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pezzy669
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DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:50 am

Looks like it started heading down a pretty steep embankment or the nose gear collapsed. Hard to tell from the news article.

https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/plane-slides-off-runway-before-getting-ready-take-off-pittsburgh-international/2KL2FCZGW5GMTMJSBHLEACT6RM/
 
Flaps
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:57 am

It's deep in that ditch. Almost up to the door sill on L1. Gear did not collapse. It's fortunate that the nose gear went in and not one of the mains.
 
bennett123
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:11 am

Aside from any questions about whether conditions were too poor to take off, two points spring to mind.

How close was the ditch to the taxiway?.

How long were the passengers stuck inside a plane which presumably was fully fueled. Fortunately, there was no fire.

On the bright side, I am sure that DL will have spare B717.
 
DLASFlyer
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:38 pm

Is it a write off?
 
ethernal
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:59 pm

DLASFlyer wrote:
Is it a write off?


In the COVID-era? Certainly.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:04 pm

Expanding upon that: an orphan aircraft (just 156 built), probably about 20 years old, with few remaining operators. IMHO the only question is if the value of the airplane exceeds DL's deductible so they might see a check - and I would guess it does not.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:17 pm

I take it the rear fold-down stairs were never installed on the 717 series? I find it interesting they used air stairs at the rear door. On the plus side, at least the 717 has the rear exit door. Made this one far safer for the pax and rescue crews
 
pgh234
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:24 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
I take it the rear fold-down stairs were never installed on the 717 series? I find it interesting they used air stairs at the rear door. On the plus side, at least the 717 has the rear exit door. Made this one far safer for the pax and rescue crews


My thoughts too...any other airplane would have been unpleasant to disembark from.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:29 pm

Aircraft involved was N998AT / 9547. It appears this is one of the aircraft that came off the sublease arrangement between BCC-WN-DL and is now leased directly by DL.

For you PIT people, where was this on the airfield? Its been awhile since I flew out of PIT, but it looks like turning on to 10R for departure?
That looks like a pretty big ravine that is very close to a taxiway.

Based on its position with the forward boarding door overhanging the slope/terrain, it would be impossible to use stairs there.
Using stairs out the tailcone exit is far preferable than risking injuries using slides in that type of weather/terrain condition.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:43 pm

“Exited the taxiway paved surface” doesn’t sound like it slid off. By the looks of how it travel it would have had to slide through some high packed snow. Crew may have been confused and went off the pavement?
 
TMccrury
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:02 pm

If you look closely at the big picture, the nose wheel is turned. Not being acquainted with PIT that well and where this occurred is it possible they were attempting to turn and there was some ice on the taxiway?
 
Antarius
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:04 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
I take it the rear fold-down stairs were never installed on the 717 series? I find it interesting they used air stairs at the rear door. On the plus side, at least the 717 has the rear exit door. Made this one far safer for the pax and rescue crews


The model didn't come with rear stairs.
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Cubsrule
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:08 pm

Antarius wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
I take it the rear fold-down stairs were never installed on the 717 series? I find it interesting they used air stairs at the rear door. On the plus side, at least the 717 has the rear exit door. Made this one far safer for the pax and rescue crews


The model didn't come with rear stairs.


Yup. Additionally, I don't think that MD-80 type stairs would work with the airplane in that attitude. They aren't long enough.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Delta28L
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:09 pm

TMccrury wrote:
If you look closely at the big picture, the nose wheel is turned. Not being acquainted with PIT that well and where this occurred is it possible they were attempting to turn and there was some ice on the taxiway?


It was also snowing heavy and low visibility at the time. There was a band of heavy snow moving through at the time.
 
bravoindia
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:12 pm

Most likely trying to make the left turn on F to approach end 10R. You’d like to think they weren’t heads down and hopefully just ice and maybe a bit too much speed and the nose gear never grabbed. Pretty easy to slide a MD nose gear even dry if carrying too much speed.
 
chemmy
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:18 pm

When I woke up, I had news notifications on my phone about a "Delta plane off the runway" and thought there was an overrun. Then when I clicked to read the article, it said they slid off of the runway. Come to find out, they missed the pavement while taxiing. Glad it wasn't more serious.
 
bennett123
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:23 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Aircraft involved was N998AT / 9547. It appears this is one of the aircraft that came off the sublease arrangement between BCC-WN-DL and is now leased directly by DL.

For you PIT people, where was this on the airfield? Its been awhile since I flew out of PIT, but it looks like turning on to 10R for departure?
That looks like a pretty big ravine that is very close to a taxiway.

