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On October 13, 2006, at 1134 Pacific daylight time, a Gulfstream Aerospace G1159B (G2B), N113AR, taxied into the EMAS (Engineered Materials Arresting System) area at the departure end of runway 8 at Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Burbank, California. The owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane was not damaged. The captain, first officer, one flight attendant, and four passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1100, with an intended destination of BUR. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.
In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board, the captain (flying pilot) reported that the 30- to 35-minute flight from LAS to BUR was uneventful. They were handed off from the Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (Joshua Approach) controller to the BUR controller. The BUR controller cleared them to land on runway 8. The captain reported that the airplane landed on the first 20 percent of the runway (about 1,200 feet down the runway). The landing was normal with no indication of sliding or skidding. The airplane continued down the runway slowing to a taxi speed. At the end of the runway, he attempted to turn the airplane 180 degrees to exit the runway. Unbeknownst to the flight crew was the existence of the EMAS. The captain indicated that the EMAS system was not depicted on the airport diagram or the Jeppesen approach plate for BUR airport.
The captain reported that there was no visual indication as to the softness of the EMAS material; it has the appearance of concrete. He reported that as he increased the engines' power to make the turn, the nose wheel touched the EMAS and immediately sank, and continued to slide an additional 15 feet due to the slickness of the material.
Witnesses at the airport reported that the airplane continued down the runway at a taxi speed after landing, and as it was making a turn to exit the runway, traversed into the EMAS area.
A Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) responded to the incident. He observed a black mark the last 300 feet of the runway to the EMAS area. There were no additional black markings in that location. The width of the mark was measured and compared to the width of the tire; the measured width of the mark and landing gear tire were identical. The skid mark was 458 feet in length from the start of the skid mark to the EMAS area. The IIC was able to further identify that that the black mark came from the left inboard tire. There were no scuffs or bald marks on the landing gear tires.
According to BUR Airport Operations, the threshold bar to the EMAS area had been resurfaced 3 months prior to the incident. Since that time there had been no other usage of that area. The airport operations manager reported that the airplane had entered into the EMAS area at an angle, with the nose and left main landing gear about 35 feet into the EMAS. The pilot reported to airport operations that he had brought the airplane to a complete stop just off of runway 8, in the 70-foot paved overrun area between the runway and the EMAS area. He attempted to make a 180-degree turn within the overrun area. The pilot also stated that he deliberately used the EMAS area to make the 180-degree turn not realizing the EMAS area was there; he believed it was pavement. The pilot stated that he observed the yellow chevrons painted on the EMAS.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest U.S., identifies BUR runway 08-26 length as 5,801 feet.
A Safety Board vehicle recorders specialist reviewed the CVR data. The incident had been captured on the CVR; however, the cockpit conversations were hard to understand. The approach was normal, and winds were reported to be from 220 degrees at 7 knots. The Safety Board specialist noted that one of the pilots stated that they only had 3,000 feet to go, and then 60 seconds later, the airplane touched down. The thrust reversers were deployed and the engines could be heard spooling down, and then the airplane entered into the EMAS area. The specialist overheard the thrust reversers coming back online as the flight crew attempted to back the airplane out of the EMAS area. The specialist then overheard the tower controller instructing the flight crew to stop moving.
The Safety Board IIC reviewed the FAA National Aeronautical Charting Office ( FAA NACO) approved airport diagram issued for BUR on September 26, 2006, valid until October 26, 2006, which depicted the EMAS at the departure end of runway 8. The Jeppesen approach chart for BUR depicted the EMAS at the departure end of runway 26. The Safety Board IIC coordinated with the Jeppesen Company to correct the erroneous depiction of the location of the EMAS. An updated approach chart for BUR was issued in November 2006.
The FAA distributes information regarding standards for airport markings. One publication is Advisory Circular 105-5340-1J, Standards for Airport Markings. Section 16 identifies the unusable areas, and color of Chevrons.
Another publication is the Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 2 section 3 titled Airport Marking Aids and Signs, under subsection 2-3-2 Airport Pavement Markings (b) Marking Colors, it states:
Markings for taxiways, areas not intended for use by aircraft (closed and hazardous areas), and holding positions (even if they are on a runway) are yellow.
Subsection 2-3-3 Runway Markings, under the heading of CHEVRONS:
These markings are used to show pavement areas aligned with the runway that are unusable for landing, takeoff, and taxiing. Chevrons are yellow.
FAA Order 5200.8, Runway Safety Area Program (1999), provided guidance for installation of a non-standard EMAS, with guidance clarification for the acceptability of a non-standard EMAS installation issued on September 30, 2005. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a letter to the Honorable Jesse Jackson, Jr., on February 15, 2007, reporting a total of 22 EMAS currently in place, of which, 17 are non-standard.