NTSB Identification: OPS11IA054C
Incident occurred Wednesday, October 20, 2010 in Teterboro, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA S550, registration:
Injuries: 5 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.

Two operational errors occurred involving an F900, a C680 and a C550. The F900 had departed from runway 24 and, after reporting an abnormal fuel indicator light, stated that he needed to return to the airport. The tower local controller directed the F900 to enter the right downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 19 and attempted to sequence the airplane in front of the C680 that was arriving on a straight-in approach to runway 19. The C680 was directed to maintain minimum approach speed for sequencing behind the F900 and was notified of the F900 on the downwind leg. The local controller sequenced the F900 to follow an aircraft on short final for runway 19, but the F900 overshot the final approach course for runway 19 and was subsequently directed to enter the right base leg of the pattern for runway 24. The F900 and the C680 conflicted with each other with closest proximity being .6 miles lateral and 100 feet vertical.

Seeing the developing conflict between the C680 and the C550, approach control directed the C550 to climb to 3000 feet and asked the local controller what heading the C680 was on. When asked, the C680 reported that his heading was “forty degrees continuing a turn to the left.” The local controller advised the front line manager that the C680 was heading 040 degrees, which was relayed to the approach controller, who then directed the local controller to have the C680 climb to 3000 feet. The tower controller then relayed the instruction and, thinking the C680 was on a steady heading, directed the C680 to commence an immediate right turn to de-conflict from the C550. The crew of the C680 advised they were in a hard left turn with traffic to their right and did not comply with the instruction. The C680 and C550 came within 200 feet vertical and 0.44 miles lateral of each other.

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

The pilot of the F900 overshooting of the final approach course, which conflicted with traffic in the pattern. Contributing to the accident was the lack of appropriate coordination between the tower controller and the approach controller.

Full narrative available

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