NTSB Investigating Aircraft Performance In CRJ Overrun Accident

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday said it will be forming an Aircraft Performance Group as part of its ongoing investigation into the April 12 accident involving a Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet at Traverse City, Mich. According to the NTSB, the aircraft rolled off the end of Runway 28 at about 12:43 a.m. EDT, while landing at the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City. The CRJ -- similar to Bombardier Challenger business jets -- was operated by Pinnacle Airlines as Flight 4712, overran the departure end of 6,501-foot-long Runway 28 and an additional 200 feet of pavement before coming to rest, substantially damaged. There were no injuries among the 49 passengers -- including three lap-held infants -- and three crewmembers. During the accident sequence, 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.

Earlier, the flight had been cleared for the ILS Runway 28 approach. Snow removal operations were in progress and the flight crew communicated directly with airport operations regarding runway conditions. The control tower at TVC was closed. Reported weather included visibility at one-half mile in snow, an indefinite ceiling and vertical visibility of 200 feet. The NTSB also reports that information from the CRJ's flight data and cockpit voice recorders appears of good quality. The flight's captain -- who was the flying pilot -- was a company check airman with total time of about 5,600 hours and 4,390 flight hours in the CRJ-200. The first officer was hired by Pinnacle in January 2007 and had 2,500 total flight hours, with 15 hours in the CRJ-200. The NTSB did not say when additional details or a finding of the accident's probable cause would be made public.