Snow-Narrowed Runway Cited In Gear Collapse

The Transportation Safety Board says the combination of poor visibility in snow and gusty winds resulted in a runway incident that caused the nose gear to collapse on a WestJet Encore Q400 in January of 2020. The weather was miserable on the night of Jan. 31, 2020 when Flight 3107 touched down about 10 feet left of the centreline of the 150-foot-wide runway but only 100 feet had been cleared as the airport coped with the storm. A final gust on rollout led to the expensive and inconvenient mishap.

It appears the aircraft never left the runway but its main gear dug into the windrow created when the plows cleared the centre strip. That propelled the plane into the uncleared portion of the runway and the buildup of snow and ice on the nose gear caused its failure. There were no injuries. About all the TSB could recommend is that crews be advised when they might not have all the runway they’re used to. “…if aircraft operators do not provide pilots with all the possible tools and relevant information to assess runway suitability for landing, pilots may not evaluate all potential threats and may make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information,” the TSB said in a news release.