Pilot Fatigue Blamed For Overrun

The Transportation Safety Board is blaming pilot fatigue for a runway overrun in January of 2012 by an Enerjet Boeing 737-700 at Fort Nelson Airport in northeastern B.C.

This Enerjet 737 was involved in an overrun at Fort Nelson in January of 2012
This Enerjet 737 was involved in an overrun at Fort Nelson in January of 2012

In its report, the board says the sleep-deprived pilot tried to salvage a sloppy visual approach to the airport and landed about 1800 feet long and six knots fast. Also, he’d forgotten to shut off the autothrottles and they actually started spooling up the engines on the runway to maintain the selected speed of 133 knots.

With the autothrottles engaged, the speedbrakes wouldn’t deploy. It took about five seconds and 1500 feet of runway to sort out the configuration problems and with only about 2500 feet of runway left, full brakes and reversers weren’t enough. The aircraft went about 230 feet into the overrun.None of the 118 people aboard was hurt and the aircraft was not damaged.

The board traced the captain’s clumsy handling back to the noisy boiler in his apartment building. The pilot had been unable to sleep the night before because his apartment is above the boiler room and it was both noisy and uncomfortably warm. He didn’t want to call in sick because he was just coming off two weeks of vacation.

Enerjet had all pilots write an open-book exam on the sections of the operations manual pertaining to pilot fitness and also used the opportunity to assure them that they would not be penalized for booking off duty for fatigue, stress or illness.

The full TSB report can be seen Here.