…Was Advised That Snowplows Were On The Runway

Location: Pittsburgh, PA Accident Number: ERA22LA150
Date & Time: March 9, 2022, 08:27 Local Registration: N903JT
Aircraft: Honda Jet HA-420 Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter – Non-scheduled

On March 9, 2022, about 0827 eastern daylight time, a Honda Jet HA-420, N903JT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two pilots and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated by JetIt, LLC as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air taxi flight.

The training captain was flying with the first officer on day 6 of the first officer’s Initial Operating Experience, during which the first officer was the pilot-flying. According to the flight crew, they checked the weather prior to departure from Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, briefed for the potential winter weather conditions upon landing at Allegheny County Airport (AGC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and departed around 0720.

The training captain stated that he monitored ATIS once in range of AGC and did not recall hearing any remarks pertaining to runway braking action or surface contamination reports, although he noted remarks about contamination on taxiways and ramp areas. Subsequently, he checked in with the approach controller and was advised that snowplows were on the runway. He considered this an indication that the airport was “taking care of the runway in the light snow.” He “never anticipated runway contamination” and the crew based their landing distance calculations on a wet runway. The first officer flew the ILS approach to runway 28 with the autopilot engaged. The training captain visually acquired the runway environment upon reaching decision altitude and the first officer continued the approach. The training captain acquired the runway about 150 feet above ground level, noticing the runway shoulders were obscured by snow, and the center line was visible.

The first officer disconnected the autopilot and continued the landing. The training captain recalled feeling “faster than normal” when the airplane touched down in the “first third” of the grooved 6,501-ft runway. The airplane began to decelerate; however, the captain called for maximum braking when he detected the deceleration to be insufficient to stop the airplane on the remaining runway. He applied the emergency brake and steered to the left to try to stay on the airport property. The airplane skidded sideways, departed the end of the runway, and travelled tail-first over the edge of a steep incline, coming to rest in trees. The pilots and passenger evacuated out the main cabin door. The fuselage and wings sustained substantial damage.

Weather conditions at the time of the accident included ½ statute mile visibility, light snow, and an overcast ceiling at 400 ft. The airport ATIS reported at the time of the approach and landing included a Braking Action Advisory with a braking action report of “good” by a Pilatus at 0755 and a field condition NOTAM reporting 10% runway coverage with 1/8-inch slush on the landing runway.

The cockpit voice recorder/flight data recorder unit was retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov