FAA Calls Incident An "Operational Error"
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a
runway incursion at San Francisco International Airport two weeks
ago, in which two Embraer regional aircraft may have come within 50
feet of each other on intersecting runways.
On May 26, about 1:30 pm, a controller cleared SkyWest Airlines
flight 5741, an Embraer 120 Brasilia turboprop (type shown above),
to land on runway 28R. Apparently forgetting about the arriving
airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines flight
4912, an Embraer 170, to take off from runway 1L, which intersects
runway 28R, according to the NTSB.
After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement
Area Safety System (AMASS) sounded in the tower, and the controller
told the SkyWest flight crew to "Hold, Hold, Hold" in an attempt to
stop the aircraft short of runway 1L. The SkyWest crew applied
maximum braking -- that resulted in the airplane stopping in the
middle of runway 1L.
Realizing the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, the
captain of Republic Airlines flight 4912 took control of the
aircraft from the first officer, and initiated an immediate
According to the crew of SkyWest 5741, the Republic Airlines
aircraft (type shown below) overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. "The
initial FAA tower report estimated the aircraft missed colliding by
300 feet," the NTSB report states.
Following the incident, the controller involved -- certified as
an SFO controller since 1999 -- was decertified and required to
complete additional training. The controller has since been
recertified by SFO management.
The Federal Aviation Administration has categorized the incident
as an operational error.