6:00: Morning News

Emergency stopping system credited with another lifesaver in Charleston

The small plane came short of Yeager’s runway Wednesday night.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A small aircraft landed short on the main runway at Yeager Airport, causing an overrun into the emergency stopping area at the runway’s end. The “EMAS” system as it’s known worked as it was designed.

“The EMAS absorbed some of the force. The aircraft landed short and skidded about 100 feet on top of the EMAS blocks. It kept the pilot from getting seriously injured,” said Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre.

The pilot actually walked away and refused medical treatment at the scene Wednesday night. Sayre estimated about 75 of the foam blocks may have been impacted in the mishap. He expected to know more when representatives of the company which makes the material arrived Friday to do an inspection.

“There is some visual damage on top of the blocks. We’re looking to get those repaired,” he said.

It’s the second time the array of foam blocks came into play with a runway mishap. The last incident was not long after they were installed and a commercial aircraft with more than 30 people on board was stopped by the system. Everybody walked away from that incident okay as well.

“Once again it has proved it’s a great product and we’re happy to have it. Because of that we didn’t have any effect on commercial operations last night or today. We’re all back to normal,” said Sayre.

Wednesday’s incident comes less than a month after the airport completed a rebuilding of the EMAS system after the hillside collapse in 2015.


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