'Speeding' plane skids off runway at Birmingham Airport


'Speeding' plane skids off runway at Birmingham Airport

A passenger plane with 137 people on board careered off a runway at Birmingham Airport because it was travelling at twice the recommended speed, according to air accident experts.

The pilot of the plane said he "did not want to delay vacating the runway and cause the following aircraft to go around".

A report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) revealed that the nose wheels and tyres were damaged after the "aircraft left the paved surface of the taxiway and came to rest on grass beside it, having turned to vacate the runway at approximately 20 kt ground speed."

The pilot of the Monarch plane, which was flying from Nice, France to Birmingham. judged that the aircraft would not decelerate sufficiently to vacate the taxiway in the wet and windy conditions without excessive braking, so he disconnected the autobrake, cancelled thrust reverse, released the brakes and let the plane roll to the end of the runway, the report said.

The aircraft became "uncontrollable" as he started to turn it and skidded towards the left edge, stopping on the grass.

There were no injuries reported. An examination of the aircraft revealed cuts in the tyre tread, which "probably occurred when travelling over the grass".

'Speeding' plane skids off runway at Birmingham Airport

According to the Air Accident Investigation Branch report, "the operator's operations manual stated that a ground speed of approximately 10 kt should be used for making a turn from runway on to a non-high-speed taxiway in the dry.

"As the runway and taxiway were wet a lower speed would have been appropriate. The aircraft commenced the turn from the runway above 20 kt."

The report concluded that the plane careered off the paved surface of the taxiway because it turned to vacate the runway at a speed inappropriate for the conditions.

Once the plane stopped on the grass, the aircraft behind "was then instructed to go around".

According to the Express & Star, the Boeing 737 was operated by Lithuanian form Aurela Airlines - the same 737 which left 150 passengers stranded in Tenerife last August when a door broke.

Monarch spokesman Russell Ison told the Express & Star: "Monarch terminated the contract with Air Aurela immediately after the incident at Birmingham Airport. Monarch is considering the contents of the AAIB report before deciding what action may need to be taken."

Related articles

Plane skids off icy runway at Ohio airport

Passenger plane slips off runway, injuring five