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Published on Jan 26, 2010
Another version of the Providence Runway Incursion with the airport overlay. Courtesy FAA
On December 6, 1999, at about 8:35 p.m., United Airlines flight 1448, a Boeing 757, was involved in a runway incursion on runway 5 Right at Theodore Francis Green State Airport, near Providence, Rhode Island. At the time of the incident, it was dark and the reported visibility was one-quarter mile.
After United 1448 landed on runway 5 Right, the tower controller instructed the flight crew to proceed to the terminal using taxiways November and Tango, and report crossing runway 16. During their taxi in the fog, the flight crew became disoriented and turned onto taxiway Bravo by mistake. They then provided incorrect position reports to the tower controller. The airplane ended up at the intersection of Runway 16 and Runway 23 left. Note that Runways 23 Left and 5 Right are opposite ends of the same runway. Shortly afterward, a Federal Express aircraft taking off from runway 5 Right passed very close to United 1448. The subsequent conversation between the tower controller and United 1448 shows continued uncertainty about the aircraft's position. For example, there will be several references to Runway 23 right while the airplane is actually on 23 left.