THE RUNWAY collision of a Beech King Air A90 with a United Express Beech 1900C on 19 November, 1996, at Quincy Municipal Airport, Illinois, resulted from failure of the King Air pilots "-to effectively monitor the common traffic-advisory frequency [CTAF], or to properly scan for traffic", says the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The Board , however, has not questioned the policy of allowing commercial flights to use some 300 US airports which operate without air-traffic control.

The United Express 1900, operated by Great Lakes Aviation, was landing and the King Air was in its take-off roll on another runway when they collided at the runway intersection. All passengers and crew on both aircraft were killed.

The 1900C flightcrew broadcast details of its straight-in approach, says the NTSB, explaining that the King Air pilots clearly did not hear the transmission, possibly because they had not selected the CTAF. The Beech 1900's passengers failed to escape because the airstair door could not be opened, the left overwing exit hatch was not opened, and there were no on-airport fire and rescue services.

NTSB recommendations include a US Federal Aviation Administration investigation of whether a 1900C airstair-door design change could reduce the likelihood of it jamming if it deforms on impact.

Source: Flight International