NTSB Sends Team To Ottawa Incident

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The runway overrun of a United Express Embraer 145 (operated by Trans States Airlines) at Ottawa, Canada's McDonald-Cartier International Airport on Wednesday brought an immediate response from the NTSB, which announced it is sending a bevy of experts to help Canadian authorities sort out what appears to be a relatively minor incident. The airplane ran off the end of the runway in a rainstorm, causing minor injuries to both pilots and an elderly passenger. But it comes two weeks after the NTSB held hearings into the state of pilot professionalism with an emphasis on the regional airline industry. The NTSB is sending an investigator, a flight operations specialist, a survival factors specialist and an unspecified number of "technical advisers" from the FAA to assess the mishap.

United Flight 8050 originated at Washington Dulles and was landing at about 2:30 p.m. when it went off the end of one of the runways. Photos indicate the front landing gear may have been damaged or broken off in the overrun. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is quoting Stephanie Nicholds, a member of the local Airport Watch group, who was monitoring the tower frequency, as saying the pilot reported he had applied brakes but they were having no effect. "The pilot was saying, 'I'm going off the edge, I've got no traction,'" Nicholds said. "He was hydroplaning down the runway, and all of a sudden the airplane just ditched into the grass." Other runways were activated and there were no other flight disruptions.