NTSB Identification: ANC00IA088.
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Incident occurred Tuesday, July 11, 2000 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-82, registration: N935AS
Injuries: 107 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The crew of a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 airplane reported a near midair collision, about 15 miles north of the airplane's destination airport, while operating in Class E airspace. The captain of the MD-82 said that during the initial part of the approach, while descending through 4,000 feet msl, instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed. He added that approach control then cleared him to descend to 3,000 feet msl, on a heading of 160 degrees, and reported that there was traffic about 1 mile to the southwest, with an indicated altitude of 2,500 feet msl. As he started to level the airplane at 3,000 feet msl, and as the airplane descended below the clouds, he immediately saw a twin-engine airplane climbing from 2,500 feet toward his airplane. He said that he had very little time to react before the twin-engine airplane passed to the left and below of his airplane, about 500 feet horizontally, and 200 feet vertically. The captain added that his airplane's traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) was inoperative at the time of the incident. Subsequently, no collision avoidance alert was provided to the crew of the MD-82. A review of approach control records revealed that the twin engine Piper Seneca was not in contact with approach control, nor was it required to be, while operating within Class E airspace. A review of air-ground radio communications tapes revealed that the controller advised the MD-82 pilot that there was conflicting traffic, about one mile southwest of his location, headed in a northwesterly direction, and that the altitude was indicating 2,500 feet. About 20 seconds later the pilot of the MD-82 reported to the controller, in part: "...ha, that was pretty close on that traffic."

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

An inoperative traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS).

Full narrative available

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