CHARLOTTE — Passengers on a flight from Charlotte to Sarasota, Florida, got an unexpected delay last month when the aircraft had to avoid another plane that was cleared to take off on the same runway.
The National Transportation Safety Board says it’s investigating the incident, which happened on Feb. 16.
The NTSB says an American Airlines flight from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport was set to land at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and it was cleared to use the runway. However, an Air Canada Rouge flight was also cleared to take off on the same runway.
According to the NTSB, the American Airlines crew “self-initiated a go-around,” which means the plane climbed again and circled back for another landing attempt.
A flight path on FlightAware.com shows that the American Airlines plane was under 100 feet up when the pilots started the go-around. The plane climbed up to about 3,100 feet and circled around to successfully land about eight minutes later.
No injuries were reported.
A recent trend?
This is the latest in a recent series of near-misses at U.S. airports. The NTSB is investigating another incident in Austin, where a FedEx cargo plane passed over the top of a Southwest Airlines jet.
“We still believe the planes were within 100 feet of each other,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in an interview about the Austin incident.
Then weeks later, a Jet Blue plane that was landing at Boston Logan International Airport had to pull up to avoid a Learjet that was crossing an intersecting runway.
The Associated Press reported that those incidents, and similar incidents in New York, California, and Hawaii have led the head of the Federal Aviation Administration to call for a “safety summit” while igniting a debate about whether air safety is declining.
“I don’t know that I can say that it’s a trend, but these are disturbing because it just takes one,” Homendy said in an Associated Press story. “That is why we investigate incidents — so that we can identify problems, especially when we see trends, and address them before they become a full-blown accident.”
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