On this Could 4, 2019, file photograph, a constitution aircraft carrying 143 folks and touring from Cuba to north Florida sits in a river on the finish of a runway in Jacksonville, Fla. Investigators say the lack of braking energy on a rain-soaked flooded runway brought on a cargo aircraft chartered by the Pentagon to slip right into a Florida river in 2019, the Nationwide Transportation Security Board mentioned Wednesday, AUg. 4, 2021. (Gary McCullough/AP)
Investigators say a rain-soaked runway and the pilots’ failure to anticipate the poor circumstances brought on a aircraft chartered by the Pentagon to slip right into a Florida river two years in the past.
The Nationwide Transportation Security Board mentioned pilots of the Miami Air Worldwide aircraft landed too quick and waited too lengthy to deploy speed-reducing panels because the Boeing 737 touched down at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on Could 3, 2019.
Investigators mentioned that even with out these errors, the aircraft wouldn’t have been capable of cease on the ungrooved runway due to the quantity of standing water. They mentioned in a report launched Wednesday that Miami Air failed to present pilots enough steering to guage braking circumstances on moist runways.
Correct estimates in regards to the circumstances “would have prohibited (the pilots) from trying the touchdown,” the investigators mentioned.
Two months after the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a security alert tightening steering about touchdown on ungrooved runways when reasonable to heavy rain is anticipated.
The Miami Air jet hydroplaned off the runway and wound up in shallow water of the St. Johns River. Not one of the 143 passengers and crew had been severely damage, however a number of pets within the cargo maintain died.
The aircraft was carrying Protection Division personnel from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Because the Boeing 737 approached the naval air station, the pilots talked to air site visitors controllers in regards to the rainstorm. The report mentioned that because the aircraft descended, the captain didn’t set the speedbrakes — movable panels on the wings that create drag — as known as for within the touchdown guidelines.
After landing, the captain utilized one of many engine thrust reversers however didn’t really feel the aircraft slowing. The speedbrakes got here on mechanically, however a couple of seconds later than if the captain had set them manually, the report mentioned.
The aircraft drifted to the correct and went off the top of the runway, hit a seawall and got here to relaxation within the river, with its stomach below water.
The NTSB mentioned the extreme velocity and delay in utilizing speedbrakes “contributed to the severity of the accident.” However investigators calculated that the aircraft wouldn’t have been capable of cease on the runway anyway due to the standing water.
The report mentioned the pilots missed “a number of cues” that ought to have led them to name off the touchdown and, presumably, land some other place.
Nevertheless, the investigators mentioned, the pilots might need been below strain to finish the flight as a result of it was operating late. They added that the primary officer’s inexperience — solely 18 hours flying Boeing 737s — might have put an excessive amount of burden on the captain.
After the aircraft stopped within the river, the crew started an emergency evacuation in the dead of night, with rain pounding down. Cellphone video confirmed crew members and passengers gingerly strolling the aircraft’s wings and a person carrying an toddler strolling previous folks sporting life jackets.
Miami Air went out of enterprise final 12 months, saying its monetary troubles had been a direct results of the coronavirus pandemic that devastated air journey.