Trans States United Express Ottawa airport skid

 CTV News Photo
A United Express flight lies in the grass at the Ottawa International Airport after skidding off the runway in the CTV News Sept. 4 photo.

On Sept. 5 Harry Gow wrote, "I am not surprised that a small airline like Trans States is running out of credit with the senior carrier. There has been a lot of action in the USA with this kind of secondary outfit using junior aircrew and making them work long hours to the point that fatigue blunts perceptions and hinders reactions something like intoxication can.

There have been issues with recording of maintenance and safety checks with a number of lower-tier carriers flying in Western Canada in the past.

 Gow is the founding president of Transport Action Canada

On 5 Sept. 5 Gerry Einarsson wrote:

In some ways, this incident reminds me of the Air France accident at Toronto. Weather, pilot decisions to land and a long landing were factors Toronto; and possibly in Ottawa. Firstly, I believe that there is no fundamental problem landing on that runway with an Embraer 145 – the aircraft is capable, and the runway length supports landings under adverse conditions.

 The next questions arise as to whether the conditions were accurately reported, and if so, was the crew decision to continue correct. Some special conditions might include micro-bursts / downdrafts, vortexes created by previous landing aircraft (especially if they were heavies), amongst other conditions. If so, then one has to consider the Crew, and the Equipment. If the Crew were not incapable for some reason (illness, training, fatigue etc.) then did the equipment fail (brakes, tires, reverse thrusters, spoilers, flaps etc.).

Hydroplaning was suggested. Training should cover that, indicating that it is important to bleed off enough speed to allow the tires to come in contact with the concrete. Unequal traction from side to side of the aircraft does tend to destabilize the Was there any FOD on the runway – say from a previous flight or maintenance? Usually the runways are swept and the friction coefficient known / established. If for some reason that were significantly reduced, the landing would be at risk.

Because of the usual complexity of aircraft incidents, the TSB investigation tends to be lengthy, although they often release preliminary indications if he evidence is compelling.

Although I rarely like to speculate on probable causes, considering that the weather didn’t appear to be particularly remarkable (we only got a brief shower in BBH), I would have to suggest that the incident would likely point to some decision made by the crew or equipment failure. Factors to consider regarding the crew decision to continue the landing would have to be; experience, training, fatigue etc. It might be one bearing some similarity to the Buffalo incident, although the crew in this incident appear to be mature enough that they should have significant flight experience.

I’m sure that other possibilities will surface as the investigation proceeds, but at the moment – these cover the waterfront from my perspective at this point in time. Other factors were that this is the third such incident with the same airline and aircraft type at Ottawa. There are also questions about whether the passengers were evacuated promptly. (There was a fuel spill and risk of fire). 

Gerry Einarsson covers aviation issues for Transport Action.

David Jeanes noted: I have not heard how quickly the airport firefighters responded. Other factors were that this is the third such incident with the same airline and aircraft type at Ottawa. There are also questions about whether the passengers were evacuated promptly. (There was a fuel spill and risk of fire). 

David Jeanes is the national president of Transport Action Canada. Same jet, same firm in three accidents

Ottawa Citizen, Trans States Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways

The United Express plane that slid into a field Sunday was the third Embraer 145 jet from the same company, Trans States Airlines, to overshoot the runway at Ottawa International Airport while attempting to land during rain. Trans States Airlines is a regional carrier headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri, that operates as United Express for United Airlines and US Airways Express for US Airways.
Carol Thompson, Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 6

Transport Action Canada  and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre cover Aviation Safety News. Public Interest Advocacy Centre monitors aviation legislation. PIAC has standing before the Canadian Transportation Agency and the courts. Transport Action Canada is represented on the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council. The Aviation Safety News readers’ group includes top aviation safety authorities, industry and civil service professionals.