NTSB Identification: CHI89IA054
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of SIMMONS AIRLINES (D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE )
Incident occurred Tuesday, March 07, 1989 in CHICAGO, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/1992
Aircraft: SHORT BROTHERS SD360, registration: N366MQ
Injuries: 37 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 LOCAL CONTROLLER POSITIONED SIMMONS 4058 ON RWY 9L FIRST, AND THEN POSITIONED SIMMONS 4158 (THIS AIRPLANE) ON RWY 4L. HE THEN RETURNED TO SIMMONS 4058, STATED THE RWY NUMBER, & CLEARED IT FOR TAKEOFF. BEFORE SIMMONS 4058 HAD A CHANCE TO REPLY, SIMMONS 4158 (THIS AIRPLANE) ACKNOWLEDGED THE CLEARANCE. SIMMONS 4058 QUERIED THE CLEARANCE. REALIZING THE CONFUSION, AND SEEING SIMMONS 4158 (THIS AIRPLANE) MOVING, THE CONTROLLER CANCELED SIMMONS 4058 TAKEOFF CLEARANCE. SIMMONS 4058 REPLIED 'WE THOUGHT THAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN'. A PILOT 'SLOWDOWN' WAS TAKING PLACE AT THE TIME, AND THE CONTROLLERS STATED THAT PILOTS WERE TAXIING MORE SLOWLY THAN USUAL AND APPEARED TO GET LOST OR CONFUSED ON THE GROUND MORE OFTEN. THE CREW OF SIMMONS 4158 VEHEMENTLY DENIED PARTICIPATION IN THE UNION-RELATED WORK SLOWDOWN. THE SAFETY BOARD HAS ISSUED RECOMMENDATIONS ADDRESSING SIMILAR FLIGHT CALL SIGN CONFUSION.

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

THE PIC FOLLOWED A CLEARANCE INTENDED FOR ANOTHER AIRPLANE.

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