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VIDEO: Runway Incursion: Near-Disaster at Springfield Branson National Airport

Submitted
On Wednesday June 27, 2018, about 12:51 central daylight time, a runway incursion occurred at Springfield-Branson National Airport, Springfield, Missouri when an airport operations vehicle ("VAN 7") crossed runway 14 while an Embraer 145, operated by Envoy Air as flight ENY 3660, was on its takeoff roll with 57 passengers aboard. This video reveals the circumstances surrounding the incursion, and the audio (courtesy of LiveATC.net) appears to unambiguously pin this incident squarely on… (www.youtube.com) More...

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taterhed1
taterhed1 11
I blame his mother.

If she had taught him to 'always look both ways....before crossing the street <runway>,' this wouldn't have happened.

The NTSB should interview the van driver's mother.
Coalora
Coalora 7
I think I'd be carrying around the seat cushion for a while after that.
sgbelverta
sharon bias 15
Wish all airports had such good camera's and video around their airport. That video was crystal clear. Should something bad have happened, the NTSB would have had a lot to work with.

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sgbelverta
sharon bias 2
No, I didn't. Is CGI available at all airports?
teslataildragger
Willie Wonka 5
"Harold isn't that jet coming straight towards us?

"Don't worry Mildred, there are people in that tower who know where everything is all times. We are fine!
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 4
Plenty of room.
stansdds
Michael Stansfield 2
Yikes!
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
ATC.
bbabis
Bill Babis 5
I agree. It was an unnecessary trip across the airport by the vehicle, but nonetheless, it appears they did have clearance to cross from ATC. Thank God the driver took it upon himself to expedite!
xtoler
Larry Toler 1
EMB145 holds 50 pax not 57.
Michel0
Michel B. 1
So no BBQ next year huh?
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
Nope - use the perimeter service roads for vehicles! You don't "need" to cross an active runway if it is NOT operationally necessary! Which it wasn't for a van, for heavens sake....
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
The van driver's report says the (only) van radio was locked on the "Ground Tower" (sic) frequency. Presumably this is 121.9 at KSGF. If so the van driver has no idea what is happening on the rest of the airport coms, most importantly Tower 119.9 if Tower 119.9 are giving the actual aircraft Take Off (and Landing) clearances.

Hypothetically if there were two (or more) Controllers on duty, one Controller could be operating on Ground (121.9) and maybe Clearance Delivery (123.675), while another (different) Controller could be on Tower (119.9). If there were only two com boxes on the Junglejet then they might have been working with one, toggling from 121.9 to a preset 119.9, and using the other to monitor Unicom (122.95).

Presumably (hypothetically) Ground 121.9 would clear Envoy 3660 to "Taxi into position and Hold, Contact Tower 119.9". At this point Ground can forget about Envoy and (if Envoy is only using one box for coms) Envoy toggles to Tower 119.9 and announces he is "In position ready to roll on 14" but, crucially, neither Envoy nor Tower 119.9 can hear Ground 121.9 when he clears Van 7 to cross 14. Meanwhile Tower 119.9 (not aware of Van 7's clearance to cross 14 on 121.9) can tell Envoy 3660 that he is "Cleared to Take Off" on 14.

Understand all of this is purely speculation. But if it is correct, maybe Van 7 at KSGF, and maybe all Ground equipment which might cross a Runway, needs to be equipped with a radio permanently set to whichever frequency is used to give Clearances to aircraft which use the Runways (in addition to Ground controlling the Taxiways).
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 1
The Ground controller has to co-ordinate the crossing of a runway with the Tower controller. This is done internally up in the tower cab, and should be accomplished on a recorded intercom line. So, there should be a complete recording of the incident, including the radio communications and the internal tower co-ordination. (I guess it is possible the co-ordination isn't recorded at this airport, but I would be surprised.)

(There could also have been a "cab coordinator" or a "tower assist" position in the control tower "helping" the tower controller who could have also been in the mix, but even this co-ordinator would have to get permission from the "tower" controller.)

As another comment pointed out, the ground controller does not put an aircraft into position on a runway. Nor can they cross a runway without the tower controller's permission.

Just like any incident or accident, there is a whole "chain" of events that caused this issue.
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed explanation. It was pure speculation on my part to try to understand what might have happened. It is reassuring to know that SOP should prevent this type of incident. And it is gratifying that you took the time to explain. Thanks again.
abowland
Andy Bowland 1
Ground would not clear and airplane to “line up and wait” the tower controller would be the only one to do that.
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
OK Thanks for clarifying. Been a while since I was on a "Controlled" field.
Wayne47
Michael Townsley 1
Any reports as to whether or not the pilots saw the van or took action to avoid it?
bbabis
Bill Babis 6
One of the pilots called truck, truck, truck! I’d say they saw it but not sure if it affected their rotation. At that point stopping or swerving were not options.
OnTheHorizon
Tony Smith 1
The aircraft rotated right before arriving at the intersection. Likely well past V1 so as was pointed out stopping or swerving were moot.
FrankHarvey
Frank Harvey 1
At 13:00 in June the OAT might require a longer run. I thought the 145 maxed out with 48 pax but the report said there were 57 pax on board, in any case, with a full load and depending on fuel, he'd have been tending towards max TOW. I guess VR is whatever you're doing when you you see an obstacle on the runway and hope you can trade speed for enough height to hop over it.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 0
Old RECOR being down voted again for unnecessary comments. -27 so far! Well done....
btweston
btweston -9
So, did their fat asses get their brisket?
RECOR10
RECOR10 10
Lets see...they were clear to travel across the runway...what is it they did incorrectly? Why blame the "fat ass" driver?

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