Commutair E145 at Presque Isle on Mar 4th 2019, runway excursion, hard landing and gear collapse

Last Update: July 8, 2022 / 13:36:38 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 4, 2019

Classification
Accident

Airline
Commutair

Flight number
CS-4933

Aircraft Registration
N14171

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-145

ICAO Type Designator
E145

Airport ICAO Code
KPQI

A Commutair Embraer ERJ-145 on behalf of United, registration N14171 performing flight CS-4933/UA-4933 from Newark,NJ to Presque Isle,ME (USA) with 28 passengers and 3 crew, was on final approach to Presque Isle's runway 01 when the crew initiated a go around from about 2000 feet MSL. The aircraft positioned for another approach to runway 01 and continued for a hard touch down at 11:27L (16:27Z), the aircraft came to a stop right off the runway with all gear collapsed. A pilot and two passengers received minor injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

On Mar 5th 2019 the FAA reported: "Commutair Flight 4933 Embraer E45X landed in the grass area beside the runway due to unknown circumstances." The occurrence was rated an accident.

The NTSB announced two investigators have been dispatched to Presque Isle to investigate the accident of the United Express Embraer ERJ-145XR.

On Mar 6th 2019 a passenger reported the aircraft was already on its second approach after aborting the first approach for some unknown reason. On the second approach the aircraft completely missed the runway and touched down off the runway. The impact was hard and violent, the aircraft bounced a few times before coming to a stop off the runway. Emergency services at first could not access the aircraft, a snowplough needed to open a way for the emergency services. There was a burning odour on board, however, no fire or smoke occurred. Finally emergency services applied a ladder and helped the passengers off the aircraft.

On Mar 7th 2019 a reader made The Aviation Herald aware of a photo by Northscape Photography, which clarified the aircraft had touched down to the right of the runway threshold, left behind a set of wheels while crossing runway 10/28 and came to a stop even further right off runway 01.

On Mar 21st 2019 the NTSB reported: "On March 4, 2019, at 1143 eastern standard time, CommutAir flight 4933, an Embraer EMB-145XR, N14171, d.b.a. United Express, landed between runway 1 and taxiway A in light to moderate snow at Northern Maine Regional Airport at Presque Isle (KPQI), Presque Isle, Maine. This was the second approach to runway 1 after having conducted a missed approach during the first approach. Radar track data show that the airplane was aligned right of runway 1 during both approaches. Of the 31 passengers and crew onboard, two passengers and 1 crewmember received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged."

On May 21st 2022 the NTSB released their investigation docket.

On Jul 8th 2022 the NTSB released their factual report reporting amongst other details:

On March 2, 2019 (2 days before the accident), the flight crew of another company flight, CommutAir flight 4939, conducted an ILS approach to runway 1 at PQI. As the airplane descended through 2,500 ft, the airplane’s instruments showed that the airplane was centered over the runway, but the airplane appeared to be aligned to the right of the runway centerline.

The flight crewmembers discontinued the ILS approach when they saw the runway and noted that, when the airplane was visually aligned with the runway centerline, the airplane’s instruments indicated that the airplane was located to the left of the ILS course. The airplane made an uneventful landing.

After the airplane vacated the runway (about 2345 on March 2), the crew of flight 4939 reported the localizer misalignment (an offset to the right of course all the way to the runway) to the Boston ARTCC. According to the captain of that flight, the center controller stated that he would “forward that information onward.” The controller then informed center technical operations personnel, including the operations manager-in-charge, who then informed the National Airspace System operations manager FAA Order JO 7110.65X, Air Traffic Control, states that, for reports of a navigational aid malfunction, “request a report from a second aircraft…if the second aircraft confirms the malfunction or in the absence of a second aircraft report, activate the standby equipment or request the monitor facility to activate.” CommutAir flight 4939 was the last scheduled instrument flight rules flight into PQI before the accident flight.

During a postaccident interview, the National Airspace System operations manager stated that he assumed that the lack of a second pilot report (before the accident) was an indication that the localizer misalignment was no longer a problem. As a result, the National Airspace System operations manager did not notify the organization that monitored the status of the ILS equipment at PQI—the Atlantic Operations Control Center in Atlanta, Georgia—about the reported localizer misalignment. ILS malfunctions, including a localizer misalignment, generate an alert at the Atlantic Operations Control Center and the Bangor, Maine, systems service center (which was responsible for maintaining and inspecting the ILS equipment at PQI). Because all ILS equipment at PQI was operational before the accident, no alert was generated about the localizer misalignment, and no report was made to the systems service center.

