Photo: PSA Airlines N246PS, from Wikimedia Commons.

Eddie Sez:

We are all at risk for complacency, but judging by the demeanor of many commuter airline crews that I've seen over the years, they would seem to be at greatest risk. This crew was carrying on an animated discussion of non-flying matters while failing to properly configure the airplane for takeoff, the captain noticed the improperly set flaps just prior to V1, attempted to set them, and then initiated an abort above V1. The only reason they got away without hurting anyone was the Engineered Materials Arresting Systems (EMAS).

What follows are quotes from the sources listed below, as well as my comments in blue.


Accident Report


Narrative

[NTSB Factual Report DCA10IA022, ¶C.] On January 19, 2010, PSA Airlines (d.b.a. US Airways Express) flight 2495, a Bombardier CL600-2B19, registration N246PS, rejected the takeoff and ran off the end of the runway at Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia. The airplane stopped in the Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) installed in the safety area. There were no injuries to the 31 passengers or 3 crew members onboard and the airplane received minor damage. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121 and its intended destination was Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.

[NTSB Probable Cause DCA10IA022]


Probable Cause

[NTSB Probable Cause DCA10IA022]

  1. The flight crewmembers' unprofessional behavior, including their nonadherence to sterile cockpit procedures by engaging in nonpertinent conversation, which distracted them from their primary flight-related duties and led to their failure to correctly set and verify the flaps;

  2. The captain's decision to reconfigure the flaps during the takeoff roll instead of rejecting the takeoff when he first identified the misconfiguration, which resulted in the rejected takeoff beginning when the airplane was about 13 knots above the takeoff decision speed and the subsequent runway overrun; and

  3. The flight crewmembers' lack of checklist discipline, which contributed to their failure to detect the incorrect flap setting before initiating the takeoff roll. Contributing to the survivability of this incident was the presence of an engineered materials arresting system beyond the runway end.

See Also:


References

NTSB Group Chairman's Factual Report of Investigation, DCA10IA022, CL-600-2B19, N246PS, January 19, 2010

NTSB Probable Cause, DCA10IA022, Bombardier CL600, N246PS, 10/29/2010

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Artwork