Narrative:USAir Flight 1493 left Columbus at 13:17 for a flight to Los Angeles. The Boeing 737 aircraft entered LAX airspace around 17:57 and was cleared for a CIVET Two Profile Descent and ILS runway 24R approach. At 17:59 this was changed to a runway 24L approach clearance.
At about the same time a SkyWest Metro II aircraft (Flight 5569 to Palmdale) taxied out from Terminal 6, Gate 32 to runway 24L. At 18:03 the crew were advised to "taxi up to and hold short of 24L" because of other traffic. At 18:04:49 the flight was cleared to taxi into position and hold. Immediately thereafter the controller became preoccupied with instructing WingsWest Flight 5006 who had unintentionally departed the tower frequency. The WingsWest 5072 reporting ready for takeoff caused some confusion because the controller didn't have a flight progress strip in front of her. The strip appeared to have been misfiled at the clearance delivery position. Meanwhile, Flight 5569 was still on the runway at the intersection with taxiway 45, awaiting takeoff clearance.
At 18:07 Flight 1493 touched down. Simultaneous to the nosegear touchdown, the Boeing 737 collided with the SkyWest Metro. Both aircraft caught fire and slid to the left into an unoccupied fire station.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the Los Angeles Air Traffic Facility Management to implement procedures that provided redundancy comparable to the requirements contained in the National Operational Position Standards and the failure of the FAA ATS to provide adequate policy direction and oversight to its ATC facility managers. These failures created an environment in the Los Angeles ATC tower that ultimately led to the failure of the Local Controller 2 (LC2) to maintain awareness of the traffic situation, culminating in the inappropriate clearances and the subsequent collision of the USAir and SkyWest aircraft. Contributing to the cause pf the accident was the failure of the FAA to provide effective quality assurance pf the ATC system."
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 11.02.91 (27)
» ICAO Adrep Summary 4/94 (#72)
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Los Angeles International Airport, CA to Palmdale Airport, CA as the crow flies is 81 km (51 miles).