CommutAir included a document, titled “Crewmember Daily Read,” in dispatch releases to provide a flight crew with important information about a flight. The Crewmember Daily Read in the dispatch release for the accident flight (which was issued at 0834) contained several items related to PQI, including the requirement for the flight crew to obtain an updated runway condition code no more than 1 hour before landing, a reminder for the crew to determine if any existing NOTAMs were still in effect, and a reminder of the frequency to activate the runway lights at the airport. The document did not mention any issues related to the localizer for the runway 1 ILS approach.

Postaccident Inspection of Instrument Landing System

On March 7, 2019 (3 days after the accident), the FAA conducted a postaccident flight inspection of the runway 1 ILS to determine localizer and glideslope accuracy. The inspection revealed that the localizer was out of tolerance by about 200 ft to the right of course and that the glideslope provided a “fly up” signal instead of the required “fly down” signal at 890 ft. The snow around and in front of the localizer and glideslope antennas was subsequently removed. (The area outside the runway lights along the length of the runway was also cleared of snow.) Surveys taken the previous day found snow depths ranging from about 2 to 5 ft near the area of the localizer antenna array, which was about 1,000 ft from the end of runway 1.

On March 13, the FAA conducted another flight inspection, which found that the localizer and glideslope were within tolerances. The ILS was put back into service on March 14, and the NOTAM indicating that the ILS was out of service was canceled.

Airport operations personnel at PQI stated that problems with the localizer signal had occurred during previous winters. PQI does not have the ability to monitor the signal quality of the localizer, so airport operations would learn about localizer signal problems from FAA technical operations personnel conducting ground checks of the signal (either as a routine check or in response to a reported problem). After a failed check, airport operations personnel would remove snow until the problem with the localizer signal was resolved.



Related NOTAMs:
!PQI 03/031 PQI AD AP CLSD 1903041643-1903051642
!PQI 03/032 PQI NAV ILS RWY 01 LOC/GP OUT OF SERVICE 1903041734-1903131900EST

Metars:
KPQI 041803Z AUTO 03007KT 2SM -SN M01/M04 A2961 RMK AO2 VIS 1 1/4V5 P0000 FZRANO $=
KPQI 041756Z AUTO 02005KT 1 1/2SM -SN OVC018 M01/M04 A2961 RMK AO2 VIS 3/4V2 1/2 SLP071 P0000 60005 T10061039 11006 21044 58041 FZRANO=
KPQI 041749Z AUTO 06004KT 1 1/4SM -SN FEW009 SCT014 OVC020 M01/M04 A2961 RMK AO2 VIS 3/4V2 1/2 P0000 FZRANO=
KPQI 041724Z AUTO 04006KT 2SM -SN SCT009 BKN013 OVC021 M01/M04 A2963 RMK AO2 P0000 FZRANO=
KPQI 041710Z AUTO 06003KT 1 1/4SM -SN SCT011 OVC017 M01/M04 A2964 RMK AO2 P0000 FZRANO=
KPQI 041656Z AUTO 07006KT 1SM -SN FEW008 BKN013 OVC019 M01/M04 A2965 RMK AO2 SLP085 P0001 T10111039 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041643Z AUTO 07005KT 3/4SM -SN SCT008 OVC013 M01/M04 A2967 RMK AO2 P0001 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041618Z AUTO 06004KT 1/2SM SN FZFG M03/M04 A2968 RMK AO2 P0000 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041556Z AUTO 08006KT 1/2SM SN FZFG OVC013 M02/M04 A2970 RMK AO2 SLP103 P0001 T10221044 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041531Z AUTO 09005KT 1/2SM -SN FZFG BKN011 OVC018 M02/M04 A2971 RMK AO2 P0000 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041456Z AUTO 07005KT 3/4SM -SN BR BKN009 OVC016 M02/M04 A2973 RMK AO2 CIG 006V011 SLP113 P0002 60003 T10221044 58024 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041447Z AUTO 08006KT 3/4SM -SN BR SCT007 OVC016 M02/M04 A2974 RMK AO2 P0002 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041436Z AUTO 09004KT 1/2SM SN FZFG FEW007 OVC014 M02/M04 A2975 RMK AO2 P0002 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041429Z AUTO 08004KT 3/4SM -SN BR FEW007 OVC014 M02/M04 A2975 RMK AO2 P0001 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041422Z AUTO 09004KT 3/4SM -SN BR FEW007 OVC016 M03/M04 A2976 RMK AO2 P0001 FZRANO RVRNO=
KPQI 041356Z AUTO 00000KT 3/4SM -SN BR OVC016 M03/M04 A2978 RMK AO2 SLP128 P0001 T10281044 FZRANO RVRNO=
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 4, 2019

Classification
Accident

Airline
Commutair

Flight number
CS-4933

Aircraft Registration
N14171

Aircraft Type
Embraer ERJ-145

ICAO Type Designator
E145

Airport ICAO Code
KPQI

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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