Jackson Hole Aircraft Incident…What we know
Above is a link to the story on the recent Jackson Hole American Airlines aircraft incident. In Brief…upon landing the aircraft rolled past the end of the runway (Although not as far as the grass area after the dirt past the runway/safety area itself). Nobody was hurt and no damage occurred to the aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board is presently investigating the cause of the accident.
Initial reports from the pilot claim that this incident was due to aircraft brake failure but we should wait for the NTSB investigation before coming to final conclusions.
I bring up this incident just so the facts known to date are clear in relation to our local airports in Telluride and Montrose:
1) The incident happened at 11:37am
2) “Light snow was falling when the plane landed, with visibility at about 1.5 miles, Bishop said. The runway had some snowy patches, but its
surface afforded good braking friction, he said.” Note Bishop is the Airport Manager at Jackson Hole
3) The Jackson Hole Airport Runway is 6400 feet long vs. 7000 for Telluride and 10,000 for Montrose
4) The aircraft was a 757 which requires more runway typically than the aircraft types flying into Telluride and most into Montrose.
NOTE: If it was an aircraft brake failure that is determined to be the cause of this incident, this is something that can happen at any airport and the
condition or operational parameters of the airport itself are not a factor for this type of incident.
Both the Telluride and Montrose Airports meet or exceed all the FAA safety requirements for flight service and in fact, due to the recent work
completed at the Telluride Airport, TEX is even more safe then in past years due to this work which also includes adding EMAS arresting
material at the end of the runway which would assist an aircraft in stopping should a brake failure that appears as the possible cause in Jackson
When Incidents like the one at Jackson Hole occur many people will often speculate or throw out wrong information as fact. This can lead to negative perceptions of air service and air service safety. This email is an effort to clarify what we know and to put out facts that support the fact that our airports are safe and to head-off any possible misstatements and wrong information and speculation that may be proffered by folks who may not be aware of the facts.