NTSB Identification: NYC05LA025.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 30, 2004 in Philadelphia, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, registration: N941MA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with a tug during takeoff. According to the pilot of the MU-2 airplane he was cleared to taxi from his parking spot on the northeast side of the airport, to runway 35, by the ground controller on duty. He then taxied to runway 35 via taxiway A, taxiway D, across runway 26, to taxiway K. Approximately 1 minute after the pilot of the MU-2 was cleared to taxi, the same ground controller cleared a maintenance tug towing an MD-80, to taxi from the same (northeast) ramp as the MU-2, to a ramp on the west side of runway 35. The taxi clearance issued by the ground controller included a clearance for the tug to cross runway 35. Once the MU-2 pilot arrived at the runway, he contacted the tower controller and was cleared for takeoff from runway 35. The pilot initiated a takeoff, and as the airplane reached an airspeed of 80 knots, the pilot observed an aircraft tug crossing the runway centerline. The pilot then aborted the takeoff, and maneuvered the airplane to the left side of the runway; however, the airplane contacted the tug at the intersection of runway 35 and taxiways "Golf" and "Echo." At the time of the accident, three full performance level air traffic controllers were working in the tower cab; a local controller (LCE), ground controller (GC), and clearance delivery controller. The LCE and GC positions were located next to each other in the northeast corner of the tower cab. FAA Air Traffic Control regulations required that a ground controller must obtain approval from a local controller before authorizing an aircraft or a vehicle to cross or use any portion of an active runway. Additionally, the standard operating procedures for the airport required all runway crossing authorization and runway crossing complete coordination to be accomplished via a recorded landline. Controller interviews and review of recorded voice communications revealed the ground controller did not coordinate the runway crossing of the maintenance tug with the local controller.

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

The failure of the ground controller to coordinate the runway crossing of a maintenance tug, with the local controller, which resulted in a ground collision with an MU-2 airplane during it's takeoff roll.

Full narrative available

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