Yet another commercial airliner was just involved in a near miss, reportedly the fourth near miss since December, the Associated Press said.
The AP, citing the Federal Aviation Administration, reported that a JetBlue pilot was forced to take "evasive action" Monday while landing at Boston’s Logan International Airport when another airplane crossed an intersecting runway.
The pilot of a Learjet 60 took off without clearance around 7 p.m. as the JetBlue flight was preparing to land, the outlet said, citing the FAA’s preliminary review.
Flight data tracking service Flightradar24 said Tuesday the two airliners were about 530 feet apart, the AP reported, citing the service's preliminary analysis. The outlet added that the FAA also is investigating how far apart the two aircraft were.
The AP said an air traffic controller told the Learjet pilot to line up and wait on one runway while the JetBlue flight landed on another runway, according to an FAA statement.
“The Learjet pilot read back the instructions clearly but began a takeoff roll instead,” the FAA said, according to the outlet. “The pilot of the JetBlue aircraft took evasive action and initiated a climb-out as the Learjet crossed the intersection.”
The FAA did not disclose any additional information, the AP said.
Four near misses since December
The outlet added that the Logan incident was the latest near miss involving commercial aircraft over the last few months; there also was one at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in January, another in Austin, Texas, in February, and a third off the coast of Hawaii in December.
FAA Administrator Billy Nolen earlier in February said he was putting together a team of experts to review airline safety, the AP said.
JetBlue Airways said it's cooperating with investigators in regard to the Logan near miss, the outlet added.
“On Monday, February 27, JetBlue flight 206 landed safely in Boston after our pilots were instructed to perform a go-around by air traffic controllers,” the airline said in a statement, according to the AP. “Safety is JetBlue’s first priority and our crews are trained to react to situations like this.”
A Logan spokesperson deferred questions to the FAA, the outlet added.
How are folks reacting?
A number of commenters on the AP story about the latest near miss published in Yahoo News expressed concern. Here are a few of the reactions:
- "Sure seems like since we stopped hiring people who were best qualified for the positions and instead hired people who check the intersectional boxes, a lot of close calls have arisen," one commenter said.
- "I think disregarding ATC instructions should be reason to lose your pilots license. Legal charges should also be filed for endangering the public," another commenter wrote. "Time to get tough on this rash of near misses."
- While there are thousands of flights that take off and land on a daily basis, these incursions and close calls are happening way too frequently as of late," another commenter said. "I've seen cases where ATC cuts it too close with clearances and other cases where pilots read back line up a wait, but cross the runway regardless. Something needs to change before one of these close calls turns tragic."
- "This is becoming common. Does everyone realize that equity has found its way into air traffic controllers and pilots?" another commenter noted. "I'm not sure I'll be flying the equity skies anytime soon."
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