There was a hair raising incident at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Monday, August 5th, when an S7 Boeing 737-800 (VQ-BKV) overran the runway before taking off. S7 flight S7-263, with scheduled 05:30 departure from Domodedovo to Simferopol, overran runway 32L at Domodedovo.
The flight took off and flew to Simferopol where the landing was problem-free. But, as Sam Chui notes, it could easily have ended in a tragedy.
The overrun was recorded in a short clip.
Was a takeoff weight miscalculation to blame?
While investigations continue, an initial explanation is that the 737-800 was 15 tonnes heavier than thought. The Aviation Herald is reporting that the crew mistakenly calculated takeoff performance using a zero fuel weight rather than the actual fuel weight – a 15-ton difference.
An inspection of runway 32L at Domodedovo revealed there was glass debris and five damaged runway lights where the overrun occurred. Although five aircraft had taken off between this inspection and the previous inspection, a check of VQ-BKV at Simferopol found there was glass embedded in the landing gear and three tires were damaged.
The plane spent 19 hours on the ground at Simferopol before heading back to Domodedovo.
S7 is headquartered in Ob, Novosibirsk Oblast, with large bases at both Domodedovo and Tolmachevo Airports. In 2010, S7 became a fully-fledged member of Oneworld and has codeshare agreements with some 28 airlines, including Cathay Pacific, JAL, Emirates, Singapore and Qatar.
The airline has a fleet of 101 aircraft, including 21 Boeing 737-800s.
S7 aircraft have been involved in three serious incidents. However, the first two incidents were the result of external factors and it would be manifestly unfair to lay any blame on the airline.
In October 2001, when S7 was flying as Siberian Airlines, one of its Tupolev TU-154M was hit by a Ukranian Air Defense surface to air missile while flying a scheduled passenger service between Tel Aviv and Novosibirsk. All on board were killed and the Tupolev crashed into the Black Sea.
Three years later in 2004, another Siberian Airlines Tupolev crashed as a result of a terrorist bombing when flying between Moscow and Sochi. Forty-six people died.
The third incident occurred in July 2006. An Airbus A310 flying from Moscow to Irkutsk overshot the runway after landing. The plane slid over runway and grass for several hundred meters, crashed through a barricade and into a private building before bursting into flames. The crash killed 125 people. Initially, brake failure was attributed as the cause of the crash but a report by the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee found the crash was caused by pilot error.
Aero Inside reports that in 2016, an S7 737-800 flying from Domodedovo to Krasnodar overran the runway at Krasnodar by about 15 meters after landing. It came to a stop safely and was able to taxi to the terminal without injury or further incident.
Cause yet to be officially determined
Investigations are continuing into the cause of Monday’s incident involving the S7 737-800 at Domodedovo. While the miscalculation of the aircraft’s takeoff may provide an early indication of why the runway overrun occurred, it would be premature to conclude it as the cause prior to the outcome of the official investigation.
Simple Flying reached out to S7 concerning the runway overrun but had received no response prior to publication.