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01 Feb 2015 - The Japanese Transport Safety Board have issued their final report into the runway overrun of 737-900, HL7599 at Niigata on Aug 5th 2013. The report is available at the following link here.



On Monday, August 5, 2013, a Boeing 737-900, registered HL7599, operated by Korean Air as the scheduled flight KAL 763, was unable to stop within the runway 10 in Niigata Airport after landing, and came to rest with the nose gear trespassing into the grass area of the easterly end of the runway at 19:42 Japan Standard Time. A total of 115 persons on board, including a captain, eight crewmembers, and 106 passengers did not suffer any injuries.


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Photo: JTSB

The report contains the following Probable Causes

It is highly probable that this serious incident occurred when the Aircraft landed on runway 10 in Niigata Airport, the Captain did not let the Aircraft reduce enough lower speed to approach the runway threshold lights that the Captain understood as the stop bar lights for the intersecting runway 04/22, which the Captain was holding a doubt, and when the Captain realized there was no runway beyond the red lights, the Aircraft could not stop within the runway anymore, resulting in overrunning.
It is highly probable that the reasons why the Captain understood the runway threshold lights as the stop bar lights for the intersecting runway 04/22, and why the Captain did not let the Aircraft reduce enough lower speed to approach the lights, are as follows:
(1) Both the Captain and the F/O presumed that the ATC instruction “cross runway 04/22” from the Niigata Tower was “the clearance to cross the intersecting runway during landing roll” rather than “the taxi clearance including crossing the intersecting runway after vacating the runway,” unable to understand the intention of the instruction, and both of them believed the Aircraft was short of the intersecting runway.
(2) The Captain was going to roll to the end of the runway; therefore, he disarmed the autobrakes as fast as about 70 kt. After that the Captain could not take appropriate control of reducing speed with manual braking, even though he should have reduced speed in a careful manner.

It is also somewhat likely that the following reasons contributed to the occurrence of this serious incident: - The Captain and the F/O were not familiar with Niigata Airport which had a intersecting runway, and they had difficulty to identify the intersecting position with runway 04/22 because ground objects and others which pilots could observe during night landing were limited. In such circumstances, it was difficult for them to judge the speed of the Aircraft in the low speed area in which they did not count on the airspeed indicator.

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