NTSB Identification: OPS08IA012
Incident occurred Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in Reading, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/19/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration:
Injuries: 2 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.

On August 27, 2008, two controller operational errors occurred at Reading Regional Airport/Carl A. Spaatz Field (RDG) in Reading, Pennsylvania. The first error occurred at 1614 eastern daylight time when the tower controller cleared an aircraft for a low approach to a closed runway without providing an altitude restriction and the second error occurred about 10 minutes later when another aircraft landed on the same closed runway. At the time of the incidents, there were four controllers assigned to the facility. Two certified air traffic controllers were in the tower cab: one controller working radar approach control/flight data combined at the approach control position, one controller working the tower local control/ground control/controller-in-charge positions combined at the local control position, and two controllers were on break. Runway 18/36 was closed and had been closed for 4 weeks. Notices to airmen (NOTAM) 07/003 and 07/014 were in effect. RDG NOTAM 07/003 advised that personnel and equipment were working at the approach end of runway 18; RDG NOTAM 07/014 advised that runway 18/36 was closed from 0700 to 1700 EDT Monday through Friday. The runway closure was broadcast on the automatic terminal information service (ATIS) and posted on the status information area (SIA) board in the tower cab.

Both incidents occurred during day visual meteorological conditions with 10 miles visibility. Runway 18/36 was dry.

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

The tower local controller permitted an aircraft to conduct a low approach and another aircraft to land on a closed runway. Contributing to the incident were the arrival radar controller who failed to correct the local controller when advised an aircraft would be landing on a closed runway and the facility management's tower staffing policy.

Full narrative available

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