Final Report: Runway incursions plague system

 - March 31, 2009, 4:44 AM

Bombardier Learjet 60/Embraer ERJ 145, Chicago, July 21, 2008–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the near miss of the Electrolux Home Products Learjet and the American Eagle Embraer was the controller’s failure to ensure the appropriate separation between two airplanes operating on runways where flight paths intersect. The ERJ 145 was departing Runway 32L and the Learjet was landing on Runway 9R; the Learjet’s flight path was over that of the departing Embraer. According to ground radar analysis and radar replay, the Learjet passed 325 feet above and slightly behind the departing Embraer. There were no injuries in the incident.

Bombardier CRJ200/Embraer ERJ 145, Peoria, Ill., Sept. 22, 2008–The Skywest CRJ and the American Eagle ERJ were cleared to land at the same time on intersecting runways at the Greater Peoria Regional Airport. The NTSB blamed the tower controller’s failure to provide adequate separation between the two airplanes.
The Skywest flight landed on Runway 22, and while it was on its landing roll the controller instructed it to hold short of intersecting Runway 13 for landing traffic. The pilot did not read back the instruction. The controller thought Skywest had stopped short of Runway 13 and cleared the American Eagle flight to land on Runway 13. As it was touching down on Runway 13, Skywest advised, “We may be technically on the runway.” The Skywest pilot might have been referring to old land-and-hold-short markings on Runway 22; however, there were no hold-short markings for the intersecting runway. The two aircraft came within 1,900 feet of each other.

Bombardier CRJ700/Cessna 172, Allentown, Pa., Sept. 19, 2008–
The NTSB cited the failure of both tower controllers to maintain awareness of the position of the Cessna 172 and to ensure that it was clear of the runway before clearing the Mesa Air Shuttle CRJ to take off on the same runway as the cause of the near-collision. The Mesa flight aborted takeoff because the 172 that had just landed on Runway 6 at Lehigh Valley International Airport was still taxiing on the runway when the CRJ landed. The crew of the CRJ estimated the distance between the two aircraft as 10 feet when they passed. The aircraft were not damaged and no one was injured.

Bombardier CRJ200/Piper Malibu, Fresno, Calif., Aug. 28, 2008–The NTSB blamed the runway incursion and near-collision of the Skywest CRJ and Piper Malibu on the tower controller’s failure to ensure that the runway was clear before allowing the Skywest flight to land. The Malibu pilot’s and tower controller’s unfamiliarity with the airport layout were factors.

Both aircraft were landing on Runway 29R at the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, with the Skywest flight following the Malibu, which was instructed to exit the runway at Taxiway B5. This requires departing the runway on B4, then joining B5, but there were no markings on B4. The Malibu failed to exit and the CRJ pilot had to avoid it on the runway. No one was injured.