The Invention That Stops Aircraft No Matter What

The Invention That Stops Aircraft No Matter What | Frontline Videos

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Difference Between Life and Death

Runway excursions come in many forms, but arguably the most dangerous type is a runway overrun.

An aircraft unable to stop even after the end of the runway can have extremely dire consequences. As such, crushable surfaces like EMAS aim to lessen this risk as much as possible.

The EMAS or Engineered Materials Arresting Systems slow planes down by collapsing under their weight – much like how a gravel trap functions during racing circuits. By using this technology, the arresting beds can force an aircraft traveling at 70 knots to a stop.

Since its installation at several airports worldwide, the EMAS has been credited with preventing several runway overruns from turning into deadlier disasters.

According to the FAA, the EMAS has reportedly saved 18 civilian aircraft so far, saving 419 passengers and crews in the process.


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