Final Report: Citation took off from taxiway

 - January 2, 2008, 10:18 AM

Cessna CitationJet 525, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 11, 2007–The NTSB concluded that the cause of this incident was the pilot’s inadvertent departure from a taxiway at Memphis International instead of a runway, despite the tower’s twice warning the pilot he was taking off from the taxiway.

The pilot said the Citation had a newly installed avionics package that included
an airport diagram display, active on the multifunction display (MFD). As the airplane neared the approach end of Runway 36L, a traffic alert caused the MFD screen to go blank. The pilot turned up the lights to verify the tower frequency on his paper chart, switched to tower frequency 128.42 and was immediately cleared for takeoff. He did not realize the centerline lights were green, instead of white, until he was near flying speed, so he continued the takeoff. He flew 400 to 500 feet over a Pinnacle CRJ200 holding on the taxiway. The pilot had been on duty for 13 hours.