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NATCA Strongly Criticizes Conclusions Drawn by Reporting of Sarasota Mid-Air Collision Circumstances - (11/30/2000)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Conclusions drawn by reporters at several South Florida media outlets about the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the Nov. 16 midair collision near Bradenton, Fla., are premature, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

NATCA believes controllers were wrongly implicated by some media reports, whose conclusions do not exist in the NTSB report. In fact, the NTSB is still gathering information into the air traffic control aspects of the investigation. The NTSB said its report represented “preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors,” which “will be corrected when the final report has been completed.” The agency did not place blame.

“It is inappropriate for the media to attempt to characterize this accident as controller error,” NATCA President John S. Carr said. “The report is the first of three to be issued by the NTSB over the course of its thorough investigation. Therefore, it is premature at this stage to draw any conclusions.”

NATCA serves as a party status to all NTSB investigations and therefore cannot comment on any incident beyond the NTSB’s findings.

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