The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its Preliminary Report on the runway-intersection collision between a Textron Hawker 850XP (N269AA) and a Cessna Citation Mustang (N510HM) at Houston Hobby Airport on Oct. 24 (NTSB Accident No. DCA24FA017). No one was injured among the three on board the Hawker, which was taking off for a planned flight to Waukesha, Wisconsin (KUES), or the four on board the landing Citation, which was arriving on a flight from Fulton County Executive Airport/Charlie Brown Field (KFTY), Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawker continued its takeoff and returned to the airport despite significant damage to its left wingtip.
The NTSB report indicates that the Hawker crew initiated its takeoff roll on Runway 22 without clearance and suggests the crew may have been distracted by anomalies related to avionics displays. The crew reported in post-accident interviews that, as they approached the takeoff runway with a clearance to “line up and wait,” V-speed indications were missing on their screens. And during the subsequent uncleared takeoff roll, they also experienced rudder-bias and pitch-trim alerts, the crew reported. In the meantime, the tower controller had cleared the Citation to land on Runway 13.
During the Hawker’s takeoff roll at 15:19:47 local time, the tower controller alerted the crew, “November nine alpha alpha, stop, hold your position.” The crew did not respond. The controller repeated the command four seconds later, also with no response. The single pilot of the Citation reported the sound of impact as resembling that of a blown tire at highway speeds, while the pilot of the Hawker said he heard a “thud” as his left wingtip and winglet sliced through the tail cone of the smaller jet.
Of interest, the controller’s first callout to the Hawker to stop its takeoff came two seconds before the airport’s Airport Surface Detection Equipment – Model X (ASDE-X) issued an alert. ASDE-X is designed to autonomously alert controllers to potential wrong-surface conflicts on runways and taxiways.
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