Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Near-collision between a Mesa Airlines regional jet and a Cessna 172

NTSB logoThe U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a near-collision this past Friday, Sep. 19, 2008,  between a Mesa Airlines Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-700 carrying 60 people, and a Cessna 172 aircraft. The incident, classified by the NTSB as a runway incursion, occurred on the evening of September 19, 2008, on a runway at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Allentown, PA. No one was injured, but it apparently was a very close call.

According to information supplied by the NTSB, a Cessna R172K (registration N736GV) was on a landing roll on runway 6 at the Lehigh Valley International Airport when the pilot was instructed to exit the runway at taxiway A4. Mesa Airlines flight 7138, a CRJ-700 (registration N506MJ), already instructed to position and hold on the same runway, was then given clearance by the same controller to take off.

During the takeoff roll, the Mesa crew heard the Cessna pilot say that he had missed the taxiway A4 turnoff and ask to exit at taxiway B. The Mesa crew saw the Cessna ahead of them on the runway and aborted the takeoff at about 120 knots, swerving around the Cessna. The Mesa crew estimated that they missed colliding with the Cessna by about 10 feet.

Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the incident.