(Reuters) – A element meant to gradual an plane on touchdown was inoperative on the Boeing jetliner that slid off a runway right into a river at a Florida navy base, injuring 22 folks, investigators stated on Sunday.
Aerial view of the Miami Air International Boeing 737-800 that overran the runway at NAS Jacksonville and got here to relaxation within the St Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S., May 4, 2019. NTSB/Handout by way of REUTERS
The failure of the left-hand “thrust reverser” on the Boeing 737-800 was one of many elements investigators have been taking a look at, in addition to a request by the pilots to alter runways, stated National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg.
The airplane chartered by the U.S. navy landed throughout a thunderstorm at Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Friday night time and was arriving from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba with 136 passengers and 7 crew members.
It slid off the tip of the runway into shallow water and sank as much as its wings, forcing passengers to stroll alongside the wings to security.
“The plane had been in upkeep and the upkeep log famous that the left hand thrust reverser was inoperative,” Landsberg informed a press convention, explaining that the element slowed an plane by diverting thrust from an engine.
Several canine and cats touring in crates within the submerged ahead maintain of the airplane are presumed useless and the U.S. Navy has organized to have divers take away them from the plane, stated Landsberg.
Shortly earlier than touchdown, the pilots requested to alter to a runway that had tools arrange on it, decreasing the size of accessible touchdown house to 7,800 toes (2377 meters) from a complete runway size of 9,000 toes (2743 meters), Landsberg stated.
“We don’t know what they have been pondering or why that was their alternative,” stated Landsberg of their determination.
The plane, chartered from Miami Air International, landed at a velocity of 163 knots (188 mph) with a tail wind of 15 knots (17 mph) that elevated its floor velocity to 178 knots (205 mph) on touchdown, Landsberg stated.
Asked to verify that the velocity appeared extreme, Landsberg declined to remark.
The cockpit voice recorder is within the submerged tail of the airplane and investigators won’t be able to get better it till the plane is drained of gas and lifted out of the water.
Reporting By Andrew Hay; Editing by Andrea Ricci