US FAA probes near collision between Southwest plane, Cessna.

US FAA probes near collision between Southwest plane, Cessna.

Investigating a Near Collision: Troubling U.S. Aviation Incidents

Near Collision

It was a close call in the skies above San Diego recently when a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 and a Cessna Citation business jet almost collided. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident, which is just one in a series of troubling U.S. aviation incidents.

According to the FAA’s preliminary review, the incident occurred when an air traffic controller at San Diego International Airport cleared the Cessna to land on a certain runway. However, the Southwest Airlines flight had already been instructed to taxi onto the same runway and wait for further instructions. Fortunately, the facility’s automated surface surveillance system alerted the controller about the developing situation, and the Cessna was directed to discontinue landing.

Eyewitnesses suggest that the Cessna passed just 100 feet above the top of the Southwest airplane. This near collision has raised concerns and prompted the FAA to dispatch a team to investigate the matter further.

Southwest Airlines, not taking the incident lightly, has stated that it is participating in the FAA’s review of the incident. The airline also reassured passengers that their flight operated normally and landed safely in San Jose as scheduled.

However, this incident is not an isolated one. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is already investigating six other runway incursion events since January. In one instance, a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Boeing 737 came within a mere 115 feet of each other in poor visibility conditions in Austin, Texas. Similarly, in another incident, a Lear 60 charter pilot in Boston failed to receive takeoff clearance, resulting in a near-collision with a JetBlue flight.

In the Boston incident, the airport’s surface detection equipment issued an alert, and the air traffic controller instructed the JetBlue flight to go-around. The JetBlue Embraer 190 was only 30 feet above the ground when it aborted the landing, just near the point where both runways intersected. The NTSB reported that the JetBlue pilot informed the charter pilot that the two planes passed each other with a vertical separation of about 400 feet.

These incidents highlight the importance of effective communication and coordination in air traffic control. Runway incursions are serious safety hazards that can have catastrophic consequences if not prevented. It is crucial for air traffic controllers to have clear visibility and accurate real-time information to make informed decisions. Likewise, pilots need to adhere to instructions and follow protocols to avoid potential collisions.

The FAA’s investigation into the San Diego near collision will shed light on what went wrong and how to prevent similar incidents in the future. It is hoped that this incident, along with the ongoing NTSB investigations, will lead to improved safety measures and better training for air traffic controllers and pilots alike.

Aviation safety is a shared responsibility, and the aviation industry must continue working together to ensure the skies remain safe for all passengers and crew.