Based on its position with the forward boarding door overhanging the slope/terrain, it would be impossible to use stairs there.
Using stairs out the tailcone exit is far preferable than risking injuries using slides in that type of weather/terrain condition.


On the OP link there is a map showing the location.
 
Flaps
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:26 pm

bravoindia wrote:
Most likely trying to make the left turn on F to approach end 10R. You’d like to think they weren’t heads down and hopefully just ice and maybe a bit too much speed and the nose gear never grabbed. Pretty easy to slide a MD nose gear even dry if carrying too much speed.


That is correct. Trying to make the turn on F to 10R.
I don't know what speed they were carrying but they weren't the only ones having trouble at the time. A UA 739 and B6 190 had problems at the same time but both of those incidents were on the ramp with no obstacles involved. B6 got stuck and had to be towed to the gate. I don't have the details on the UA.

They had to use airstsirs as the tail is too fat off the ground for safe use of the slide.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:42 pm

A separate 717, N997AT, was ferried up from ATL. It departed PIT to ATL around 1 am, 7 hours late.
All opinions expressed herein are mine and do not represent the views of Cape Air
 
gdavis003
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:45 pm

Flew on 998AT about two weeks ago. Wow. Probably a write off now
 
trnswrld
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:29 pm

^^^doubt it. It’s actually very likely there is no structural damage at all. Ofcourse everything will need to be inspected, but I bet that lower fuselage section is laying in snow and maybe didn't even touch the ground.
 
ethernal
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:02 pm

trnswrld wrote:
^^^doubt it. It’s actually very likely there is no structural damage at all. Ofcourse everything will need to be inspected, but I bet that lower fuselage section is laying in snow and maybe didn't even touch the ground.


Either the landing gear stopped it because it got stuck in the lowest part of the ditch or the friction from the body stopped it on the hill. It's unclear from the pictures. If it's the former, the landing gear is probably damaged. If it's the latter, the fuselage may or may not be materially damaged.

The only way it is not a write-off is if the inspection shows zero damage. Any structural damage to either the fuselage or landing gear and it's a write-off. It's not because of the high price tag of repair, but the low economic value of the frame. Delta still has plenty of them lying around and their latest plan is to retire them all by 2025.

The 717 is a RASM-focused plane (low capacity high frequency) mostly predicated on driving margin from business routes or creating desirable connection times. Business travel at best is going to be slow to return, meaning that Delta is going to prioritize CASM-focused capacity (739, A321, 753) over RASM-focused capacity.

As noted above, this is doubly so because it is an orphaned frame. There is no secondary market. The plane dies with Delta. If they have plenty of them, why would they ever spend any money to fix them? The only potential reason may because of whatever weird leasing obligations they may have.
 
smartplane
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:31 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Expanding upon that: an orphan aircraft (just 156 built), probably about 20 years old, with few remaining operators. IMHO the only question is if the value of the airplane exceeds DL's deductible so they might see a check - and I would guess it does not.

With aircraft of this age, most blue chip airlines self-insure hulls, unless lenders and lessors insist otherwise. Cannot self-insure public and passenger liability.

With an aircraft close to end of life, there are are usually buyout agreements off lease, mostly triggered by the lessee to obtain cheap aircraft / parts and avoid EOL conditions. However, in the event of damage, these can be triggered, either mutually, or by the lessor alone.

DL has probably just purchased a 717.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:02 pm

..and PIT could be getting a new ARFF fire or deicing trainer out of this....

In all seriousness, I wouldn't draw any absolutes out of this. There are inspections and procedures to determine next course of action. Can't assume anything just from these pictures.
 
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terence757
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:18 pm

Since no one has gone there yet I'll do it. That'll buff right out.
 
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jscottwomack
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:59 pm

terence757 wrote:
Since no one has gone there yet I'll do it. That'll buff right out.


Well said...
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capitalflyer
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:12 pm

If you look at the video at the link in the OP, there appears to be something hanging off the back. Are those stairs? Or something else? Tail prop?
 
hayzel777
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:32 pm

capitalflyer wrote:
If you look at the video at the link in the OP, there appears to be something hanging off the back. Are those stairs? Or something else? Tail prop?

That’s the emergency slide.
 
TMccrury
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:57 pm

terence757 wrote:
Since no one has gone there yet I'll do it. That'll buff right out.


