Allegiant A319 at St. Petersburg on Apr 29th 2021, near collision with private aircraft in initial climb at 300 feet

Last Update: September 23, 2023 / 19:02:23 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 29, 2021


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator

An Allegiant Airbus A319-100, registration N306NV performing flight G4-803 from St. Petersburg,FL to Norfolk,VA (USA) with 123 passengers and 6 crew, was cleared to and performed takeoff from St. Petersburg's runway 18. In the initial climb, at about 140 feet AGL, the crew needed to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a private Cessna carrying just the pilot, that was crossing midfield over the runway at 300 feet on a right downwind for runway 22. After being clear of conflict the A319 continued the climb and continued to Norfolk for a safe landing.

The NTSB reported the occurrence had been rated an incident (?), stating it was a near midair collision, and is being investigated.

On Sep 23rd 2023 the NTSB released their final report and the investigation docket reporting the minimum separation was 100 feet vertically and 360 feet horizontally and concluding the probable cause of the incident (again ?) was:

The air traffic controller’s failure to properly scan the runway and local area, and their general loss of situational awareness, resulting in a near midair collision. Contributing to the incident was the Cessna 337 pilot's poor decision making when he failed to fly the standard downwind leg distance from the runway and to maintain the standard traffic pattern altitude.

The NTSB analysed:

Review of the radar data showed that N370SD, a Cessna 337, was on a right downwind for runway 22 at 300 feet when it overflew runway 18, and at the same time Allegiant Air flight 803 (AAY803), an Airbus A319, was at 200 feet departing runway 18. The closest proximity was 100 feet vertically and 369 feet laterally. The crew of AAY803 saw the Cessna 337 and took evasive action by stopping their takeoff climb and maintaining 200 feet, and flew underneath the Cessna 337, which was at 300 feet as the airplane’s paths intersected over the runways.

The local controller did not visually scan all runways and airspace when he instructed the Cessna 337 pilot to enter a right downwind, and again, when he issued a takeoff clearance to the Allegiant Air flight; the lack of fully scanning all runways and airspace resulted in the local controller losing situational awareness of the Cessna 337, and ultimately not ensuring positive control and separation between the Allegiant Air flight and the Cessna 337.

The Cessna 337 pilot’s downwind leg for runway 22 was significantly less than the standard 1/2 to 1 mile defined downwind leg distance from the runway, which placed the Cessna 337 in a closer vicinity to the runway intersections than what was expected. Additionally, the Cessna 337 pilot did not fly a standard traffic pattern altitude, and the local controller did not instruct or advise the pilot that the traffic pattern altitude was 1,000 feet. PIE airport did not have a charted traffic pattern altitude.
Aircraft Registration Data
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 29, 2021


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator

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