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ERJ excursion crew unprepared for contaminated runway

Ukrainian investigators have determined that an Embraer ERJ-145 crew had been ill-prepared to land on a contaminated Zaporizhia runway in crosswinds before the jet veered off.

The Windrose Airlines aircraft (UR-DPB) had been operating a wet-lease service for Ukraine International Airlines from Kiev on 3 March.

It departed the left-hand side of runway 02, some 1,745m from the threshold, coming to rest 99m from the centreline.

The aircraft spun to the left during the excursion, and ended up on a heading of 220°, almost facing the opposite direction.

Ukrainian investigation authority NBAAI says the crew's "untimely and insufficient actions" as the aircraft prepared to land led to the incident.

It states that the crew, during the pre-flight briefing, did not assess the state of Zaporizhia airport in depth, and proceeded with the flight "without paying attention" to the snow warnings concerning the state of the runway.

The inquiry also found inconsistencies between different aeronautical information sources over the degree of contamination.

While air traffic control provided information on weather and runway conditions, the inquiry says the ERJ crew did not focus on the extent of contamination or discuss the specific issues associated with landing on such a runway in a crosswind.

The pilots had been informed, just before landing, that visibility was reduced to 1,900m and there was a 15kt crosswind from the right.

While none of the passengers and crew members was injured, the ERJ-145 sustained minor damage.

Windrose had suffered another ERJ-145 excursion at Zaporizhia the previous September – the result of a reduced-flap approach combined with wind and runway conditions – while operating another service for Ukraine International.

Ukraine International is to switch Zaporizhia flights temporarily to Dnipropetrovsk from 26 May while the airport undergoes a runway overhaul.

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