NTSB cites ATC error as probable cause of near mid-air collision over Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport

January 21, 2012

The NTSB cited an operational error by a tower air traffic controller as the probable cause of a near mid-air collision involving a commercial jetliner and a small private plane over the Gulfport-Biloxi Airport.

On Sunday, June 19, 2011, at 12:35 p.m. CDT at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, a Cessna 172 was cleared for takeoff on runway 18 by the tower air traffic controller. Sixteen seconds later, the same air traffic controller cleared an Embraer 145, a commercial passenger flight, for takeoff on runway 14, the flight path of which intersects the flight path of runway 18.

While both airplanes were about 300 feet above the airfield, the Embraer passed in front of the Cessna. The closest proximity between the two planes was estimated to be 0 feet vertically and 300 feet laterally.

The Embraer 145, N13929, operated as ExpressJet flight 2555 (dba Continental/United Express) was carrying 50 passengers and 3 crewmembers, and was bound for Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) where it landed uneventfully.

The Cessna 172P Skyhawk, N54120, operated on a local  instructional flight carrying an instructor and a student.

No one in either airplane was injured in the incident.

More information:

 


Slight rise in U.K. airprox incidents in 2010

May 12, 2011

The latest report from the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) shows an improvement during the first six months of 2010 in the most serious airprox incidents involving commercial air transport aircraft, with no reported events at all concerning passenger airlines in the highest risk categories. There had been one category B incident during the first six months of 2009.

There was, however, a small overall increase in reported airprox incidents between January-June 2010 compared to the same period the year before. There were a total of 79 incidents in the first half of 2010 involving commercial, military and general aviation aircraft, in contrast to 60 during January to June 2009.

General aviation aircraft were involved in ten more incidents than in the same period the year before – 44 compared to 34. These included two category A incidents, an increase on the single category A incident during the same period in 2009.

Today’s report shows that the causes of airprox incidents remain predominantly late sightings and non-sightings of aircraft by pilots. The majority of these occur in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace where pilots have the responsibility to see and avoid other aircraft.

More information:


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