NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


UPDATE ON NTSB INVESTIGATION INTO RUNWAY OVERRUN IN TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN

April 24, 2007

Washington, DC – The National Transportation Safety Board runway overrun of a Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet on April 12, 2007, about 12:43 am EDT, in Traverse City, Michigan. Flight 4712, operated by Pinnacle Airlines, overran the runway while landing at Cherry Capital Airport, Traverse City. There were no injuries among the 49 passengers (including 3 lap-held infants) and 3 crewmembers, and the aircraft received substantial damage.

The flight was cleared for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 28 by Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. The Traverse City control tower was closed at 10:00 pm per normal operations. Weather was reported as snowing. Automatic weather observation data indicated at 12:30 am, the visibility was one-half mile in snow, with indefinite ceiling and vertical visibility of 200 feet. Snow removal operations were in progress at the airport, and the flight crew communicated directly with airport operations regarding the runway conditions.

After landing, the airplane overran the departure end of runway 28, which is 6,501 feet long, with an additional 200 feet of pavement. Initial examination indicates that the airplane exited the paved surface onto a grassy snow- covered field, the nose gear separated from the fuselage, and the airplane came to rest about 100 feet beyond the pavement. The passengers and crew exited the airplane via the main cabin door.

A go-team was launched from NTSB Headquarters under the direction of Investigator-in-Charge Bill English and specialists in Operations, Human Performance, and Airworthiness.

Recorders Group

Flight data and cockpit voice recorders were recovered from the airplane and read out at the NTSB laboratory in Washington DC. Initial audition of the recorders indicates both were in good condition and include the accident flight. A cockpit voice recorder group was formed and will produce a transcript of the recording.

Operations and Human Performance Group

The Operations and Human Performance Group interviewed the flight crew on April 13. The captain, a company check airman who was piloting the aircraft, had a total time of about 5,600 hours, with 4,390 flight hours in the CRJ-200.

The first officer, who had been hired by Pinnacle in January of 2007, had 2,500 total flight hours, with 15 flight hours in the CRJ-200. Additional interviews of airline personnel involved with the flight and the crew were done on scene or scheduled for the near future. Airport personnel working at the time of the accident, and airport management personnel were also interviewed, and an Airport Operations Group has been formed.

Further work remains in evaluating the recorder data, weather information, airport field conditions and communication, and performance of the airplane. An Aircraft Performance Group will be formed, and specialists in Meteorology and Air Traffic Control are also supporting the investigation. Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, Pinnacle Airlines, Airline Pilots Association, General Electric Aircraft Engines, and the Northwest Regional Airport Commission. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has provided an Accredited Representative and technical advisors from Bombardier Aerospace.

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NTSB Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100
hollowk@ntsb.gov  

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.