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Kathy Barnstorff
(757) 864-9886

RELEASE NO. 00-013

For Release: Feb. 29, 2000

Researcher to Discuss Making Runways Safer

     Slick runway conditions caused by bad weather have contributed to as many as three dozen airplane accidents in the last 20 years. Most of those accidents involved fatalities, including one last June in Little Rock, Ark., that killed 11 people and injured 89 others.

    Engineers at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., have studied runway friction for 40 years to help industry develop better pavement and aircraft tires to prevent airplane incidents. One of them, Thomas J. Yager, has become an international expert on runway traction as a result of his 37-year career at Langley.

Tom Yager    Yager is the NASA program manager of the Joint NASA/Transport Canada/FAA Winter Runway Friction Measurement Program. He has traveled all over the world conducting runway tests and sharing his findings with other researchers.

    Now Yager will share some of his ground breaking work in safety with the Hampton Roads community. On Tuesday, March 7 he will present "Slippin' and a-Slidin:' A Researcher's Dilemma" at a colloquium at 2 p.m. at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

    A media briefing will be held before the presentation at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. at NASA Langley. Media who wish to attend should contact Kathy Barnstorff at (757) 864-9886. Video and still photographs of some of Yager's snowy runway tests will be available.

    Yager is a senior research engineer in the Structural Dynamics Branch at NASA Langley. He started work at the Hampton facility in June, 1963 after earning an engineering science degree from the University of Portland in Portland, Ore.

    The public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture at the Virginia Air and Space Center that evening at 7:30 p.m.

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