NTSB Identification: CHI99IA100A
Incident occurred Tuesday, March 02, 1999 in SALINA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-10, registration: N40061
Injuries: 6 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

A Federal Express DC-10-10F sustained no damage during a near mid-air collision with an American International Airways Lockheed L-1011-385-1-15, 30 miles west of Salina, Kansas. The aircraft came within an estimated 1/2 mile horizontal and 0 feet vertical separation of each other. The FAA issued a Final Operational Error/Deviation Report. The report indicated that an ATC controller '...dropped the data block on FDX3207 [DC-10] without transferring communications...' to another controller. The report also indicated that another ATC controller, '...issued CKS303 [L-1011] a frequency change to 125.67 instead of the correct frequency of 127.65. CKS303 acknowledged the wrong frequency correctly by reading back 125.67.' ATC recognized that both airplanes were NORDO but were unable to reestablish radio communications, although several means were tried. The CKS303 First Officer reported he saw the DC-10 at their 8 o'clock position at 1/2 mile and same altitude. He reported he turned to the right 30 degrees. The FDX3207 pilots reported they did not see the L-1011 but felt its wake turbulence. Current FAA regulations do not require any aircraft used exclusively for cargo operations to be equipped with any version of TCAS.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

the ARTCC personnel failed to maintain radio communications with both airplanes and failed to maintain IFR separation standards. Factors relating to the incident were the FAA does not require cargo airplanes to be equipped with TCAS and neither airplane was equipped with TCAS.

Full narrative available

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