The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines a runway incursion as:
“A runway incursion is any occurrence on an airport runway involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in a loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.”
The following incident occurred at 03:49 UTC on July 29th, 2007, at Philadelphia International Airport, involving two aircraft, AWI3973 and USA1752.
AWI3973 was a Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-200/L bound for Cincinnati (KCVG).
USA1752 was a Boeing 757-200/J inbound from Las Vegas (KLAS).
The weather at the time of the incident is as follows:
KPHL 300254Z 04003KT 9SM FEW050 SCT140 OVC250 22/20 A2997 RMK AO2 SLP149 T02220200 53013
The runway configuration being used at the time was landing runway 09L and departing runway 09R.
A diagram depicting the incident is provided to accompany the audio clip.
The audio clip of the Philadelphia tower frequency contains many but not all of the transmissions made during this event.
The clip begins as the tower controller instructs SWA2570 to execute a missed approach:
[00:19] SWA1242 is cleared to land on runway 9R
[00:23] USA1752 calls the tower to verify the initial taxi instructions (not included in the clip)
[00:46] RPA3246 (“Brickyard”) is cleared to land on runway 9R
At the same time on the other tower frequency 118.500, another tower controller working departures, clears AWI3973 for takeoff on runway 9L (not included in the clip). As AWI3973 begins their takeoff roll, USA1752 crosses runway 9L without clearance to do so.
[00:53] The tower controller on 135.100 is alerted to incursion
At the same time, the controller on the other tower frequency 118.500, instructs the departing AWI3973 to abort takeoff (not included in the clip).
[01:19] The tower controller issues taxi instructions for AWI3973 to taxi back to runway 9L for departure
[01:44] End of clip.
This clip exemplifies the importance of understanding taxi instructions and specifically runway crossing instructions. It seems clear in this case that the pilot of USA1752 is at fault, and should have noticed on the airport diagram that taxiway Sierra is at no point located north of runway 09L-27R. The controller repeated the taxi instructions a total of 3 times (only 2 of which are included in the clip).