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Report: Canadair CRJ runway excursion at Longyearbyen, Norway
7 December 2011

A CRJ-200PF cargo plane suffered a serious runway excursion incident upon landing at Svalbard-Longyearbyen Airport (LYR/ENSB), Norway on January 25, 2010.

En route to Longyearbyen the crew were told by ATC to expect a runway 28 approach and landing. Braking effect in the landing direction was 4-3-2 (medium/good – medium – medium/poor), with sandy ice. The wind was stated to be 190º at 09 kts with maximum winds of 17 kts. The crosswind limits for these braking conditions were 25-15-10 kts, per the company Operations Manual.
The last update of the wind was given about one minute before landing. It was reported to be 190º at 10 kts with maximum winds of 18 kts varying in direction between 150 and 260 degrees.
The aircraft was configured with full flaps. Approach Speed ​​(Vref) was estimated to be 142 kt. On short final the airplane dropped below the glide path but this was corrected. The airplane touched down 500m down the runway. Reverse thrust was applied and the airplane decelerated normally until a speed of about 60 knots. The airplane drifted to the right, which was countered by the pilot. The plane then drifted to the left and continued off the side of the runway at an approx. 35 kt ground speed. It contacted the PAPI light installation before coming to rest after rotating around 160 degrees.

It was determined that the airplane landed far down the runway, entering a runway area (the last third) with the lowest friction. The safety margins of this landing at Longyearbyen were too small. Under the current conditions with sandy ice, freezing and high humidity, the deviation between the measured friction and aircraft braking effect could be large. A crosswind component up to the maximum can thus actually be above the be permitted.

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