NTSB Identification: FTW89IA064A.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41852.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (D.B.A. operation of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES )
Incident occurred Wednesday, March 01, 1989 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1992
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS DC-9-82, registration: N820NY
Injuries: 185 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.

TWA FLT 806 (DC-9) WAS NW OF ARPT (FOR ILS RWY 9 APCH) AS CONTINENTAL FLT 122 (DC-9) WAS SW OF ARPT FOR SAME APCH. BOTH WERE IN IMC, BEING VCTRD BY FINAL TRACON CTLR (WORKING 2 SECTORS & CTLG 23 ACFT). AS FLT 122 WAS APCHG LOCALIZER (LOC) & HDG 060 DEG AT 3000' MSL, FLT 806 WAS ABT 8 MI NW OF FLT 122 & WAS CLRD TO INTERCEPT LOC. CTLR TMTD TO FLT 122 'FOUR FM THE MARKER, MAINT 2000 UNTIL ESTABLISHED ON THE LOC, CLRD ILS RWY 9 APCH, AND ARE YOU GOING THRU THE LOC TOO?' FLT 122 REPLIED 'YES SIR, YOU NEVER TOLD US TO INTERCEPT.' CTLR THEN TOLD FLT 122 'MAINT 3500 & TURN LEFT 360,' MEANING TO TURN TO A HDG OF 360 DEG. FLT 122 THOUGHT CTLR WANTED A 360 DEG CIRCLING TURN & BGN A RGT TURN. WHILE CIRCLING, FLT 122 ASKED FOR A HDG TO ROLL OUT ON. CTLR SAID TO FLY HDG 230. CTLR THEN REALIZED THE 2 ACFT WERE CONVERGING. HE TOLD FLT 122 TO DCND TO 2000' & TMTD FOR 'CONTINENTAL 806' TO MAINT 3500'. SINCE CTLR USED WRONG COMPANY DESIGNATOR, TWA FLT 806 DID NOT RESPOND. RADAR SHOWED THE 2 ACFT PASSED AT ABT 3100' WITH .079 MI SEPN.

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

FAILURE OF THE TRACON FINAL APPROACH CONTROLLER TO ASSURE RADAR SEPARATION BETWEEN THE AIRCRAFT. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: INADEQUATE SUPERVISION BY THE ATC SUPERVISOR, EXCESSIVE WORKLOAD FOR THE CONTROLLER, UNCLEAR INSTRUCTIONS BY THE CONTROLLER, AND A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ATC CLEARANCE BY THE FLIGHT CREW OF CONTINENTAL FLIGHT 122.

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