Many blamed for Citation, airliner collision

 - March 16, 2007, 9:22 AM

The final report of the Oct. 8, 2001 collision between a Citation II and a Scandinavian Airline System MD-87 at Italy’s Milan-Linate Airport said the immediate cause of the crash, which killed 114 people aboard both jets and four ground workers, was that the Citation inadvertently entered the active runway as the airliner was reaching V1 on its takeoff roll. But the report also said that blaming the Citation crew must be weighed against other factors. For example, controllers and the Citation crew were communicating in Italian and English, instead of the standard English only. The Citation crew, taxiing in fog, was never asked to read back the tower’s instructions. Additionally, investigators said that taxiways at Linate had obsolete and obstructed markings that might have been difficult to see in the fog. Linate’s ground traffic radar had been switched off just a few days before the accident, allegedly because of long-term problems with the equipment. A new system was not operating at the time of the crash.