ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday it is investigating how a US Airways passenger jet flew within a third of a mile of a cargo plane at Anchorage's airport after the airliner's crew refused to make a turn they said would "put their flight in direct conflict" with the departing cargo jet.
The near-collision occurred at about 12:10 a.m. May 21, when US Airways Flight 140, arriving from Phoenix, missed an approach and was turning to make a second landing try, the federal agency said in a news release. The plane with 138 people on board came within an estimated 100 feet vertically and one-third of a mile horizontally of the departing Cargolux Boeing 747-400, which was bound for Chicago.
"It's a very, very serious loss of separation in controlled airspace," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said Friday.
Fergus said the NTSB is in charge of the investigation and "it's not my place to speculate as to causes," but two of the possibilities were pilot or controller error and "they both will be looked at very thoroughly."
The NTSB said a Washington, D.C.-based air traffic control specialist will begin an investigation in Anchorage next week. NTSB spokeswoman Bridget Ann Serchak said the agency would not comment on possible causes until it can determine the facts. [...] go read the rest
One third of a mile ain't a whole lot at those speeds, is it?
The Snooper Report.
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