NTSB Identification: NYC01IA068.
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Scheduled 14 CFR JetBlue Airways, Inc.
Incident occurred Sunday, January 21, 2001 in Jamaica, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2002
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A320-232, registration: N509JB
Injuries: 145 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
The flight crew planned and briefed for an autoland to runway 4R, with winds from 340 degrees at 17 knots, and gusts to 23 knots. The runway had been plowed, and was covered with thin wet snow. On final approach to runway 4R, the control tower gave the pilots winds from 340 degrees at 15 knots, and braking action poor. About 1 second after nose wheel touchdown, the airplane deviated left and the auto-pilot system corrected back. About 11 seconds after touchdown, the airplane deviated left again, did not correct back, and the pilot disconnected the autopilot to regain directional control. He was unable to restore runway heading, and kept the airplane straight as it departed the runway on the left side. The MU readings given to the flight crew, and on the ATIS, of .28, .28, and .26 were 5 hours old. A more recent MU reading of .21, .23, and .24, was 3 hours old, and had not been placed on the ATIS. The control tower did not have a tracking procedure in place for adding revised MU readings to the ATIS, nor was it required. However, airport operations personnel reported they had transmitted the revised readings to the control tower. The airplane FCOM stated, "...automatic roll out performance has been approved on dry and wet runway, but performance has not been demonstrated on snow covered or icy runway." Heavy snow had been falling earlier. Light snow was reported at the 0506 and all subsequent weather observations. The runway was last plowed and treated 3 hours earlier. An FAA inspector reported the runway condition was loose snow over patches of hard packed snow and ice.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The pilot's decision to perform an auto rollout on a snow contaminated runway, which had not been demonstrated, and which resulted in a loss of directional control, when the capability of the autoland system to maintain directional control was exceeded. Factors were the failure of the control tower to ensure that the results of the latest MU reading were available to the pilots, the crosswind, and the snow covered runway. Full narrative available
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