A RwandAir De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 suffered a runway excursion upon landing at Kamembe Airport. The turboprop overran the runway and came to a stop around 100 meters past the runway end; fortunately, all occupants disembarked the aircraft without injury.

RwandAir Dash 8 overshoots runway

RwandAir Flight WB 601 from Kigali International Airport (KGL) to Kamembe International Airport (KME) touched down at its destination at 07:37 local time on Saturday. However, the aircraft, a DHC Dash 8, ended up approximately 100 meters (330 ft) from the end of the runway in a patch of tall grass.

It isn’t clear at this stage whether the flight landed past the touchdown zone (TDZ) or if other factors were involved – media reports and pictures from the scene reveal that the ground was wet, likely affecting the plane’s brakes and causing aquaplaning. Simple Flying explored how aquaplaning can impact aircraft operations and noted that the phenomenon has led to many runway excursions in the past.

It seems this incident could have been a lot worse had the aircraft gone beyond 100 meters. Video footage of the aftermath shows the plane at rest moments away from a steep downward embankment.

Kamembe Airport is a small domestic airport in Rwanda that handles a range of charter flights alongside a single scheduled RwandAir service to/from Kigali. The airport is equipped with one 1,500-meter runway which is considerably shorter than the average commercial runway.

Passengers and crew walk away

Not a single injury has been reported thus far after the runway excursion as footage shows passengers disembarking the aircraft unassisted and walking back towards the runway, many with their baggage in tow.

RwandAir and local aviation authorities have now launched an investigation into why this incident happened, while the carrier’s schedule has taken a hit with one of its Dash 8s now out of action.

RwandAir said,

“RwandAir Flight WB601 to Kamembe this morning had a minor incident on landing. All passengers and crew are safe. We’ll experience some disruptions in our schedule today and apologize for any inconvenience.”

Simple Flying reported on a similar incident in Central Africa last month after a United Nations Dash 8 exited the runway in South Sudan, also coming to a stop on a bank of grass. On this occasion, conditions were dry and no one was injured.

9XR-WM

The aircraft involved in this incident is a seven-year-old DHC Dash 8-400 (registration: 9XR-WM) that has spent its entire service life at RwandAir. The plane was delivered to RwandAir in June 2015 and is one of just two Dash 8-400s in the African airline’s fleet.

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Kamembe Airport runway

According to The Aviation Herald, the plane itself suffered “minor, if any, damage” after this incident, although it is too early to assess the full extent of damage at this stage. 9XR-WM is still on the ground at the time of publication, roughly 30 hours after the excursion.

Have you ever been involved in a runway excursion before? Let us know your stories in the comments.

Source: simpleflying.com

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