Heavy Metal And The Blame Game

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The NTSB has released its final report on a January 2002 incident when a China Airlines A340 took off from a taxiway in Anchorage, Alaska. The airliner, with 252 souls on board, left tire tracks in a snow berm, but climbed out safely and completed its flight to Taipei. The NTSB found as probable cause: "The captain's selection of a taxiway instead of a runway for takeoff and the flightcrew's inadequate coordination of the departure ... A factor in the incident was inadequate airline operator's procedures that did not require the crew to verbalize and verify the runway in use prior to takeoff." In a separate, and more deadly, incident, Alaska Airlines on Monday said it will accept legal responsibility for the January 31, 2000, crash of flight 261, an Alaska Airlines MD-83, off the California coast that killed all 88 aboard. Boeing said it would not contest liability over the plane's design. The positions were filed in a San Francisco court where wrongful-death suits stemming from the crash are pending, the Associated Press reported. The filings are expected to expedite the proceedings.