Unsafe Terrain at Runway Ends Continue to Pose Risks to Aviation Safety

GATINEAU, QC, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada today released its investigation report (A11C0102) into the 4 July 2011 runway overrun of a Missinippi Airways Cessna 208B in Pukatawagan, Manitoba.

During takeoff, the aircraft did not become airborne in time, thus a decision was made to abort the takeoff. However, from that point, it could not be stopped before overrunning the runway. The aircraft left the end of the runway, travelled down a steep embankment and into a ravine where it caught fire, killing one and injuring eight others.

"Once again, this investigation demonstrates that hostile terrain at the end of a runway can lead to passenger injuries or death," said Peter Hildebrand, Manager, Central Region Air Operations. "This is why in our Watchlist, we call for airports to lengthen runway end safety areas or to install engineered systems or structures to safely stop aircraft that overrun."

A number of factors, including the takeoff technique, possible shifting winds and soft runway surface conditions contributed to reducing the aircraft's takeoff performance. Also, the deceased passenger was not wearing a shoulder harness, which contributed to the seriousness of post-impact injuries, and subsequently his death in the post-impact fire.

The operator has taken a number of steps to reduce these risks. These include a new short field takeoff procedure and improved training for pilots on takeoff and landing procedures, on the weather conditions and their effects on flight at Pukatawagan, and confirming that passengers are wearing their seatbelts and shoulder harnesses.

The Watchlist— based on an analysis of hundreds of TSB investigation reports, safety concerns and Board recommendations —identifies the transportation safety issues that pose the greatest risk to Canadians. In each case, the TSB has found that actions taken to date are inadequate, and that industry and the regulators need to take additional concrete measures to eliminate the risks.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.


For further information:

TSB Media Relations

The TSB is online at www.bst-tsb.gc.ca. Keep up to date on the latest from the TSB through RSS and Twitter (@TSBCanada).

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