NTSB Identification: LAX94IA331.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of ALASKA AIRLINES (D.B.A. operation of ALASKA AIRLINES )
Incident occurred Friday, August 19, 1994 in RENO, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/24/1995
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS MD-82, registration: N954AS
Injuries: 6 Minor,113 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.

ALASKA AIRLINES FLIGHT 601 (ASA601), N954AS, WAS ON A STANDARD INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE WHEN IT NEARLY COLLIDED WITH A MOONEY M20C, N91Y. THE MOONEY WAS TRANSITING THE RENO AIRSPACE AT 12,500 FEET MSL AND HAD JUST BEEN HANDED OFF FROM THE TRACON DEPARTURE CONTROLLER TO THE ARRIVAL CONTROLLER. THE LOCAL CONTROLLER DID NOT INFORM ASA601 TO CONTACT DEPARTURE CONTROL AFTER TAKEOFF. DURING ASA601'S INITIAL CLIMB, THE DEPARTURE CONTROLLER/AREA MANAGER LEFT HIS POSITION TO ANSWER A PHONE CALL FROM A FACILITY TECHNICIAN TO DISCUSS TRACON BUSINESS. AT THE SAME TIME, THE ARRIVAL CONTROLLER WAS TELLING THE MOONEY TO CHANGE TRANSPONDER CODES IN PREPARATION FOR A HANDOFF TO CENTER; AT THAT TIME, THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION BETWEEN THE MOONEY PILOT AND THE CONTROLLER ABOUT THE TRANSPONDER CODE. THE ARRIVAL CONTROLLER SAID HE DID NOT SEE THE DATA BLOCK FOR ASA601 BECAUSE HIS ATTENTION WAS DIVERTED TO THE MOONEY. THE CHANGING OF THE TRANSPONDER CODE AND THE MOONEY'S INTERMITTENT MODE C TRANSPONDER KEPT ASA601'S TCAS SYSTEM FROM ACQUIRING THE MOONEY. AFTER HIS PHONE CALL, THE DEPARTURE CONTROLLER TRIED TO CALL ASA601, BUT WITHOUT SUCCESS. HE THEN CALLED THE LOCAL CONTROLLER AND WAS INFORMED OF THE NEAR COLLISION.

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

FAILURE OF THE AREA SUPERVISOR/DEPARTURE CONTROLLER (SUPVR/CTLR) TO STAY AT HIS RADAR POSITION AND ENSURE THAT REQUIRED COMMUNICATIONS WERE MAINTAINED. FACTORS RELATED TO THE INCIDENT WERE: FAILURE OF THE LOCAL TOWER CONTROLLER INSTRUCT THE FLIGHTCREW OF ASA601 (N954AS) TO CONTACT DEPARTURE CONTROL, FAILURE OF THE ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE CONTROLLERS TO ISSUE TRAFFIC ADVISORIES, SUPERVISOR/DEPARTURE CONTROLLER'S DIVERTED ATTENTION, AND INTERMITTENT OPERATION OF THE TRANSPONDER IN THE MOONEY, THUS NOT ACTIVATING THE TCAS OF ASA601.

Full narrative available

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