I am hearing more and more of a near mid-air between a US Airways flight and a Bemidji B99 departing from MSP. From what I have heard, they took off from the parallel runways, then the US Airways was turned towards the other runway. The crew of the Airbus reported hearing the other aircraft go past (they were in the clouds at that time). Radar shows about 50 feet separation between the aircraft as they passed.
STORY from Philly CBS station.
AWE 1848 on the 16th… Looks like an immediate left turn indeed, after departure.
I am curious why ATC had the US Airways flight turn left instead of right. From what I have seen of MSP operations, if you take off 30L, expect a left hand turnout, if you take off 30R, expect a right hand turnout. I have been on flights that had to taxi completely across the airport to get to the other runway in order to turn towards their destination. Here is an example of the same flight yesterday, with an apparent right hand turn departure.
Maybe a loss of situational awareness…by the controller?
“oops…what I meant to say was Bemidji *** turn left…”
I’m still wondering why the Cactus crew even took the turn instruction…Didn’t they know there was another aircraft departing the parallel?
From my understanding, there are multiple tower frequencies in use, and they may have been on separate frequencies from each other. Plus the incident occured just as each aircraft was switching from tower to departure frequencies.
I freakin’ HATE multiple tower frequencies. Situational awareness just goes to hell. I think that if I ever heard a Beech 99 pass me in flight, I just might hang it up. That is scary close.
I found the ATC recording here.
I heard two controllers talking to the two runways, but both on the same recording. I’ve concluded this recording takes the first of any simultaneous conversations from either channel, and suppresses any conversation on the other. So I think sizable parts of each channel aren’t saved here.
At 12:20-12:40 in the recording, the takeoff clearance for Cactus 1848 (on 30R) included “fly runway heading”. and then I didn’t hear any further instructions to Cactus 1848.
At 12:54-13:05 in the recording, the takeoff clearance for Bemidji 46 on 30L included “turn left heading 180”.
At 14:54. the 30L ATC asked “Bemidji 46, are you in the turn?”. They replied “say again, the turn?” (pretty garbled). I didn’t hear ATC follow through.
At 15:25, I heard Bemidji 46 say something garbled about “we’ve got traffic”. I didn’t hear ATC respond to that. Shortly after, 30L ATC cleared five aircraft to cross 30L on the way to 30R.
At 16:10, Bemidji 46 spoke up again, not quite intelligible this time. At 16:20, 30L ATC responded to Bemidji 46 with “OK, um, why didn’t you start the turn once you were airborne?”. Bemidji 46 responded, sounding apologetic.
I don’t know who has responsibility here; there might be enough to go around. Evidently Bemidji 46 didn’t follow direction to turn left to 180. Also, 30L ATC didn’t really stay on top to make sure he did; in fact he seemed focused on the five A/C on the ground rather than the one that said “we’ve got traffic”. Also, evidently 30R ATC gave an instruction to turn left without confirming that Bemidji 46 was in the turn. It seems clear that somehow the two ATCs didn’t maintain separation, but it’s hard to tell what happened from the spotty 2-channel recording. It’ll be interesting to see the factual when it comes out.