On Thursday afternoon, an American Airlines flight departing Philadelphia with 53 people on board slid off a snowy, icy runway while landing during a winter storm in Rochester, New York.
No injuries were reported among the 50 passengers and 3 crew members, but the incident highlighted the dangers of travelling in severe winter weather.
The Embraer E145 regional jet overshot the runway after landing at Greater Rochester International Airport around 4 pm local time.
Airport officials stated the aircraft was attempting to taxi to the terminal when it veered into the grass adjacent to the runway, coming to an abrupt halt. The cause was initially deemed undetermined pending an investigation.
An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed that Piedmont Airlines was operating the flight. They stated that “the flight exited the taxiway while in transit to the terminal due to snowy airfield conditions,” indicating wintry weather played a role.
One passenger, Michael Trickey, recalled sensing the aircraft had touched down and seemed to be decelerating for a turn when it suddenly slid off the pavement.
“There was a very sudden shock, too, because it just moved everybody back and forth, kind of like a big jolt,” Trickey noted, describing the uncontrolled slide into the grassy infield.
Eventually, buses transported the rattled passengers from the stranded aircraft to the warmth of the terminal. Trickey expressed relief at the safe outcome, saying, "I'm feeling lucky right now. Thankful to be safe...I just want to get home."
The airline emphasized that safety was their foremost priority while apologizing for the unsettling travel experience. The incident came as major airports across the Northeast grappled with mass flight cancellations and disruptions stemming from back-to-back winter storms.