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United Airlines close call with Cessna

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by dac1204, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. dac1204

    dac1204

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100331/ap_on_re_us/us_near_mid_air_collision



    By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press Writer Jason Dearen, Associated Press Writer – Tue Mar 30, 11:48 pm ET
    SAN FRANCISCO – Federal investigators are looking into the weekend near collision of a commercial jet and small airplane near San Francisco International Airport.

    The Federal Aviation Administration is taking "strong measures to make sure something similar does not occur in the future" following Saturday's near-miss between United Airlines Flight 889 to Beijing, China, and a light-wing airplane, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. The National Transportation Safety Board also is investigating.

    The closest the planes came to each other was 300 feet vertically and 1,500 feet horizontally, Gregor said. The United flight continued to Beijing with no further incident.

    According to Gregor, air traffic controllers cleared the United flight, a Boeing 777 carrying 251 passengers, for takeoff at 11:15 a.m. and quickly spotted the Cessna 182 flying south.

    The controller radioed both planes' pilots, Gregor said, and the jet's automatic traffic collision avoidance system alerted its pilots of the small aircraft approaching, causing them to level the jet's climb.

    "The Cessna pilot reported that he had the 777 in sight, and adjusted his path to maneuver above and behind the 777," Gregor told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

    United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said the airline is fully cooperating with the investigation and that it reported the incident to NTSB. She said this kind of near, mid-air collision is "unusual" for United.

    Gregor said the controller should have noticed the Cessna earlier, but noted that the pilots were quickly contacted once the situation was recognized.

    David Caldwell, union representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association at the SFO tower, had no immediate comment on the investigation.

    "We have to go through a process to make a fair evaluation of what happened, and if we need to fix something, we fix something," Caldwell said.

    Gregor said the FAA does not keep statistics on near misses, and that they are reported by pilots. However, he said misses this close are rare and need to be properly scrutinized.

    NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said its investigation could take three to 12 months.

    "If we determine at any point in the investigation that there was a serious safety issue ... we can issue safety recommendations," Knudson said.

    Thats pretty close.:wow:
     
  2. Peace Warrior

    Peace Warrior Am Yisrael Chai CLM

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    Don't pilots always use visual discipline under angels 3 near airports?

    Sounds like the United pilots were on the ball.
     

  3. major

    major Rejected member

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    Sounds like the Cessna pilot was, too.
     
  4. 220-9er

    220-9er

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    1500 & 300 ft sounds like its not too close (on the ground) but at the closing speed they had I'll bet it looked plenty close to them.
     
  5. Zell

    Zell IrregularMember

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    I bet both pilots were a little rattled.
     
  6. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    They were 1/4 mile apart and each had visual contact with the other.
    It violated ATC's minimum seperatrion guidelines and tripped a TCAS alert in the 777, just like it's supposed to.
    The only reason this is news is because some reporter is having a slow news day.
    Someone will have some added paperwork to do at the end of his shift, but other than that....
     
  7. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    From what I have read on another board, the tower controller messed up. The Cessna was cleared into SFO's airspace prior to United getting takeoff clearance. The pilot was probably on a Bay Tour, which is a fixed route over the Bay Area bridges at 1,500. On the portion close to SFO, you are in the SFO Class B and talking to tower. The Cessna had acknowledged and was maintaining visual separation.