Can any Pittsburgh locals tell us the whole story. All of these happened on 2/12 between 1900Z and 1952Z.
N12145 CONTINENTAL EXPRESS FLIGHT 2035 EMBRAER 145XR AIRCRAFT, ON TAKEOFF, WINDSCREEN WAS STRUCK BY DEBRIS, NO INJURIES REPORTED, AIRCRAFT TAXIED BACK TO THE RAMP WITHOUT INCIDENT, PITTSBURGH, PA
AIRCRAFT ON TAKEOFF (BE40), WINDSCREEN WAS STRUCK BY DEBRIS, NO INJURIES REPORTED, TAXIED BACK TO THE RAMP WITHOUT INCIDENT, PITTSBURGH, PA
N442AW AIR WISCONSIN FLIGHT 4025 BOMBARDIER CL-600 AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, WINDSCREEN WAS STRUCK BY DEBRIS, NO INJURIES REPORTED, TAXIED TO THE RAMP WITHOUT INCIDENT, PITTSBURGH, PA
N801HK TRANS STATE AIRLINES FLIGHT 3541 EMBRAER 145 EP AIRCRAFT, ON TAKEOFF ROLL DEBRIS STRUCK WINDSCREEN, NO INJURIES REPORTED, TAXIED BACK TO RAMP WITHOUT INCIDENT, PITTSBURGH, PA
Frank, do you know if all of these happened on the same runway? If so, I’m thinking there was some crackpot hiding next to the runway…Maybe about 2000’ down, since all the aircraft attempting departures were able to abort and taxi back.
Good questions all around. I can only guess that if their windscreens were hit by something, they should have reported it when they vacated the runway or aborted the takeoff. As a Tower controller, that would have set off flags for me to halt all departures, and get a runway inspection going. Why departures were still rolling and potential for further damage would be good questions for the controller, and could put that controller in hot water.
As for how high, just about anything can kick up debris if hitting it at a fast enough speed. Think of all the windshield cracks people’s cars get because they’re behind a semi who kicked up rocks that their mudflaps didn’t stop… Wasn’t the AFR Concorde crash the cause of kicked up debris hitting the engine? with nothing to block its path (which unfortunately there was), we could tell how high such a thing could go. Too bad we can’t…
As for the arrivals… looking at what you’ve posted, we have 3 regional jets and a Beechcraft that departed a given runway. if this was at KPIT, we’re looking at 3 parallel runways with a 4th runway intersecting two of the parallel runways. do we have an idea on which runway was in use for the departures? I assume simultaneous approaches to the parallels and intersecting runways were in use. Could they have landed one of the parallels and departed the other? That would answer why the arrivals weren’t affected. If they were in single runway ops, arrivals would definitely be affected because assuming 10C/28C was in use (shortest of the 3 parallels) the arrivals rollout and vacating of the runway would have to be at least shorter than the take off distance for the Beechcraft for them to NOT be affected. If it were longer, then all would be affected.
My guess is that more than one runway was in use for arrivals. Still, this is all speculation.
If those happened on 2/12, they should be available on at LiveATC. The KPIT feed was up during that time so there should be something in the archives for it. Let’s have a look through those and see what happened…
Weather at the time: 26026G40 10SM BKN065 07/M07 A2980
The 28s would have been in use, which means that they had some nasty headwinds and that debris was flown straight at them. Also, explains why they didn’t have a runway inspection happen. They literally would have to inspect them each time an operation occurred, and since they shut the entire airport down to clear out everything… makes absolute sense.