published: 22 AUG 2007 by Harro Ranter, ASN
The NTSB is investigating a runway incursion in Los Angeles (LAX)in which two airliners may have missed each other
by less than 40 feet. On August 16, 2007, about 13:00, West Jet (WJA) 900, a Boeing 737, and Northwest Airlines (NWA) flight 180, an Airbus A320, almost collided according to the FAA.
The West Jet flight landed on runway 24R, exited the
runway, and held between the parallel runways as directed by the tower. However, without authorization, the West Jet
crew changed radio frequencies and contacted ground control.
When contacted by the West Jet crew, the ground controller
assumed that they had been cleared to cross runway 24L, and
provided instructions for the West Jet flight to taxi to its gate. However, the tower controller expected the West Jet flight to hold and cleared the Northwest flight to takeoff from runway 24L.
The ground controller then realized that West Jet had not been instructed to cross runway 24L and told the West Jet flight to stop. According to the FAA, the West Jet airplane crossed the hold short line for runway 24L and the two aircraft came within 37 feet as the Northwest flight crossed directly in front of the West Jet flight during its
The Board notes that the Airport Movement Area Safety
System (AMASS) was operational but it is unknown whether or
not it activated. (NTSB)