FAA – Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released last Thursday an advisory circular directed to point the necessity of focused training of flight crews to prevent runway overrun events.

Information gathered by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveals that runway overruns during the landing phase of flight account for approximately 10 incidents or accidents every year with varying degrees of severity, with many accidents resulting in fatalities. The NTSB also concludes that because of the dynamics of a tailwind approach and landing, particularly on wet or contaminated runways, the FAA should provide current and comprehensive guidance regarding the risks associated with tailwind landings and raise awareness of the reduced margins of safety during tailwind landing operations.

The agency recommends the elaboration of strategies focused on training and testing of flightcrews, combined with training based scenarios as tools to prevent runway overrun events. Emphasis on training and checking during initial pilot certification, recurrent training and checking events must not merely be an academic event, but must be practical in order to increase a pilot’s recognition of a higher risk landing operation.

Operators are responsible for developing training programs, SOPs, and complying with all of the regulatory requirements for the flight. All pilots are responsible for knowing the operational conditions they will be encountering and being able to assess the impact of environmental situations on the airplane’s landing distance. This responsibility includes following company SOPs and/or industry best practices and exercising the highest level of aeronautical decision making (ADM) to ensure the safety of the flight.

– FAA Advisory Circular AC91-79A – Mitigating the Risks of a Runway Overrun Upon Landing.

Capt. Ivan

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Avianca first Latin American airline to equip fleet with Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS)


Avianca, an all-Airbus operator, will equip 21 of its A320 Family aircraft with the Airbus Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This on-board cockpit technology increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and, if necessary, provides active protection. Avianca, which merged with TACA in 2010, was rebranded as Avianca last year. The Colombia-based airline group is also made up of Tampa Cargo and Aerogal.

Runway excursions are the number one cause of commercial aviation accidents in the world. The patented Airbus ROPS system computes minimum realistic in-flight landing and on-ground stopping distances and compares them to available landing distances in real time. The system combines data on weather, runway condition and topography, and aircraft weight and configuration. Depending on the resulting analysis, ROPS may prompt immediate callouts and alerts for pilots, assisting the crew in the go-around decision-making process and/or the timely application of stopping means on touchdown.

In November, Airbus achieved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of ROPS for the Airbus A320 Family. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified ROPS on the A320ceo (current engine option) Family in August. American Airlines became the first ROPS customer for the Americas when it has elected to equip all of its A320 Family fleet with Airbus’ ROPS.

The President of Avianca, Fabio Villegas, noted that: “The incorporation of the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) in 21aircraft in Avianca’s Airbus fleet, will give pilots the information they need to take the best decisions for a safe landing in the minimum time possible. As a company this will allow us to stay at the vanguard of technology for safety.”

Avianca will be the first in the region to implement the latest cockpit technology to increase their pilots situational awareness and reduce exposure to runway excursion risk,” said Yannick Malinge, Airbus’ Senior Vice President and Chief Product Safety Officer.

Avianca based its fleet modernization and expansion programs on Airbus aircraft. In early 2012, Avianca ordered 51 A320 Family aircraft including 33 eco-efficient A320neo. In December of 2012, Avianca Cargo, formerly known as Tampa Cargo, became the first operator of the A330-200 Freighter in the region with the first of four deliveries. Avianca has ordered 190 aircraft, operates more than 100 Airbus aircraft and has a backlog of more than 60 Airbus aircraft.

ROPS was first approved by EASA on the A380 in 2009 certified for the A320 Family in 2013 and to date is currently in service or ordered on most of the worldwide A380 fleet. In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended to the FAA that it “actively pursue with aircraft and avionics manufacturers the development of technology to reduce or prevent runway excursions and, once it becomes available, require that the technology be installed”

Source:  Airbus Media Room


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