Prestwick jet skid: De-icing had 'little effect'

Image caption,
No one was injured during the incident

A report into an incident in which a passenger plane skidded off a runway after landing has found de-icing was likely to have had a limited effect.

The Ryanair plane from Dublin, with 135 people on board, ended up on a grass verge at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow on 23 December last year.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said the airport had tried to de-ice the runway.

But the machine had not been set to the correct level to get rid of the ice.

The de-icing machine was automatically limited to an application of 20 grams per square metre - the rate appropriate for anti-icing.

However, to remove ice already formed, a rate of 30-70 grams per square metre is needed.

The report said: "A de-icing run was carried out on the runway but at an application rate only suitable for anti-icing.

"Therefore, it is likely to have been of limited effectiveness."

No-one was injured in the incident and there was no reported damage to the aircraft.

The report also said the co-pilot did not pass on the exact detail of the "extremely icy" conditions.

He told his colleagues about the wind and braking action and added: "And it's icy obviously."

After landing, the plane taxied towards the end of the runway but did not slow down when the brakes were applied.

Procedures improved

The plane came to a stop on the grass and the passengers and crew disembarked.

The AAIB said the airport operator identified a number of areas in its winter operations where its procedures could be improved and made appropriate safety recommendations, with a particular focus on anti-icing and de-icing operations.

And the airline operator has included a training module on operations to or from slippery runways in its recurrent training programme.

The AAIB said it was therefore not considered necessary to make any further safety recommendations.

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