Category: FOD incident

ATSB report detailing FOD occurrences between 1998 and 2008

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has published a report detailing ground operations occurrences at Australian airports between 1998 and 2008. You can get the report here in PDF format. A couple of news sites have picked up on this report and have highlighted the dangers from FOD (here and here).

The report describes a worrying trend:

There were 116 FOD occurrences reported to the ATSB between 1998 and 2008 that affected high capacity air transport aircraft. The number of FOD occurrences has increased in a curvilinear fashion from 7 in 1998 to 26 in 2008.

It’s an excellent report, and has a section on FOD (just 4 pages) that not only describes the stats for the 10 year period, but also describes specific incidents. Although the report highlights the real dangers from FOD, it makes no mention at all of the existence of FOD detection systems.

ATSB FOD stats

New Zealand pilots banned after racing cars on airport runway


This is not a photo of the actual incident!

Two pilots have been banned from one of New Zealand’s busiest airports after they sneaked on to the runway to race a car. This incident is reported in the Telegraph. Steve Anderson, the chief executive of the airport said:

there was a danger that the car could have left “foreign object debris” on the runway, with serious consequences for aircraft safety.

Source (The Telegraph)

V-22 Osprey FOD incident

OK, so the title is a little misleading, the video below shows a V-22 Osprey coming into land and unfortunately causing a major FOD hazard, but this time it’s the people who are the victims, not the aircraft.

Read more at The Register.

Falls Airport runway has pockmarks

This is a worrying report, $16 million for a runway surface that’s starting to break up after just a few months. It does raise an interesting point of course, that of runway condition monitoring. Detecting FOD that has suddenly appeared on the runway is something that all the current FOD detection systems are designed to do, but detecting changes that occur over a long period of time is also an issue. If you’re considering the purchase of a FOD detection system make sure you raise this with the system vendors.

A $16 million runway project completed just last year at Klamath Falls Airport is showing signs of trouble.

City Manager Rick Whitlock says the aggregate rock used as a base for the pavement has been showing through and creating “pockmarks” in the runway surface. The renovated runway opened last November.

Airport Operations Manager Bill Hancock says a pavement surface should last 15 to 20 years. Officials are concerned that jet engines are ingesting the rock and debris.

“We’re disappointed that it’s occurring, but we are working with the contractors,” Airport Operations Manager Bill Hancock said.

Airport officials started noticing rocks popping out of the pavement in mid-March.”There had been two or three days of some rain, and then the temperatures went up fairly high, and then down low. We went from a freezing to pavement temperatures as high as 90 degrees,” Hancock said. After the series of extreme temperatures, airfield inspectors discovered the holes across the runways and taxiways.

“The rock popping out in aviation terms is what we call FOD, Foreign Object Debris, and that causes Foreign Object Damage. It gets ingested in aircraft engines. It can cause other problems, and so it’s very critical that we keep the pavement surfaces clean,” Hancock said.

Whitlock says the city is negotiating with Kerr Contractors, the firm that did the renovation, to resolve the issue. A proposed fix would grind off the top layer of pavement and replace it with a more durable surface.

The Woodburn-based construction company won the runway project with a $16.6 million bid, much lower than the $24 million estimate provided by engineers. The project was also completed in six months instead of the expected three years. Hancock says the runway is safe now and the airport is fully operational.

“It has resulted in an increased vigilance. We’re inspecting it more to make sure we’re cognizant of when it’s continuing to pop out. We’ve increased the sweeping programs,” Hancock said.

The pavement mix is formulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Source (

FOD Incident: Spicejet B738 at Delhi – damaged tyre on takeoff

A Spicejet Boeing 737-800, registration VT-SPP performing flight SG-224 from New Delhi to Srinagar (India) with 184 people on board, performed a seemingly normal takeoff from Delhi. Following that takeoff tyre debris was discovered on the runway prompting the tower to inform the crew about the debris on the runway. The crew decided to return to Delhi where the airplane performed a low approach to have tower inspect the tyres, which confirmed one tyre on the right hand main landing gear was damaged, and subsequently landed safely.

