EMAS Records 10th Successful Aircraft Save
This was the landmark tenth save for Zodiac Arresting Systems' EMAS, which had previously saved nine aircraft at commercial airports during real emergency overrun situations. This predictable performance and reliability has resulted in a perfect safety record and gained the confidence of airport operators worldwide to install these systems on 110 airport runways at 66 airports.
During the initial landing attempt, the aircraft executed a go-around maneuver, for reasons unknown. At 4:05 AM, local time, after the second approach, the Falcon 20 left the end of the runway before it was safely stopped by the EMAS.
In what has become a consistent and reassuring outcome, there were no injuries to the Falcon 20 pilot and co-pilot and only minimal damage to the aircraft (landing gear hatch cover). After the aircraft was extracted from the EMASMAX bed, the runway was reopened for use that same afternoon. The EMAS, although in need of some minor repairs, remained capable of safely stopping aircraft.
EMASMAX is a bed of lightweight cellular cement blocks (4 x 4 ft. wide, with varying heights) installed at the end of an airport runway. The material predictably crushes under the wheels of an aircraft's weight to safely stop it within the airport boundaries. EMASMAX prevents overrun catastrophes at airports where Runway Safety Areas (RSA), normally 1,000 feet in length at the end of each runway, do not exist or are impractical due to environmental or other issues.
PWK's second EMASMAX installation was completed on November 7, 2015, over a period of 4 days (42 hours). The system which stopped the Falcon 20 had been installed previously, in late 2014.
EMASMAX is manufactured by Zodiac Arresting Systems America (ZASA) in Logan Township, NJ USA. ZASA (at that time, ESCO) developed the EMAS in the mid-1990s as part of a CRDA (Cooperative Research & Development Agreement) with the FAA and Port Authority of NY & NJ. In May of 1996, the product proved itself in live aircraft testing at the FAA Test Center, Pomona, NJ, safely stopping a Boeing 727 aircraft with a cabin crew and a few passengers on board.
Photos credits: Courtesy of Chicago Executive Airport