NTSB: Pilot failures led to Pence plane running off runway

NTSB: Pilot failures led to Pence plane running off runway
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The campaign plane of Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence sits off a runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, after it slid off a runway during a rainstorm during landing.(Photo: Ines DeLaCuetara, AP)

Several failures by the pilots flying Mike Pence’s plane as he campaigned for Vice President led to the Boeing 737-700 running off the end of the runway at New York’s LaGuardia airport, federal investigators ruled Thursday.

Nobody was injured in the incident Oct. 27, 2016, on a rainy evening in the closing days of the campaign. The plane came to rest 170 feet past the end of the runway on crushable pavement.

But the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the crew flying the Eastern Airlines charter flight touching down more than 4,200 feet past the threshold of the 7,001-foot runway, leaving less than 2,800 feet to brake and stop.

The NTSB said when the first officer, who was at the controls, failed to get the jet’s wheels on the ground within the first third of the runway, or 2,300 feet, he should have abandoned the landing and flown around the airport for another attempt.

Contrary to procedures, the captain didn’t announce he was assuming control of the airplane. That resulted in each pilot attempting directional inputs that were at odds with the other, the board found.

This breakdown of basic crew resource management along with the captain’s failure to call for a go-around demonstrated “a lack of command authority,” the board ruled in its 24-page final report.

The pilots also began a so-called flare, when the nose of the plane is raised to slow down the plane, at an altitude almost twice as high as Boeing recommends, the board ruled. Delays in reducing throttles and manually deploying the speed brakes, all contributed to running off the runway, the board said.

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