COU Shut Down Over Apparent Runway Issue

Old Apr 7, 19, 1:14 pm
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COU Shut Down Over Apparent Runway Issue

Wanted to get this breaking news out there since I know how crucial COU is to so many of your travel plans

https://www.columbiatribune.com/news...umbia-regional

Apparently both regional carriers for AA and one of the two for UA have canceled all flights in/out of COU over complaints that runway 13/31 isn't up to snuff. That's as technical as I can get right now; I've been looking all over for any information on what they think the problem is but I don't have anything yet. The main runway (2/20) is out of service for scheduled maintenance, but 13/31 was just recently completely renovated, so I'm really not clear what the problem could be. And the fact that one carrier (Air Wisconsin FTW!) is still flying and apparently doesn't see an issue seems pretty weird.

I was scheduled tomorrow COU-DFW-AUS; they put me on AAL385 STL-DFW with the same connection, so it's not a huge deal or anything (though the 2-hour drive and earlier timing isn't exactly great); my upgrade even cleared within an hour of getting the flight changed. That said, I suppose I'll go ahead and be typical FT guy: should I be hassling somebody for some free miles or something over this? Or does a mod need to merge me into the "least substantive complaint" thread?

Mostly joking there of course; I'm fine with the situation. Just seems very strange, and I really hope the get it sorted soon; an extended bout of STL flights will become increasingly inconvenient.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 3:19 pm
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The FB page for COU has fairly up to date information on the situation. COU management, FAA, the airlines, and other stakeholders are holding a conference call tomorrow (4/8) to discuss and, hopefully, resolve the issues and resume scheduled flights.

Last edited by SC54HI; Apr 7, 19 at 3:21 pm Reason: Trying to fix link to COU FB page but giving up.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:42 pm
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13/31 is only 4400 feet.

What is the minimum for a cr7?
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
13/31 is only 4400 feet.

What is the minimum for a cr7?
Latest chart has it at 5500 https://www.airnav.com/airport/KCOU, CR7 needs 5265 at MTOW https://commercialaircraft.bombardie...specifications
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Old Apr 7, 19, 7:51 pm
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Doesn't leave much room for error, particularly if its wet.

The website suggests it's also a condition issue which seems odd since it was just redone. Must have some pilot complaints.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Doesn't leave much room for error, particularly if its wet.
I anticipate the "room for error" is built into the runway requirements. Certainly those numbers don't represent "this is exactly how long it will take to get this thing off the ground" right? Also, given the only destinations are DEN/DFW/ORD I doubt they're loading up to MTOW, though that's just a guess.

Also (and hey, honest question here; I don't know at all how this works) does wetness actually matter in this context? I didn't think they were depending on wheel friction for any of the important accelerations?

Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
The website suggests it's also a condition issue which seems odd since it was just redone. Must have some pilot complaints.
Yeah, since my first post I saw somebody tweeted a report that a couple days ago a pilot got on the mic to warn pax that takeoff would be rough because "there's a bump in the runway." That doesn't sound like the ideal approach to the problem to me...good way to freak out some pax. But yeah, point is I think your suspicion of pilot complaints looks right on.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 11:04 pm
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I was on that runway for takeoff last Wed 4/3 and there was a big bump at lift off - it seemed like we had done a hop skip at the end. Everyone kind of laughed it off and looked at each other. At the time I didnt realize this was a different runway than usual. Itís very disappointing.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by HLCinCOU View Post
Also (and hey, honest question here; I don't know at all how this works) does wetness actually matter in this context? I didn't think they were depending on wheel friction for any of the important accelerations?
Runway condition affects breaking, which is important when taking off in case of a rejected take off for whatever reason, especially in case of an engine failure where reverser thrust is limited/unavailable.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by luv2swim View Post
I was on that runway for takeoff last Wed 4/3 and there was a big bump at lift off - it seemed like we had done a hop skip at the end. Everyone kind of laughed it off and looked at each other. At the time I didnt realize this was a different runway than usual. Itís very disappointing.
Wow, that really doesn't sound great. I haven't flown out since they closed 2/20; last week I went out of STL for the direct to LGA. Anyway a big bump like you're describing doesn't seem like the sort of thing that they can fix immediately. I wonder if they can back out of the 2/20 maintenance, or if they've already started work that can't easily be undone. Really hope they can work something out.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by HLCinCOU View Post
I anticipate the "room for error" is built into the runway requirements. Certainly those numbers don't represent "this is exactly how long it will take to get this thing off the ground" right? Also, given the only destinations are DEN/DFW/ORD I doubt they're loading up to MTOW, though that's just a guess.
Correct, it is set based on no thrust reverse, brake pads worn to minimums, in a downpour wet for rejected takeoff. That's pretty much the worst of everything.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:16 am
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Originally Posted by HLCinCOU View Post
Wow, that really doesn't sound great. I haven't flown out since they closed 2/20; last week I went out of STL for the direct to LGA. Anyway a big bump like you're describing doesn't seem like the sort of thing that they can fix immediately. I wonder if they can back out of the 2/20 maintenance, or if they've already started work that can't easily be undone. Really hope they can work something out.
Looked pretty tore up last night on the news.

