Nifty Bit of Engineering Helped Stop Pence's Plane

The 'EMAS' safety system slows planes that overshoot runways
By Daniel Kay,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2016 2:48 PM CDT

Mike Pence had a bit of a close call Thursday when his campaign plane slid off the end of the runway at New York's LaGuardia airport. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the plane's progress was stopped quickly thanks to an FAA-mandated safety system installed at LaGuardia, Mashable reports. EMAS, or the engineered materials arrested system, is designed for airports in tight areas, where geography does not allow for a safety zone at the end of a runway. As this video shows, the system relies on huge, crushable panels that are placed on the ground at the end of the runway.

When the plane runs over the panels, they break down and the resulting crushed material dramatically slows the aircraft. You can see the tracks Pence's plane tore through the EMAS system in this tweet by WABC-TV reporter Josh Einiger. Prior to Thursday, the system had been used 10 times, says the FAA. "We're fine," Pence told CNN Friday morning. "It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty last night, but we're just so grateful to the pilots and to the first responders on the scene and (that) everybody came off the plane safely." The FBI said it would investigate the incident, reports AP. (More Mike Pence stories.)

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