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CTV Montreal
Published Friday, June 5, 2015 3:37PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 5, 2015 3:55PM EDT

Nobody was injured in an aviation mishap at Trudeau Airport Friday afternoon which saw a Boeing 737 WestJet plane from Toronto veer off the runway into the grass some time before 3 p.m.

The plane was immobilized and appeared to have its front wheel stuck in the grass on a field adjacent to the landing strip.

Flight 588 left Toronto Pearson Airport at 2 p.m. with an unknown number of passengers. Authorities are not sure why the plane ended up on the lawn.

Pictures at:

http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/westjet-plane-veers-off-runway-at-trudeau-airport-1.2408810

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Often, a landing clearance for 24L in YUL has common verbiage added to it regarding "clearing at the end". That's due to the proximity of the taxiway at the end (90 deg right turn) and the terminal. It also can help the logistic issue with outbound traffic on Alfa taxiway if an arrival aircraft exits on A2 or A4 (construction activities on the north ramp doesn't help either).

Will be interesting to see what role (if any) a planned exit at the end played in decision making and risk factors. I've been there and done it. I refuse to "land long", and will not delay braking until closer to the end after a wake up call of my own one day there. Glad everyone is ok, and wish the best for the crew who do doubt are not going to have a great sleep tonight.

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Flight tracker says it landed around 2:57pm (18:57z).

CYUL 051906Z 31008G18KT 2SM SHRA BR FEW011 OVC025TCU 19/18 A2993 RMK SF2TCU6 PRESRR SLP135 DENSITY ALT 500FT

CYUL 051900Z 31012G23KT 1 1/2SM +SHRA SCT011 OVC022TCU 19/18 A2993 RMK SF3TCU5 PRESRR SLP134 DENSITY ALT 600FT
CYUL 051851Z 33018KT 250V340 15SM SHRA FEW012 BKN025TCU OVC075 20/18 A2992 RMK SF2TCU5AC1 VIS SW-N 21/2 PRESRR SLP131 DENSITY ALT 700FT

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When I hear about these 'excursions' I tend to think that a strong gust caused a main gear to leave the runway or perhaps the nose, but only a few feet.

However, looking at the photos it looks like this airplane went into the grass with some enthusiasm.

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In my experience the 737ng is no different than any other airplane in these conditions.

Odd statement to make.

Perhaps my poor attempt at humour. However, this airplane has a history of overruns. Check out this link and review the factors column.

http://www.performance737.com/incidents.html

Unfortunately crap happens. If this flight exited the runway during taxi than I'd suggest speed selection may have exceeded runway surface conditions.

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CBC news story with photos. Check out the last photo (swipe) and see all the "phone heads" standing beside the YUL 06R runway sign. It seems we can't do anything these days without taking a selfie, a photo, checking emails or texting someone.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/westjet-flight-588-slips-off-runway-at-montreal-s-trudeau-airport-1.3102658

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It's a bit of a paradox... if people didn't take pictures with their smartphones, we wouldn't be seeing them taking pictures of themselves with their smartphones. Neither would we have virtually any of the pictures of this or many other aspects of everyday life around the world.

It's just natural for people to document their lives and the world. Until smartphones, those of us not near the action had to rely on sparse and biased, probably exaggerated descriptions from newspaper stories or a momentary glimpse on a TV spot. Sometimes people would take photos but, generally, only a handful of people had access to those. Before that it was just descriptive text that was even less distributed.

The headline of this incident, depending on how many newspapers needed to be sold, could have been anywhere from "Aircraft slips off taxiway" to "Passengers lucky to survive".

While it still seems strange to those of us who grew up before the turn of the century, the ability to see the world around us for ourselves in almost real time is worth seeing people placing themselves in that timely reality.

Glad to see everyone safe. The fact that they are alive and feel safe enough to take the time to take pictures means that they are well up Maslow's pyramid.

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Documents worth reading with regard to runway excursions, (still the 3rd highest-occuring event next to LoC & CFIT):

The ATSB has produced a study on runway excursions, (2007).

Risk Analysis of Runway Overrun Excursions at Landing: A Case Study

Reducing the Risk of Runway Excursions EASA/Flight Safety Foundation

From the National Aerospace Laboratory, (NLR), The Netherlands:
NLR Air Transport Safety Institute: Long Landings; Why Does It Happen?

