Poor weather conditions appear to have contributed to the overrun of a Shuttle America Embraer 170 at Cleveland International airport last month.

In its preliminary report into the 18 February incident the US Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot of the Delta Connection flight lost sight of the runway during the landing, which ended with the aircraft coming to rest with a collapsed nose gear in grass 45m (150ft) beyond 1,845m-long runway 28. None of the 70 passengers and four crew was injured. The crew members were aware that the glideslope for the instrument landing system for runway 28 was unusable at the time of the accident because of snow.

In its report, the FAA notes that the E-170 (N862RW) was initially cleared to land at Cleveland's runway 24R, but that this was changed to runway 28 about 10min before landing. The captain, who had passed aircraft operations to the first officer, said at the time air traffic control made this change the runway visual range (RVR) was 1,830m and that braking action was said to be fair.

After passing the final approach fix, however, RVR had dropped to 610m and although the captain says he could see the runway approach lights at 50ft altitude, he temporarily lost sight of the runway at a height of 30ft.

"He [the captain] stated he then regained sight of the runway and the airplane landed," says the report. "He stated they encountered strong gusty winds during the landing flare and after touchdown could barely see the runway lights and taxiway turn-offs."

The captain also says that on landing and despite the use of full reverse and braking the aircraft did not slow down.

Source: Flight International