Narrative:Flight 4712 departed Minneapolis (MSP) at 21:44. The flight was cleared for an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 28 by Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. Weather was reported as snowing. Automatic weather observation data indicated at 00:30, the visibility was one-half mile in
snow, with indefinite ceiling and vertical visibility of 200 feet. Snow removal operations were in progress at the airport, and the flight crew communicated directly with airport operations regarding the runway conditions. After landing, the airplane overran the departure end of runway 28, which is 6,501 feet long, with an additional 200 feet of pavement. Initial examination indicates that the airplane exited the paved surface onto a grassy snow-covered field, the nose gear separated from the fuselage, and the airplane came to rest about 100 feet beyond the pavement. The passengers and crew exited the airplane via
the main cabin door.
Weather reported shortly after the accident (00:53, 04:53 UTC) was: KTVC 120453Z 02008KT 1/4SM SN VV002 00/M01 A2951 RMK AO2 SLP000 P0008 T00001006 400221022= [Wind 020 degrees at 8 kts, visibility 1/4 miles, snow, vertical visibility 200ft, temperature 0C dewpoint -1C, QNH 29.51in]
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilots’ decision to land at Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), Traverse City, Michigan, without performing a required landing distance assessment based on runway contamination initially reported by TVC ground operations personnel and continuing reports of deteriorating weather and runway conditions throughout the approach. This poor decision-making likely reflected the effects of fatigue produced by a long, demanding duty day; and, for the captain, the duties associated with check airman functions. Contributing to the accident were 1) the Federal Aviation Administration pilot flight and duty time regulations that permitted the pilots’ long, demanding duty day and 2) the TVC operations supervisor’s use of ambiguous and unspecific radio phraseology in providing runway braking information."
» NTSB press release April 24, 2007
» Pinnacle Airlines Flight 4712 (Pinnacle Airlines news release 12-4-2007)
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN to Traverse City-Cherry Capital Airport, MI as the crow flies is 598 km (374 miles).