Black boxes mishandled after plane skidded off runway
Photo by mattingham. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works-Noncommercial 2.0 License.
(WASHINGTON) Federal safety officials say an airline mishandled the black boxes from an airplane that left O’Hare Airport and later skidded off a runway during a snowy landing Wednesday in Wyoming.
American Airlines Flight 2253 from O’Hare ran off the end of runway 19 at Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson Hole, Wyo., while landing about 12:38 a.m. (CST) while it was snowing, a release from the National Transportation Safety Board said.
None of the 181 passengers or crew members on board were hurt, the release said. The plane landed in hard-packed snow about 350 feet beyond the runway overrun area. An initial inspection did not reveal any structural damage, according to the release.
The crew, interviewed on Thursday evening, indicated they saw the runway prior to reaching minimum descent altitude before touchdown, according to the release. Both crew members characterized the flight and approach as uneventful prior to the overrun.
It has been common practice for the NTSB to ask the airline involved in a commercial aviation incident where no serious injuries or substantial damage occurred to transport the cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder without delay and without accessing the information to NTSB labs in Washington, according to the release.
But NTSB learned the recorders were flown to Tulsa, Okla., where American Airlines technicians downloaded information from the digital flight data recorder, according to the release. The cockpit voice recorder was not accessed by American.
“Although a thorough examination by our investigators determined that no information from the DFDR was missing or altered in any way, the breach of protocol by American Airlines personnel violates the Safety Board’s standards of conduct…,” NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in the release.
“Maintaining and enforcing strict investigative protocols and procedures is vital to the integrity of our investigative processes, we have revoked the party status of American Airlines and excused them from further participation in this incident investigation.”
American Airlines has assured NTSB that a full review of procedures and internal controls would be undertaken to ensure such an occurrence is not repeated.
© Copyright 2009 Sun-Times Media, LLC
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