SAN DIEGO- The United Aviation Regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), announced on Saturday that it is initiating an investigation into a close encounter involving a Southwest Airlines (WN) Boeing 737 and a Cessna Citation business jet in San Diego.
This incident is the latest in a series of concerning aviation events in the United States.
Southwest 737 Cessna Almost Collided
According to the FAA’s preliminary assessment, a situation occurred just before 12 p.m. PDT on Friday.
An air traffic controller at San Diego International Airport (SAN) granted landing clearance to the Cessna Citation on a specific runway despite Southwest Airlines Flight 2493 already being instructed to taxi onto the same runway and await further departure instructions.
The airport’s automated surface surveillance system alerted the controller about the unfolding scenario, leading the controller to instruct the Cessna to abort its landing attempt.
According to an individual familiar with the situation, the preliminary assessment indicates that the Cessna crossed over the Southwest aircraft at a clearance of approximately 100 feet. The FAA is dispatching a team to the location to conduct an investigation.
Southwest Airlines stated on Saturday that it is actively cooperating with the FAA’s examination of the incident. The airline commented, “Our aircraft departed without any issues, and the flight proceeded as planned, safely landing in San Jose.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating six separate runway incursion incidents since the beginning of this year.
JetBlue American Near Miss Incident
During takeoff and landing on the same runway at Charleston, South Carolina, a JetBlue (B6) and an American Airlines (AA) flight experienced a loss of separation.
On April 30th of this year, a loss of separation incident occurred involving JetBlue flight B6-2468 and American Airlines flight AA-2325 during their takeoff and landing on the same runway at Charleston International Airport (KCHS).
JetBlue’s daily afternoon flight from KCHS to Boston Logan International (KBOS) is usually operated by an A220-300 aircraft. Which was the case on the day of the incident. The specific aircraft involved in the incident was N3118J, which was delivered in December.
The American Airlines flight, which was a daily service from Dallas Fort Worth (KDFW) to Charleston, was operated by a three-and-a-half-year-old Boeing 737-8 (MAX-8) with the tail number N335SN on the day of the incident.
In February, a similar incident involving a near-collision occurred in Austin, Texas.
During poor visibility conditions, a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest Boeing 737 came within approximately 115 feet (35 meters) of each other. The controller had authorized the FedEx plane to land and the Southwest plane to take off.
In a separate occurrence on Thursday, the NTSB highlighted a near-collision incident in February in Boston. Further, the incident involved a Lear 60 charter pilot’s failure to obtain a takeoff clearance, resulting in a close call with a JetBlue flight.
The airport’s surface detection equipment issued an alert, prompting the air traffic controller to instruct the JetBlue flight to perform a go-around maneuver.
The JetBlue Embraer 190 aircraft was at an altitude of just 30 feet (9.1 m) above the ground when it executed the go-around, “close to the point where both runways intersected,” as stated by the NTSB.
Further, the Boston control tower informed the charter pilot that the JetBlue flight had passed approximately 400 feet above them.
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