NTSB: Controller at Fault for Takeoff Near Collision

Cessna 172 and regional jet were cleared for takeoff on intersecting runways.

The near miss between the 172 and an Embraer Regional Jet at Gulfport-Biloxi (Mississippi) Airport last year was caused by the controller handling the flights, according to the NTSB.

The two airplanes were both cleared to take off, the 172 on Runway 18 and moments later the ERJ on intersecting Runway 14. The airplanes missed each other while at approximately 300 feet agl. Their vertical offset was “0" feet, according to the report.

The pilot of the ERJ saw the Cessna go by, remarked on what a close call it was and queried ATC about the traffic that had not been called out to him. The controller responded in way that seemed to indicate some confusion about what had happened. An ATC official later commented on how lucky it was that no one had been killed. After the incident the controller said to be responsible was removed from duty, decertified, retrained, re-certified and placed back on the job at Gulfport-Bilox, despite a checkered work history.