Event Details

Title:Midair collision, Hughes Air West DC-9, N9345, and U. S. Marine Corps F-4B, 151458 Near Duarte, California, June 6, 1971
Micro summary:A midair collision between a DC-9 and F-4 results in the destruction of both airplanes.
Event Time:1971-06-06 at 1811 PDT
File Name:1971-06-06-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-72-26
Site of event:Climb (Hughes); En Route (Marine) 15,150 feet Near Duarte, CA
First AirplaneSecond Airplane
Departure:Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USAFallon Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nevada, USA
Destination:Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington, USAEl Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Santa Ana, California, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-9McDonnell Dougas F-4B
Flight Phase:ClimbCruise
Operator(s):Hughes Air WestUnited States Marine Corps
Type of flight:RevenueMilitary
Serious Injuries:00
Other Injuries:00
Executive Summary:The Huqhes Air West DC-9 was under radar control of the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center, climbing to Fliqht Level 330. The F-4B was being flown at approximately 15,500 feet, in accordance with Visual Flight Rules, en route to the Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. The collision occurred at an altitude of approximately 15,150 feet.

The visibility in the area, at the time of the accident, was qood and there were no clouds between the two aircraft during the final minutes of fliqht.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of both crews to see and avoid each other but recognizes that they had only marginal capability to detect, assess, and avoid the collision. Other causal factors include a very high closure rate, comingling of IFR and VFR traffic in an area where the limitation of the ATC system precludes effective separation of such traffic , and failure of the crew of BuNo458 to request radar advisory service, particularly considering the fact that they had an inoperable transponder.

As a result of this accident the Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration: (1) install video tape on all radar displays and "area" microphones in air traffic control facilities; (2) provide positive control airspace from takeoff to landing for all IFR traffic; and (3) insure that all radar facilities are capable of receiving Code 7700, and establish definitive procedures for the handling of such traffic.

The Safety Board also recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense cooperatively develop a program to inform all airspace users of the heaviest traffic areas. In addition, it was recommended that the Department of Defense: (1) restrict hiqh-speed, low-level operations to designated areas and routes: (2) delineate explicit circumstances where the 10,000 feet/250 knots limitation may be exceeded; (3) consider usinq air intercept radar for collision avoidance purposes: and (4) publicize the availability of the FAA Radar Advisory Service and consider making the use of this service mandatory.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Airspace - Mid-Air Collision
Operations - Airspace - See & avoid
Consequence - Hull Loss
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