CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A total of 57 blocks of emergency stopping material will have to be replaced at Charleston’s Yeager Airport after a small plane landed short of the runway on the night of September 4th, a damage report has shown.
Terry Sayre, the director of Yeager Airport, said the EMAS system — made up of foam blocks — worked properly during the emergency situation.
EMAS stands for engineered materials arrestor system.
“The first part of the damage occurred at the end of the EMAS bed where the plane impacted the bed and skidded about 100 feet into the EMAS bed and came to rest at about a 30 degree angle,” Sayre said.
“We credit this with saving another life, definitely.”
Inspectors with Safran, the EMAS manufacturer, visited the airport on Friday, September 6th to survey the damage.
The damage report from the company was returned last week but did not include a projected cost for repairs, according to Miller.
Sayre said he was hoping to have that before this Wednesday’s meeting of the Yeager Airport Board.
In addition to the EMAS repair costs, “We incurred lots of other costs for the emergency response, the recovery of the aircraft. We had probably at least 20 employees here that night working along with the Air Guard, fire department, wrecker service.”
No commercial flights were affected and the stopping system itself is still usable.
“There’s 200-some feet towards the runway and all around where this plane just marred the tops the blocks, but they’re still intact and functional,” Sayre said.
The pilot walked away from the problem landing without any injuries.
It happened less than a month after a rebuilding of the EMAS system was completed at Yeager Airport following a 2015 hillside collapse.