NTSB Identification: OPS11IA428B
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO
Incident occurred Sunday, March 27, 2011 in Orlando, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: BOEING 737-7H4, registration: N293WN
Injuries: 145 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.
A loss of separation occurred between a Boeing B737-700 and a Cirrus SR-22. The minimum required instrument flight rules separation between these two aircraft was 1000 feet vertical or 3 nautical miles lateral. The Cirrus had been out of radio contact with air traffic controllers for approximately 90 minutes. Air traffic controllers at the approach control facility requested that the flight crew of the B737 fly as close as safety permits to the Cirrus to look for any visual indications of problems or difficulties. The flight crew of the B737 agreed to the request. The closest point of approach between the two aircraft, both assigned operating altitudes of 11,000 feet mean sea level, was 100 feet vertical and 0.1 mile lateral.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The air traffic controllers’ application of inappropriate separation between the B737 and the Cirrus and their inappropriate use of airborne civilian aircraft for observation of other airborne aircraft. Contributing to the incident was the crew of the B737's execution of a clearance that resulted in operation near other aircraft. Full narrative available
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