NTSB Investigating SFO Runway Incursion

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Two airliners came within about 50 feet of colliding at a runway intersection at San Francisco International Airport two weeks ago, the NTSB said on Monday. At about 1:30 p.m. on May 26, the tower air traffic controller cleared SkyWest Airlines Flight 5741, an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia, to land on Runway 28R. "Forgetting about the arrival airplane, the same controller then cleared Republic Airlines Flight 4912, an Embraer 170 departing for Los Angeles, to take off from Runway 1L, which intersects Runway 28R," the NTSB said in a news release. After the SkyWest airliner touched down, the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) alerted and the air traffic controller transmitted, "Hold, Hold, Hold" to the SkyWest flight crew. The SkyWest crew applied maximum braking and stopped in the middle of Runway 1L. As this was occurring, the captain of the Republic Airlines flight took control of the aircraft from the first officer, realized the aircraft was traveling too fast to stop, and initiated an immediate takeoff. According to the SkyWest crew, the Republic aircraft overflew theirs by 30 to 50 feet. The FAA has categorized the incident as an operational error, the NTSB said. Both aircraft were operating as scheduled passenger flights under Part 121 and were operating on instrument flight plans. There were no reported injuries to occupants and no reported damage to either aircraft. Following the incident, the controller was decertified, required to complete additional training, and recertified by SFO management, the NTSB said.