Accident Boeing 737-3S3 N313AW, Friday 18 April 1997
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Date:Friday 18 April 1997
Time:18:24 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-3S3
Owner/operator:America West Airlines
Registration: N313AW
MSN: 23712/1336
Year of manufacture:1987
Total airframe hrs:34612 hours
Engine model:GE CFM56-3B2
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 125
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Accident
Location:Las Vegas, NV -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:Santa Ana, CA (KSNA)
Destination airport:(KLAS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Beech 99 (B99) departed on VFR flight (flt) & began climb to 10,500', heading 175 deg. At boundary of class B airspace, ATC controller (TRACON) terminated radar service as B99 was at 7,000'; 40 sec later, pilots (plts) of Boeing 737 (B737) contacted TRACON, on Cresso 3 Arrival (STAR), & were cleared to descend to 10,000' on converging vector of 020 deg; 50 sec later, TRACON advised B737 of traffic (B99), 3 mi ahead, opposite direction & 1,700' lower. TRACON did not mention traffic was climbing, nor issue safety alert; 18 sec later, TRACON told B737 plts they could 'climb as you wish.' 1st officer (FO, plt flying TCAS equipped B737) responded to a resolution advisory by using autopilot & neglected to press 'level change,' which delayed avoidance maneuver. B737 plts saw B99 at close range; FO maneuvered abruptly to avert collision. B737 flight attendant was injured during maneuver. B99 plt saw B737 behind window post, too late for evasive action. Aircraft passed with estimated 200' vertical & no lateral separation (sepn). TCAS event analysis concluded that if B737 pilots had responded to TCAS advisories, within system design parameters, there would have been 700' vertical sepn without abrupt maneuvering. STAR was in heavily traveled area, often used by plts of small VFR aircraft.

Probable Cause: inadequate service provided by the TRACON controller, by issuing a radar vector to the Boeing 737 flight, which resulted in inadequate separation from a Beech 99 that the controller had just terminated from radar service; and failure of the controller to provide adequate traffic/safety advisories to the Boeing 737 crew. Additional causes were the delayed initiation of a TCAS evasive maneuver by the first officer (copilot) of the Boeing 737, and failure of the Boeing 737 Captain to adequately supervise the response of the first officer to the TCAS resolution advisory. Inadequate visual lookout by the Beech 99 pilot was a related factor.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX97FA164
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

NTSB LAX97FA164

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Apr-2024 15:52 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report]

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