Saturday, September 23, 2017

Airplane runs traffic light when landing at Midway Airport

Steve Winike posted
Remember when the southwest airplane skidded off the runway at Midway airport?
Susie Kroeger December 8, 2005 I believe...and yes, that was when the little boy was killed in a van.
Greg Vale Yes. Southwest repaired the 737 and re-numbered it with a new "N" number. Instead of - like the rest of their fleet - the N-number ending with "SW," they used the little boy's initials to honor him.
Greg Vale The final report cleared the airline & the pilots. It was Midway's fault for
#1) Not clearing ice & snow from the runway (18L)
#2) Clearing the 737 to land, instead of a go-around or clearing to O'Hare
I remember that it was caused by an icy runway and that a car passenger, rather than airline passengers, got killed. As a result of the investigation they installed cement at the ends of the runways that is designed to break up under the weight of the tires and create significant rolling resistance.
Looking at a satellite image, you can see the "crunch zone" they have added.
Zooming in, I see they then added what looks like some concrete block barriers. I guess they are willing to sacrifice the landing gear rather than have the plane continue onto a street. They can't use a "brick wall" to protect the streets because you don't want to kill the passengers. It is interesting that they have shoulder harnesses in cars, just seat belts in airplanes, and still have nothing in school buses.

Update: The above was not the first time that a mile-long runway proved to be too short.
Steve Winike posted
On December 18th 1949 a TWA airplane overshot the runway at Midway Airport and came to rest on Cicero Avenue and 59th Street in front of the Acme Bar And Grill (White Castle today[wrong]). The passengers going west on the 63rd street streetcar had a front row seat!
Steve commented on his posting

Steve commented on his posting

Pat Minnie posted
(18Dec49) A TWA Constellation crashes through a fence and ends up on 63rd and Cicero. A west bound streetcar casually passes by on 63rd Street not more than 40 feet away.
Andre Kristopans There was a very different attitude those days. No cordoning off for blocks. People would walk right up to things. No "endless investigation". Just clean up the mess.

Midway Airport
[There were runways at 59th back then. But White Castle is down by 63rd.]

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