Absolutely and I'd go help them buff it out. :smile:
 
777Mech
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:40 pm

gdavis003 wrote:
Flew on 998AT about two weeks ago. Wow. Probably a write off now


From some pics I've seen of the belly, everything looks for the most part cosmetic. It pretty much just slid in mud. The nose gear is intact as well.

The galley drain mast as well as the ELT antenna were sheared off.
 
gdavis003
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:49 pm

777Mech wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Flew on 998AT about two weeks ago. Wow. Probably a write off now


From some pics I've seen of the belly, everything looks for the most part cosmetic. It pretty much just slid in mud. The nose gear is intact as well.

The galley drain mast as well as the ELT antenna were sheared off.


That is certainly good news to hear. As other posters mentioned, if there is any structural damage, I would anticipate it being a write off. Plenty of stored 717s to replace this one if there is structural damage. Only reason that wouldn't happen is the unusual lease agreements with the 717s.

I did come across this though. Didn't realize how large the ditch was and how close it came from the initial pictures: https://twitter.com/ScottTrabandt/statu ... 24480?s=20
 
777Mech
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:14 am

Anyone know how accurate the speed readings are on FR24? It shows a speed of 16 knots at the time it slid off. That'd be way too fast for conditions at the time.
 
vegasplanes
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:00 am

Call Patroni.......dig out the mains and nose wheel, lay some plywood, full reverse thrust !

:)

Does the 717 have the same airframe sturdiness of it's elder sibling, the DC-9 ?
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:23 am

Delta seems to always run their MD (and yes, this is an MD-95) aircraft off the runway/taxiway. Many times they did it with the MD-80/90. AA didn't seem to have this issue. Are Delta pilots rushed to get to the gate?
 
Cubsrule
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:13 am

TTailedTiger wrote:
Delta seems to always run their MD (and yes, this is an MD-95) aircraft off the runway/taxiway. Many times they did it with the MD-80/90. AA didn't seem to have this issue. Are Delta pilots rushed to get to the gate?


This is silly. Only one of those two carriers has killed passengers due to pilot error on an MD-80, and it isn’t DL.
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ssteve
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:26 am

Is there really a financial difference between "write off" and "don't repair" when the asset is almost fully depreciated? Whether you call it a writeoff or not, this one's not flying passengers again...
 
Yeastbeast
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:13 am

gdavis003 wrote:
777Mech wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Flew on 998AT about two weeks ago. Wow. Probably a write off now


From some pics I've seen of the belly, everything looks for the most part cosmetic. It pretty much just slid in mud. The nose gear is intact as well.

The galley drain mast as well as the ELT antenna were sheared off.


That is certainly good news to hear. As other posters mentioned, if there is any structural damage, I would anticipate it being a write off. Plenty of stored 717s to replace this one if there is structural damage. Only reason that wouldn't happen is the unusual lease agreements with the 717s.

I did come across this though. Didn't realize how large the ditch was and how close it came from the initial pictures: https://twitter.com/ScottTrabandt/statu ... 24480?s=20

Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.
Brewers make the wort, the yeast makes the beer.
 
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zeke
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:34 am

bennett123 wrote:
On the OP link there is a map showing the location.


When I open the article in the OP I get black images with the word error in it. Looks like it happen on the turn at the end of F for holding point 10R.

Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.


I think they were very lucky
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
basspaul
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:16 pm

DLASFlyer wrote:
Is it a write off?


Absolutely. They'll need to fill in the ravine completely and let it settle for a year before they dig it out again. It's a shame, not many of that model left in service.
 
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PITingres
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:12 pm

basspaul wrote:
DLASFlyer wrote:
Is it a write off?


Absolutely. They'll need to fill in the ravine completely and let it settle for a year before they dig it out again. It's a shame, not many of that model left in service.


Huh? Nothing's getting filled in. The rental car overflow and storage lots are at the bottom of that hillside. It's not really all that deep; at a guess, maybe 30-40 feet? I'm not sure how steep the slope is, though, and it's hard to tell from telephoto shots.

Or maybe you were writing tongue in cheek?
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LAX772LR
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:48 pm

Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.

The angles are confusing. One one, it looks very deep, on others, not so much.

Anyone know for fact how steep/deep the dropoff is here?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
bennett123
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:11 pm

zeke wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
On the OP link there is a map showing the location.


When I open the article in the OP I get black images with the word error in it. Looks like it happen on the turn at the end of F for holding point 10R.

Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.


I think they were very lucky


The link is working again.
 
bennett123
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:13 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.

The angles are confusing. One one, it looks very deep, on others, not so much.

Anyone know for fact how steep/deep the dropoff is here?


