NTSB Investigating Runway Incursion in San Francisco

The National Transportation Safety Board issued the following press release:

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a runway incursion in San Francisco two weeks ago in which two airliners may have come within 50 feet of each other on intersecting runways.

At about 1:30 p.m. on May 26, 2007, the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer 120 arriving from Modesto, California, to land on runway 28R. Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects runway 28R.

After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted "Hold, Hold, Hold" to the SkyWest flight crew in an attempt to stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking that resulted in the airplane stopping in the middle of runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident as an operational error.

The NTSB sent an investigator to San Francisco, who collected radar data, recorded air traffic control communications, and flight crew statements, and interviewed air traffic control personnel.

A preliminary report on the incident is on the Board's website at: http://ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070610X00701&key=1

Contact: Ted Lopatkiewicz, 202/314-6100, lopatt@ntsb.gov



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