Landing on Tail wind

Planes landing gear remains stuck on the mud

Video Courtesy ABS-CBN

June 26, 2009

Airport remains closed today as technical crews failed to retrieved the plane from the runway end safety area (RESA), an unpaved portion at the end of the runway that further restrict the rolling movements of an aircraft overshooting a runway. It is normally 30 meters in length at the end of paved runway.

The ditch and the mud that helped stop the plane from going further to the sea is also the reason for its difficult retrieval operations as three payloaders failed to remove it away from the runway.

Initial investigation showed that the pilot, Capt. Bernard Hervoso, was directed by air traffic controller to use Runway 06, the “active” runway at the time of approach when he asked for landing instructions from the tower. However, it was reported that Hervoso requested to use Runway 24 instead which was in the wind.

The request was granted, although it would mean that the airplane would be landing with a tail wind. Wind-speed was not immediately known and if it was minimal as not to affect the landing procedure.

Investigators are now verifying eyewitnesses reports that the plane was flying very fast on finals and landed almost at the middle of the less than a kilometer long runway. There was also allegation that the aircraft was overweight on landing as it was carrying more than that allowed for the aircraft for landing at Caticlan airport. There has been suspension of all flights a day before the accident due to typhoon. The MA-60, Q300 and ATR72 which uses the runway are all listed by CAAP to fly Caticlan with weight restrictions, meaning they cannot carry full load of passengers and cargo.

Flight operations in and out of the airport is expected to return to normal schedule by tomorrow.

ICAO Data disclosed that runway overruns and undershoots by aircraft are a relatively frequent occurrence in the world with an average of at least one happening every week worldwide.

Runway overruns are the fourth largest cause of airline fatalities in the US alone. It has been stated by the FAA Airport Design Division that approximately 90% of runway undershoot or overruns are contained within 300 metres of the runway end.

The existence of RESA at the airports runway contributed to a reduction in the consequences of such over-runs as has frequently been demonstrated in avoidable hazardous outcomes as exemplified by this overrun incident.

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