From the different images, my understanding is that this very nearly did not have a happy ending.

IMO, some sort of fencing or other barrier on this section would be a good idea.
 
RobertS975
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:30 pm

gdavis003 wrote:
777Mech wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Flew on 998AT about two weeks ago. Wow. Probably a write off now


From some pics I've seen of the belly, everything looks for the most part cosmetic. It pretty much just slid in mud. The nose gear is intact as well.

The galley drain mast as well as the ELT antenna were sheared off.


That is certainly good news to hear. As other posters mentioned, if there is any structural damage, I would anticipate it being a write off. Plenty of stored 717s to replace this one if there is structural damage. Only reason that wouldn't happen is the unusual lease agreements with the 717s.

I did come across this though. Didn't realize how large the ditch was and how close it came from the initial pictures: https://twitter.com/ScottTrabandt/statu ... 24480?s=20


That's no "ditch"! That's more like a canyon!
 
timf
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:32 pm

On the local news last night, they claimed the plane "skidded off the runway while taking off". I'm not sure why the media needs to sensationalize the story to the point of being completely wrong.
 
IADCA
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:57 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.

The angles are confusing. One one, it looks very deep, on others, not so much.

Anyone know for fact how steep/deep the dropoff is here?


It's about 25 feet or so and very steep - this portion of the airport was built by adding fill onto a shallower hillside to make a flat area. But the deep part is off the right wingtip and behind the plane (like 4 o'clock). The small portion of the drop ahead of the nose is maybe 15 feet. The issue here is that if the right main had gone over the edge, the plane either would have been slow enough that the vegetation on the slope would stop it or it might well have flipped over. You can see a brief aerial shot of the area in the video at the top of the news article from about :08 to about :20. Just a touch more speed and this would have been really bad.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:02 pm

bennett123 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Yeastbeast wrote:
Ditch? That's a ravine. That was a helluva close call.

The angles are confusing. One one, it looks very deep, on others, not so much.

Anyone know for fact how steep/deep the dropoff is here?


From the different images, my understanding is that this very nearly did not have a happy ending.

IMO, some sort of fencing or other barrier on this section would be a good idea.

Right?! Some kind of arresting-equipment or structure is clearly needed... even if this is a 1-in-a-million-opps happenstance, for an airport with PIT's general traffic amounts, that puts it statistically likely to happen again in barely more than a decade.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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PITingres
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:58 am

10R departures are pretty rare, I believe. Maybe another option to deal with this would be to operationally prohibit the far end of F in snow or heavy rain conditions. You only lose 1000 feet or so by using the next entrance up (W?). Or, put one more entrance halfway, but that hardly seems necessary.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
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flyPIT
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:52 am

Ironically, it is when there is snow activity that a lot of 10R departures happen. They try to keep 10L/28R and 10R/28L operational when they are down to two runways. Furthermore, much of the region's snow activity happens when the winds are out of the east (think noreaster). Add these two things together and that will mean 10R departures.

The simple solution is to keep the taxiway clean. PIT used to pride themselves on their snow removal and has won several awards for this in the past. But seems like snow removal has taken a back seat to keeping costs in line. The airport is in decline (more so lately than similar markets) and yet is about to embark on a +1B modernization program. My speculation is this is a classic case of cutting corners (safety) to enhance the bottom line. I was recently on a jumpseat on the first of 6 cargo flights due to arrive. On that night it had just snowed, perhaps 4 inches. 10L arrivals with a very short taxi to the cargo ramp. As far as taxiways all they had to do for the following several hours (only cargo flights were scheduled to arrive) was keep that very short segment to the cargo ramp clear. The runway was fine but I was shocked to see they did not touch the relevant taxiway. Certainly not the PIT I grew up with.

Longer term It shouldn't be too hard to fill in some more of that ravine. PIT is about to embark on building its 5th cargo building which will necessitate the removal of a hill or two. That earth can be used as fill for this ravine.
FLYi
 
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aerorobnz
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Re: DL 717 slides off taxiway @ PIT

Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:26 pm

I love the 717. My favourite shorthaul aircraft of the modern era. Given how strong the Douglas airframes were, the 717 hopefully shares some of that DNA and it returns to service. I thought I had flown this one, (It wasn't I flew 991AT) but I have photographed this frame at LAX (and probably before that as AirTran at ATL). It goes to show in that weather is actually a big piece of the jigsaw puzzle as far as safe aircraft operations, and one that we can never take for granted, Thankfully everyone is safe.
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Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos