On Friday, March 19, 2010, at approximately 6:28 p.m. mountain standard time, a runway incursion occurred at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) involving Empire Airways (CFS) flight 7775, a Cessna 208, and Southwest Airlines (SWA) flight 1063, a Boeing 737-700. The CFS7775 aircraft was cleared to land on runway 25L but landed on runway 25R, overflying the SWA1063 flight which was holding in position on the approach end of runway 25R. CFS7775 was being conducted as a Title 14 CFR Part 135 scheduled cargo flight and SWA1063 was being conducted as a Title 14 CFR Part 121 air carrier flight.

CFS7775 was cleared to land on runway 25L, but landed on runway 25R at the same time SWA1063 had been issued a takeoff clearance. PHX air traffic control reported that the pilot of CFS7775 tracked inbound to runway 25L as cleared, but on short final CFS7775 turned right and landed on runway 25R. The approach ends of runways 25R and 25L are staggered, with the threshold of 25R located approximately 2,480 feet east of the runway 25L threshold. The pilot of SWA1063 reported seeing CFS7775 overflying his position and landing on runway 25R, and he stated at the time that he would “wait for departure”. The airport surface detection equipment (ASDE-X) ground radar system did not issue an alert. Weather conditions were clear daylight, with the sun low on the western horizon. Initial reports from the pilot of SWA1063 indicated that the closest proximity between the two aircraft was 50 feet.

The pilot of the CFS7775 reported having difficulty seeing the runway on final approach “because of the setting sun being right down the runway”. Subsequently, he set both navigation radios to the Instrument Landing System (ILS) frequency and engaged the autopilot to the fly the approach course while “looking for the runway” but noticed a discrepancy between the course deviation needles on the two horizontal situation indicators. Realizing he could not “rely on the two needles for verification of the runway” he looked up and saw that he was “just to the left of centerline”. He aligned himself for runway 25R and proceeded to land. In his written statement, he did not mention seeing the Southwest Boeing 737 holding for takeoff on runway 25R.

The captain of SWA1063 reported seeing CFS7775 overflying him after being given clearance to takeoff on runway 25R from Phoenix tower, missing the aircraft by about “50 feet” and coming from a “7-8 o’clock position.” The captain did not proceed to take off because “this airplane [CFS7775] was now on the runway ahead of us and slowing.” According to the captain, the tower told CFS7775 after landing: “Empire 7775, you landed on [runway] 25R; you were cleared to land on [runway] 25L.” After CFS7775 cleared the runway, SWA1063 was reissued a takeoff clearance and departed.

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