NTSB Identification: FTW01IA183B
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of Continental Airlines Inc (D.B.A. Continental Airlines)
Incident occurred Thursday, August 16, 2001 in DFW Airport, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Boeing 737-524, registration: N33635
Injuries: 190 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
A Boeing 737 was cleared to takeoff on runway 18L at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. After landing on runway 18R, another Boeing 737 took the high speed exit onto taxiway Whiskey Mike and was cleared to cross runway 18L. The pilots of both aircraft saw a possible impending collision and took evasive action. The taxiing aircraft continued to the gate and deplaned the passengers. The departing aircraft continued the takeoff, returned to the airport and landed. Examination of this airplane revealed damage to the skin on the underside of the tail. At the time of the runway incursion, the West air traffic control tower's ground control west one and local west one controller positions were combined. The west air traffic control tower supervisor-in-charge was operating the flight data position along with performing his own supervisory duties. During this time, a National Air Traffic Controllers Association representative had entered the tower cab and was having a meeting with the supervisor-in-charge. In an interview, the incident controller reported that he did not scan runway 18L before clearing the taxiing aircraft to cross. FAA Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control Handbook, paragraph 3-1-3, "Use of Active Runways," states, "The local controller has primary responsibility for operations conducted on the active runway and must control the use of those runways." Paragraph 3-1-12, "Visually Scanning Runways," states that, "Local controllers shall visually scan runways to the maximum extent possible."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The local controller clearing the taxiing aircraft to cross the runway in front of the aircraft on takeoff roll. Contributing factors were the local controller's failure to follow FAA procedures and directives to visually scan the runway prior to issuing the crossing clearance, the local controller’s excessive workload, and the tower supervisor's inadequate supervision. Full narrative available
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