NTSB Identification: CHI88IA061.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40013.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AMERICAN AIRLINES
Incident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 1988 in CHICAGO, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/1990
Aircraft: DOUGLAS DC-10, registration: N123AA
Injuries: 206 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.

AT 2245:29 CST, A DC-10 FLT CREW RPRTD AT THE FINAL APCH FIX ON AN ILS RWY 9R APCH. THE FINAL APCH FIX WAS 4.7 MI FROM THE RWY. THE DC-10 WAS CLEARED TO LAND, THEN MOMENTS LATER, A SNOW REMOVAL TEAM (WORKING ON RWY 32L) REQUESTED THAT FOUR VEHICLES BE CLEARED TO CROSS RWY 9R. THE TOWER CONTROLLER PROVIDED CLEARANCE FOR THE VEHICLES TO CROSS THE ACTIVE RWY. AT 2247:28, THE LEAD MAN OF THE GROUP OF VEHICLES REPORTED THAT THEY WERE CLEAR OF THE RWY. HOWEVER, WHEN THE FOURTH VEHICLE WAS ABOUT HALF WAY ACROSS THE RWY, ITS MANUAL TRANSMISSION JUMPED OUT OF GEAR & THE DRIVER HAD DIFFICULTY REENGAGING IT. AT 2248:00, THE LEAD MAN OF THE VEHICLES NOTIFIED THE TOWER OF THE PROBLEM, BUT BY THEN, THE DC-10 WAS LANDING. AFTER THE DC-10 HAD TOUCHED DOWN & THE SPOILERS WERE DEPLOYED (BEFORE THE NOSEWHEEL WAS LOWERED),THE FLT CREW SAW THE VEHICLE AT THE EDGE OF THE RWY & THE CAPTAIN TOOK EVASIVE ACTION. HE STEARED THE ACFT AROUND THE VEHICLE, THEN CONTINUED THE LANDING WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT.

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

JUDGEMENTAL ERROR ON THE PART OF THE LOCAL CONTROLLER FOR CLEARING VEHICLES ACROSS THE ACTIVE RUNWAY TIWH INSUFFICIENT SEPARATION FROM ARRIVING AIRCRAFT, WHICH WAS FURTHER COMPROMISED BY A MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION IN THE EQUIPMENT CROSSING THE RUNWAY.

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