NTSB Identification: OPS09IA002
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of AIRTRAN AIRWAYS INC
Incident occurred Thursday, February 19, 2009 in Tampa, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: , registration:
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
An operational error occurred at Tampa Terminal Radar Approach Control that resulted in a loss of required separation between AirTran Airways flight 808 (TRS808) and Berry Aviation flight 510 (BYA510). TRS808 was operating as a scheduled 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 passenger flight between Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Tampa International Airport, Tampa Florida (TPA). BYA510 was operating as a 14 CFR Part 135 air taxi flight from MacDill Air Force Base (MCF), Tampa, Florida, to Jacksonville Naval Air Station (NIP), Jacksonville, Florida. BYA510 departed southbound from MCF beneath the final approach course for runway 36 at TPA. The pilot was erroneously cleared to climb to 5,000 feet in an area where local procedures required that aircraft level at 1,600 feet in order to avoid conflicts with aircraft landing at TPA. The controller stated that he was searching for BYA510's flight progress strip immediately before the flight passed about 200-250 feet below TRS808, after the pilot of TRS808 responded to a Traffic Collision Alerting System resolution advisory directing a climb to resolve the conflict. There were no injuries or damage reported to either aircraft. Following the incident, TRS808 landed uneventfully at TPA and BYA510 continued its flight to NIP.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The controller's issuance of an improper climb clearance to the pilot of Berry Aviation flight 510. Contributing to the incident was the controller's distraction while he searched for a misplaced flight progress strip. Full narrative available
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