Issue with 13/31 seems to revolve around a drainage crown (or whatever itís called) and it creating a slight bump. Of note was that both AA and UA were fine with it when it was completed. Guess minds were changed.

I wouldnít be thrilled having to be bumped to STL or MCI (even SGF), but not much AA can do with it at the moment.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Runway condition affects breaking, which is important when taking off in case of a rejected take off for whatever reason, especially in case of an engine failure where reverser thrust is limited/unavailable.
Thanks, that makes perfect sense.

Originally Posted by autdi View Post
Correct, it is set based on no thrust reverse, brake pads worn to minimums, in a downpour wet for rejected takeoff. That's pretty much the worst of everything.
Yeah, that's just what I would have expected, thanks for confirming.

Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
Looked pretty tore up last night on the news.
That's a real shame. Wish they'd have waited a bit after the switchover to make sure everybody was OK on the other runway before making it irreversible. But then I guess I recognize that they really want to minimize the time they're using 13/31.

Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
Issue with 13/31 seems to revolve around a drainage crown (or whatever it’s called) and it creating a slight bump. Of note was that both AA and UA were fine with it when it was completed. Guess minds were changed.
Yeah, saw that this morning. Definitely sounds like everybody was cool with things right up until pilots started doing actual takeoffs, and then suddenly it was no longer cool. Not sure where we go from here though...city says the crowning is an FAA requirement, and say they want to talk to them about altering it. Even if they say OK I presume it's not something that can be fixed overnight.

Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
I wouldn’t be thrilled having to be bumped to STL or MCI (even SGF), but not much AA can do with it at the moment.
Yep, agreed. If it's just for a week or two, well stuff happens. Just really hoping this doesn't stretch into an extended outage.

Thanks everybody for the knowledgeable responses.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by HLCinCOU View Post
I anticipate the "room for error" is built into the runway requirements. Certainly those numbers don't represent "this is exactly how long it will take to get this thing off the ground" right? Also, given the only destinations are DEN/DFW/ORD I doubt they're loading up to MTOW, though that's just a guess.

Also (and hey, honest question here; I don't know at all how this works) does wetness actually matter in this context? I didn't think they were depending on wheel friction for any of the important accelerations?



Yeah, since my first post I saw somebody tweeted a report that a couple days ago a pilot got on the mic to warn pax that takeoff would be rough because "there's a bump in the runway." That doesn't sound like the ideal approach to the problem to me...good way to freak out some pax. But yeah, point is I think your suspicion of pilot complaints looks right on.
Yes. Among other conditions, such as density altitude (varies with heat, humidity), runway length, distance to and height of obstructions, runway surface, prevailing wind direction and velocity, etc.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 8:32 am
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OP needs to change their FT handle to be HLC(stuck)inCOU
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Old Apr 8, 19, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
Runway condition affects breaking,
It also affect braking.

fwiw, the airport responded to the cancellations with
COU wants to assure passengers that runway 13-31 is an FAA certified ‘part 139 runway’ and is safe and compliant
I'm not sure that's the best reply when your customers cancel flights due to safety concerns.
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