The flight departed again with a delay of 3:45 hours.

The airline said the crew returned as a precaution after air traffic control reported tyre debris on the runway. The matter is being investigated.

Source (Aviation Herald)

FOD Incident: United Airlines B763 at Washington on May 8th 2010, damaged tyre on takeoff

A United Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration N652UA performing flight UA-950 from Washington Dulles,DC (USA) to Brussels (Belgium) with 176 passengers and 11 crew, had departed Dulles runway 01R and was climbing through 9000 feet about 5 minutes into the flight, when the crew was informed tyre debris had been found on the runway. The crew levelled off at 10000 feet and decided to stay in the Metropolitan area, burned off fuel and returned to Dulles runway 30 for a safe landing 2.5 hours after takeoff.

The flight was cancelled.

The airport reported that a section of the runway pavement was found missing after the debris was spotted. The runway was closed for short term repairs. There is a distinct possibility of a link between the pavement and the tyre damage.

Source (Aviation Herald)

FOD Incident: Jade Cargo B744 at Istanbul on May 7th 2010, tyre debris penetrated fuselage

tyre debris penetrated fuselage

A Jade Cargo Boeing 747-400, registration B-2439 performing freight flight JI-7453 from Shanghai (China) to Istanbul Ataturk (Turkey), completed a seemingly uneventful flight being cleared for an ILS approach runway 36R but advised of glideslope unreliable and tower suggesting to use a LOC approach only and landing on runway 36R with no apparent problem. The airplane taxied to the apron.

Ground staff discovered tyre debris had penetrated the fuselage just above the right hand body gear somewhere during the flight, either on takeoff from Shanghai or landing at Istanbul. It could not be established where the tyre damage occured.

Source (Aviation Herald)

FOD cleanup at LAX

I'm not sure it's anything to smile about.

The LATimes has a short article about a typical FOD walk at LAX. They have some interesting images of the types of items recovered from the runway. The article makes no mention of the existence of FOD detection systems.

The Ultimate FOD?

You have to feel sorry for the Brits, not only has the launch of the Apple iPad in the UK been delayed by a month (yes, I was eagerly awaiting one) but now they can’t even fly to the US to pick one up, at 12:00 today UK airpsace will be closed due to what can only be described as the ultimate FOD event, here’s the news from the BBC:

Airline passengers are facing massive disruption across the UK after an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded planes.

The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in or out of UK airspace from midday to 1800BST amid fears of engine damage. The restrictions were imposed after the Met Office warned the ash was sufficient to clog engines.

This is one situation that would not benefit from a FOD detection system.

ash cloud

Source (BBC)

FOD Incident: Westjet B737, tyre damage on takeoff

This incident provides a compelling reason to install a FOD detection system. If the debris had not been spotted then not only would it have endangered aircraft at Toronto, but the aircraft with the blown tyre would not have been aware of the problem. Ironically, if this flight had been from Vancouver to Toronto then the Tarsier system installed at Vancouver would have alerted airport staff of the problem within minutes.

Incident: Westjet B737 at Toronto on Apr 2nd 2010, tyre damage on takeoff

ZA Westjet Boeing 737-700, registration C-GWBX performing flight WS-699 from Toronto,ON to Vancouver,BC (Canada), took off Toronto’s runway 23 without apparent incident and climbed to cruise level on its way to Vancouver.

A short time later the crew of another departing aircraft reported considerable tyre debris on the runway. The runway was closed for about 30 minutes and airport staff collected the debris. Westjet staff determined, that the tyre debris might belong to one of their aircraft.

When flight 699 was near Calgary,AB about 3 hours into the flight, the company advised the crew of the possible tyre damage and had the airplane divert to Calgary, where the airplane landed safely on runway 16 and was disabled on the runway with a flat tyre. The airplane was towed off the runway about 10 minutes after landing.


Source (Aviation Herald)

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