NTSB Identification: WPR10LA134
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO
Accident occurred Saturday, February 13, 2010 in Santa Clarita, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2013
Aircraft: BOEING 737-7H4, registration: N221WN
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,83 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.

During descent to landing, the flight crew inadvertently turned about 27 degrees off their air traffic controller-assigned heading. When advised by the controller to check the airplane’s heading, the flight crew noted the heading discrepancy and immediately initiated a turn back to the assigned heading. During the turn, the flight crew received a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory (RA). The captain responded to the RA by initiating an estimated 1,500- to 2,000-foot-per-minute rate of descent followed by an approximate 2,000-foot-per-minute climb. During the RA response maneuvers, three flight attendants were standing in the aft galley, one of whom was seriously injured.

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

The pilot’s abrupt airplane pitch change maneuver. Contributing to the accident was the flight crew’s failure to maintain the heading specified by the air traffic controller, which would have avoided the near collision course with an unidentified airplane that triggered the traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory.

Full narrative available

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