Recommendations Follow 737's Missed-Runway Landing

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Canada's Transportation Safety Board suggests poor lighting, tired pilots and the wrong autopilot selection were behind a near-disaster at Edmonton International Airport on Feb. 25, 2004. The TSB, which investigates, but does not pass judgment on, aircraft mishaps, said in its report that the crew of the First Air Boeing 737 landed beside the runway instead of on it, in part because they had only runway edge lighting for guidance in deteriorating visibility. The plane ran beside the pavement for 1,600 feet before the pilots steered it back on the runway, taking out a runway light, four taxiway lights and a sign along the way. No one was hurt but the plane was damaged. As a result of the mishap, Transport Canada is updating its regulations for runway lighting and approaches in poor visibility and First Air has revised its crew scheduling to ensure that pilots switching between day and night schedules get enough rest in between. The company has also modified its operating procedures to ensure that pilots select the appropriate autopilot mode for approaches in poor visibility.