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System that saved runaway airliner in Cali. also installed in DC area

December 06, 2018 / Pete Muntean

The system that saved 117 people on board a Southwest Airlines flight that ran off the runway in Burbank, California is also installed in our area. Engineered Material Arresting System—better known as EMAS—is a foamy bed of plastic and recycled glass installed at airports with runways that end near hazards like rivers, highways, and railroads. Southwest Airlines flight 278 landed on Burbank’s runway 8 in rain on Thursday morning. Passengers told CBS News they felt the pilot brake heavily before the airplane came to a sudden stop instead of plowing through a fence and into a highway. A similar incident occurred on March 5, 2000, when a Southwest jet landing slid into the road at the end of the very same runway, injuring 44 passengers. That was before EMAS was installed.