A STUDY OF RUNWAY EXCURSIONS FROM A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE

Running out of runway

Why Do Business Aircraft Go Off the Runway More? - NLR

From the CAA in the UK:
Flight Data Monitoring Based Precursors Project - 2012/01 - Part 1 Runway Excursions

We've seen this graph before but I thought it would be interesting with reference to statistical discussions and aircraft types.

Blues, I think perhaps the study you referenced would have to be all-inclusive before anything could be said of one type "having a history" of something. I didn't think the study was well-conceived primarily because it just states individual cases and not rates, nor does it reference equivalent types such as the A320 series aircraft. The study below, (Airbus has a similar such study), which many here will have seen from previous discussions lists types and rates so the comparisons are on an even plane, so to speak... ;-)

i-GL7dZsQ-XL.jpg

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It's just natural for people to document their lives and the world. Until smartphones, those of us not near the action had to rely on sparse and biased, probably exaggerated descriptions from newspaper stories or a momentary glimpse on a TV spot. Sometimes people would take photos but, generally, only a handful of people had access to those. Before that it was just descriptive text that was even less distributed..

Yes very natural for us to document events yet somehow we communicated. From Paleolithic cave paintings in southern France to grainy black & white images from moon landings. However, it's getting so now walking down a city sidewalk or suburban mall requires Gretzky like skills to figure which way the oncoming "phonehead" is going to turn. :)
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The reference information I posted has dates, airlines, and a general description of the 737NG event. It's clear to me that Boeing has stretched this classic airliner to its limit in my opinion. High approach speeds on the NG's compared to other airliners and the wheel brakes haven't gotten any bigger.

Short or contaminated runways would be the place to have all of your talents ready. :)

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Blues, re "It's clear to me that Boeing has stretched this classic airliner to its limit in my opinion."

I'm not sure what that means; - the design and the aircraft are certified which means actual performance data conforms to standard runway performance requirements; I don't know in fact if the airplane performs any differently than previous types. It's logical that taking any aircraft onto short or contaminated runways is exposing it to higher risk but if the aircraft's In-flight Performance Advisory Information indicates that the landing distance is sufficient under the conditions and the crew flies the airplane by the book and gets it on in the first thousand feet*, etc., etc., then the landing should be unremarkable.

However, and I have no bias either way as it's just interesting to discuss, I'll try to research the data regarding the points you raise. The Boeing data shows that the NG series has a far lower hull-loss rate from all causes than the Classics. I agree that higher approach speeds, in general, are a higher risk all else being equal. Unfortunately, none of the documents I linked to discuss types, but just the reasons for runway excursion.

* For the B737-400

Uses unfactored distances, sea level, standard day, no wind/slope, Vref30 flown, two-engine detent reverse thrust used, distances include 50ft height over the threshold to t/d at 1000ft/305m

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I’m only guessing, but the absence of a bus to recover disembarking pax at the scene suggests the ground was waterlogged and too soft to support the weight of a passenger transport vehicle.

If the event had been more serious, would crash / fire / rescue equipment have been able to access the aircraft?

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Someone (please excuse my laziness of not going back and quoting the post) earlier in this thread made a reference to landing long on RW24R in order to shorten the taxi time to the exit for gates 11, 12.

We used to do it a lot with the Dash 8. The tower seemed to appreciate it as it certainly reduced our time on the runway. Yes, it took skill and practice and being dead on the numbers but it certainly kept us sharp in that regard.

I'm a little surprised though at the statement made in regards an aircraft like the 737. Is this a practice done today? I remember a certain Canadian airline that had accusations of taxiing to fast on aprons several years ago.

I hope this practice hasn't extended into an incident like this.

In my recollection as an outsider but with many, many friends and former colleagues at WestJet, this is one of the most serious incidents in their 20 year history. Nobody was hurt here; no serious damage (if any) is apparent. I know they will focus on the "Why" rather than the "Who" and seek to prevent recurrence rather than lay blame.

I wish WestJet (and of course, all other carriers) another 20+ years of safe flight. :tu:

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Seems that the aircraft that landed shortly before Westjet had no problems. Guess we will have to wait for the report to know more but here is a picture showing where the aircraft stopped.

westjet_b736_c-gwct_montreal_150605_2.jp

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