On March 9, 2000, about 10:35 a.m. eastern standard time, a Cessna 172K, N79960, registered to Sarasota Flying Club, Inc., and operating as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight, and a Cessna 152, N89827, registered to Cirrus Aviation, Inc., and operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, collided during takeoff on runway 14 at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. No flight plans were filed, nor were they required to be. The airline transport-rated pilot and pilot-rated passenger on board N79960 were killed, and the commercial-rated flight instructor and student pilot on board N89827 were killed. Both airplanes were destroyed.
Safety issues discussed at the Board meeting included: the need for standard ATC procedures to assist tower controllers in confirming an aircraft's location on the airport when issuing taxi instructions and clearances; the need for tower controllers to sate an aircraft's position or destination with regard to the runway; and the need for pilots to sate their location during initial contact with any tower controller. Safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration were adopted regarding these issues.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the supervisor/ground controller and the local controller to provide effective separation between the accident airplanes on the runway, resulting in a collision during takeoff.
Contributing to the accident was the failure of the pilot and pilot-rated passenger on board N79960 to ensure that the runway was clear of traffic before taxiing onto the runway. Also contributing to the accident was the failure of air traffic control guidance and procedures to incorporate redundant methods of verifying aircraft position for both controllers and pilots.
As a result of this accident investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration:
(1) Amend Federal Aviation Administration Order 7210.3, "Facility Operation and Administration," to direct air traffic control tower facility managers to include standard procedures in the Facility Standard Operating Procedures manual that will assist ground and local controllers in confirming aircraft locations on the airport. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, reading back the pilot's stated position, annotating flight progress strips to indicate the aircraft's starting point, posting or arranging flight progress strips according to the aircraft's intended takeoff location, marking the location of aircraft with color-coded chips on a magnetic diagram of the airport, or other procedures appropriate to the specific facility or airport.
(2) Amend Federal Aviation Administration Order 7110.65 "Air Traffic Control," paragraph 3-7-1, "Ground Traffic Movement," to require that, when a combination of intersection and full-length departures are routinely being used at an airport, controllers state the aircraft's location with regard to the takeoff runway.
(3) Amend the Aeronautical Information Manual to include an advisory that, when operating on an airport, pilots should state their position whenever making initial contact with any tower or ground controller, regardless of whether they have previously stated their position to a different controller.
(4) TO BE WRITTEN PER DIRECTIONS BY THE BOARD AND RECIRCULATED.