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Accident Report Detail

Runway Collision Involving Trans World Airlines Flight 427 and Superior Aviation Cessna 441

Executive Summary

On November 22, 1994, at 2203 central standard time, Trams World Airlines flight 427, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N954U, collided with a Cessna 441, N441KM, at the intersection of runway 30R and taxiway Romeo, at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) in Bridgeton, Missouri. The MD-82 was operating as a regularly scheduled passenger flight from STL to Denver, Colorado. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 12 1. There were 132 passengers, five flight attendants, and three flightcrew members aboard the airplane. The MD-82 sustained substantial damage during the collision. The Cessna 441, operated by Superior Aviation, Inc., as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, was destroyed. The commercial pilot and the passenger, who was rated as a private pilot, were the sole occupants on board the Cessna and were killed. Of the 140 persons on board the MD-82, eight passengers sustained minor injuries during the evacuation.

Safety issues discussed in the report include aircraft lighting and conspicuity; airport markings, signs, and lighting; runway 3 1 designation, utilization, displaced threshold; ATC and pilot phraseology (specifically, the term "back-taxi"); pilot training; runway incursion detection/prevention methods; and ASDE/AMASS development. Safety recommendations concerning some of these issues were made to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Also as a result of the investigation of this accident, the Safety Board issued safety recommendations to the FAA on February 28, 1995, concerning the runway incursion issue.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was: the Cessna 441 pilot's mistaken belief that his assigned departure runway was runway 30R, which resulted in his undetected entrance onto runway 30R, which was being used by the MD-82 for its departure. Contributing to the accident was the lack of Automatic Terminal Information Service and other air traffic control (ATC) information regarding the occasional use of runway 3 1 for departure. The installation and utilization of Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-3) and particularly ASDE-3 enhanced with the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS), could have prevented this accident.

Accident Location: Bridgeton , MO    
Accident Date: 11/22/1994
Accident ID: CHI95MA044AB

Date Adopted: 8/30/1995
NTSB Number: AAR-95-05
NTIS Number: PB95-910405