year-old son, Jonah. "I thought the tire had shredded or something.


"But when we stopped it seemed like the wing was a little lower to the ground than it should be," he said. That was due to the plane sinking into the EMAS.

"We sat in the plane for a little while until the firemen came, and then we just went down the ladder and walked out," he said.


After the aircraft came to rest, "The pilot said he decided to stop because he was getting some kind of a warning signal," said Julia Shaffer. "He said he thought it was better to stop on the ground than in the air.


"He had to make a split-second decision, and I'm glad he decided to stop. Everyone's safe -- that's all that matters. It all happened pretty fast. No one was panicky."


"It was kind of alarming -- kind of a jerky ride before we stopped really close to the end of the runway," said Lindsay Robinson of Charleston, who was among the Charlotte-bound passengers. "But everyone seemed really calm."


Julia and Jonah Shaffer, along with Julia's husband Steve and Jonah's sister Hannah, had spent the past several days skiing with relatives at Winterplace.


"I think Jonah's hoping this means we can stay here and keep skiing," said Julia Shaffer.


Authorities did not immediately know what warning signal prompted the pilot to abort the flight.


"The cost to repair the EMAS area will be enormous," said Carper. "But when you have everyone walk away uninjured from something like this, the cost is insignificant."


Staff writer Kathryn Gregory contributed to this report.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at [email protected]

sinsilvia666 01-19-2010 11:23 PM

raises the glass to emas !

Phuz 01-19-2010 11:44 PM

psa use reduced power takeoffs at crw, or any airport?

Mach X 01-20-2010 12:23 AM

Sounds like everything turned out ok.... I'm glad the bulk of the article was based on the testimony of a 14 year old.....

FlyingNasaForm 01-20-2010 12:34 AM


Originally Posted by Florida Flyer (Post 747480)
"I think Jonah's hoping this means we can stay here and keep skiing," said Julia Shaffer.

LOL


Originally Posted by Phuz (Post 747490)
psa use reduced power takeoffs at crw, or any airport?

Yea they do. However I'm not sure if the aero data numbers would call for reduced power with 30 pax and a relatively low density altitude (for crw) or not.

FlyJSH 01-20-2010 12:45 AM

He had to make a split-second decision, and I'm glad he decided to stop. Everyone's safe -- that's all that matters.

Amen. That's why we get paid the big bucks.

Cudos to the crew, and cudos to the EMAS.

N9373M 01-20-2010 03:29 AM

Great Quote!

After the aircraft came to rest, "The pilot said he decided to stop because he was getting some kind of a warning signal," said Julia Shaffer. "He said he thought it was better to stop on the ground than in the air.

Kudos on the decision making in and out of the cockpit

HercDriver130 01-20-2010 03:36 AM

yep....stopping in the air is a BAD BAD thing...

Good Job!!!

Airway 01-20-2010 05:30 AM


Originally Posted by HercDriver130 (Post 747511)
yep....stopping in the air is a BAD BAD thing...

Good Job!!!

I think that depends, doesn't it? Without EMAS, this airplane would have literally definitely gone off the end of the runway (considering it plowed through 3/4 of the EMAS ending up about 100 ft from the cliff) killing likely everbody. Above 80 knots, there are very few things you're supposed to abort for. I hope for their sake they weren't above V1. And if they were under V1, they need to figure out why the figures didn't work.

There are a lot of questions that I for one am curious about.

John Pennekamp 01-20-2010 05:58 AM

Holy crap! That is a very BAD airport to have an overrun. For the sake of all of us, I'm glad no one was injured!

As a side note, let's refrain from pointing fingers and second guessing the crew's decision. "There by the grace of God go I".


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