Sunday, October 29, 2006

Teterboro Airport Arrestor Bed Mishap

A newly installed $8.5 million dollar aircraft arrestor bed is damaged. Estimate of repair $15,000.00 and on the positive side it was seen as a good test. Recently Snake Oil Sam was at one of his haunts near Teterboro Airport when he noticed a couple of News Choppers hovering above the airport. Now my first thought was that a traffic accident has taken place on Route 46 which is not anything out of the ordinary.

Then I thought could it be that once again an aircraft had a mishap. That also is something which is not out of the ordinary at what has been referred to as one of the most important airports in the United States. This once small airport just outside of New York City is home to many private and corporate jets.

Upon further inspection it was determined that indeed it was a jet off the runway. As reported the following day in The Record, on Friday, October 27, 2006 it was a Challenger 600 which is a substantial aircraft. Apparently the pilot had become confused as to the taxi procedure and wandered onto a newly installed arrestor bed.

The arrestor bed had been installed by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a safety feature after another jet, which after aborting a takeoff, had crossed the grass, slammed through a perimeter fence, jump across a drainage ditch crossed all four lanes and a grass median of Route 46 hitting several cars in the process, careened through a parking lot hitting more cars and eventually stopping after slamming through a brick wall of a nearby building.

In this most recent incident the aircraft was only traveling at about ten miles per hour. It is debatable in my view if the arrestor bed will be able to stop a craft which aborts takeoff and hits the arrestor bed at perhaps 120 miles per hour. If it works then that would be great.

In this event it is not likely that the Challenger 600 would have gone beyond the grass even had the arrestor bed not been present. As a matter of fact it is possible that the incident would not have taken place if the arrestor bed had not been installed.

It seems that the area should be painted in such a way as to cause all pilots to recognize that it is not the standard tarmac and that it is off limits to any craft. According to the article in The Record the arrestor bed was constructed with funding provided by the F.A.A. at a cost of $8.5 million dollars.

That amount of money seems to be a substantial sum for what is described as lightweight concrete blocks. Is it possible that about a quarter of an acre of concrete blocks could cost anywhere near that amount? It seems to me that someone has a brother-in-law in the business. But after all this is New Jersey.
Snake Oil Sam
Snake Oil Sam Internet Media Publishing © 2006

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