NTSB Identification: NYC93IA064.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 52811.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC.
Incident occurred Thursday, February 11, 1993 in NEWARK, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/1993
Aircraft: BOEING 727-200, registration: N79771
Injuries: 67 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.

THE CREW OF N79771 WAS CLEARED TO TAXI TO RUNWAY 4L ON THE OUTER TAXIWAY. WHILE TAXIING, THE CAPTAIN BECAME DISORIENTED AND THOUGHT HE WAS ON THE INNER TAXIWAY. HE TOLD THE FIRST OFFICER ABOUT HIS CONCERNS. THE FIRST OFFICER'S ATTENTION HAD BEEN DEVOTED TO COCKPIT DUTIES, BUT HE ALSO THOUGHT THEY WERE TAXIING ON THE INNER. THE AIRPLANE WAS ACTUALLY ON THE OUTER. THE CAPTAIN DECIDED TO TURN LEFT AT TAXIWAY 'G' TO RETURN TO THE OUTER. WHEN THE TURN WAS MADE AT 'G,' THE AIRPLANE WAS ON A SHORT TAXIWAY LEADING TO RUNWAY 4L. A B-737 WAS ON THE TAKEOFF ROLL ON RUNWAY 4L, AND THE PILOT OF THAT AIRPLANE SAID HE OBSERVED N79771 ON THE RUNWAY. SEVERAL TOWER CONTROLLERS STATED THAT N79771 WAS ON RUNWAY 4L AMD MADE A TURN OFF THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT OF N79771 SAID HE SAW THE RUNWAY EDGE LIGHTS, AND THAT HE WAS ABLE TO TURN THE AIRPLANE BEFORE ENTERING THE ACTIVE RUNWAY. N79771 WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH A NOSE WHEEL TAXI LIGHT. THE PILOT SAID THIS MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO DETERMINE HIS POSITION. THE CREW OF N79771 MADE NO RADIO CALLS TO GROUND CONTROL ABOUT THEIR CONFUSION.

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

THE PILOT'S DISORIENTATION WHILE TAXIING, RESULTING IN A RUNWAY INCURSION. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE INCIDENT WERE: THE FAILURE OF THE FLIGHT CREW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE ATC GROUND CONTROLLER TO VERIFY THEIR POSITION; THE INADEQUATE CREW COORDINATION; AND THE DARK NIGHT LIGHT CONDITIONS.

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