Photo of USAir 737 (top) and Skywest Metroliner at LAX (bottom)
Photo of USAir 737 (top)
Photo copyright Frank C. Duarte Jr. - used with permission
Skywest Metroliner at LAX (bottom)
Photo copyright Frank Schaefer - used with permission
Accident Perspectives:
Airplane Life Cycle
  • Operational
Accident Threat CategoriesGroupings
  • Midair / Ground Incursions
  • Cabin Safety / Hazardous Cargo
  • Approach and Landing
  • Automation
Accident Common Themes
  • Organizational Lapses
  • Human Error

USAir Flight 1493, Boeing 737-300, runway collision with Skywest Flight 5569, Fairchild Metroliner (SA-227-AC)

Location: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, California

Date: February 1, 1991


Skywest Flight 5569, a Fairchild Metroliner SA-227-AC, was positioned on runway 24 left at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and awaiting clearance for take-off from air traffic control. As the aircraft waited, USAir Flight 1493, a Boeing 737-300, inbound from Columbus, Ohio, was cleared for a visual approach on runway 24 left. Just after touchdown, the 737 collided with the Metroliner that was still waiting in position. The collision occurred simultaneously with the aircraft's nose wheel contacting the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the Los Angeles Air Traffic Facility Management to:

  1. implement procedures that provided redundancy measures for position awareness, and
  2. provide adequate direction and oversight of air traffic control facility managers.

The investigation also believed the FAA failed to provide effective quality assurance of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. All 12 passengers and crewmembers aboard the Skywest flight were killed. Twenty-two of the 89 passengers and crew on the USAir flight were killed.