Close Call With Pearson Snowplows

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating a runway incursion at Pearson International Airport that led to an aborted takeoff by a regional jet in late January. The Sky Regional Airways E170 was on its takeoff run on Runway 6L during a snowstorm when a convoy of snow clearing equipment apparently took a wrong turn and almost ended up in its path. “A convoy of snow plows and sweeper vehicles were operating north of runway 06L and proceeding southbound on the taxiway,” the TSB’s preliminary report said. “Air Traffic Control instructed the vehicles to turn left on to taxiway Charlie, however the vehicles turned left on Charlie 2 (C2) towards Runway 06L and continued past the hold short position.”

Meanwhile, the tower controller ordered the E170 crew to abort its takeoff and the aircraft came to a stop just before it reached the taxiway where the snow equipment had stopped. The incident occurred just before the TSB held a news conference warning the layout and location of hold short lines at Pearson were implicated in some close calls. The January incident wasn’t part of the study that led to the TSB news conference.