NTSB Identification: DCA07IA008.
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Incident occurred Monday, October 30, 2006 in Seattle, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Boeing 737-200, registration: N740AS
Injuries: 76 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 captain of the Boeing 737 stated that there was a short delay at the gate because of a "cargo issue." The automatic terminal information service broadcast indicated that departures were using runway 34R, either with the full length or from the intersection at taxiway Q. The ground controller cleared the flight to taxi to runway 34R at taxiway Q. During the taxi, the first officer was busy talking with dispatch and completing the flight paperwork while the captain taxied the airplane and handled the ATC communications. The flight crew received the amended flight release as the airplane approached taxiway Q. The captain then switched to the local control frequency and heard the local controller (LC) issue the flight clearance to taxi into position and hold on runway 34C. The captain read back the clearance, including "runway 34 center." As the FO was completing the preflight activities, the LC cleared the flight for takeoff from runway 34C and indicated that there was traffic on short final. The captain again repeated the clearance for takeoff on runway "34 center." However, the captain lined up the airplane on the 34R centerline and transferred control to the FO. The airplane departed uneventfully. The LC noticed the airplane departing on runway 34C and did not order an abort because there were no potential traffic conflicts.

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

the flight crew's failure to cross-check and verify that the airplane was on the correct runway before takeoff. Contributing to the incident was the flight crew's self-induced pressure to heed the takeoff clearance during a period of increased workload.

Full narrative available

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