FAA investigating close to collision of two jets at Reagan National Airport

Two passenger jets got here inside 400 ft of one another earlier than controllers took last-minute evasive motion and instantly stopped the 2 planes at Reagan National Airport on Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to WTOP it’s investigating a close to collision that occurred Thursday morning at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

Two passenger jets got here inside 400 ft of one another earlier than controllers took last-minute evasive motion and instantly stopped the 2 planes. It’s not clear why the jets have been licensed to be on the identical runway on the identical time.

At 7:41 a.m., one controller frantically yelled, “JetBlue 1554 cease! 1554 cease!” This came about 30 seconds after JetBlue flight to Boston was cleared for takeoff and was on Runway 4, starting its motion down the runway.

The airplane was gaining velocity when a controller frantically radioed to the crew of close by Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to right away cease its motion. The Southwest flight certain for Orlando was transferring near the runway, and it seems the 2 planes have been on a collision course.

“Southwest, cease! Southwest 2937, cease!” a controller yelled.

Air site visitors management audio may also be heard of the second the JetBlue flight was cleared for takeoff.

“JetBlue 1554, site visitors holds off your proper. Wind calm, Runway 4, cleared for takeoff,” one other controller stated. The JetBlue pilot acknowledged the air site visitors controller and commenced the flight.

“Cleared for takeoff, Runway 4, JetBlue 1554,” the pilot replied.

Radio site visitors then reveals one other unidentified voice urging an air site visitors controller to cease the Southwest Airlines flight, after the JetBlue flight is transferring and simply earlier than the controller points her pressing name.

“Tell Southwest to cease,” the transmission states.

The Southwest flight had crossed what is known as a “maintain quick line,” and the pilots stopped the airplane earlier than it crossed onto the runway. It ended up going through the oncoming JetBlue airplane at an angle on the intersection.

The Southwest pilot replied: “We stopped. We have been cleared to cross Runway 4.”

“We’re stopping, JetBlue 1554,” the pilots of that airplane stated.

“An air site visitors controller instructed Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to cross Runway 4 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport whereas JetBlue Flight 1554 was beginning its takeoff roll on the identical runway,” the FAA stated in a press release emailed to WTOP. “The FAA will examine.”

“This may be very worrisome”

John Nance, an aviation analyst for ABC News and Good Morning America, joined WTOP to speak about what could have occurred at DCA earlier Thursday

“This is unacceptably shut,” retired Alaska Airlines captain and aviation security analyst John Nance informed WTOP. “We have a dichotomy between two controllers who didn’t have situational consciousness of precisely who was doing what. This may be very uncommon, as a result of they often coordinate as seamlessly as potential.”

Nance stated the JetBlue flight was transferring at an estimated 34 knots, or 39 mph, earlier than it stopped. The airplane would turn into airborne at about 135 knots, about 45 seconds after first starting its acceleration.

“This one goes to take some research. We have been out of choices on this case. The crew had minimal time,” he stated.

Both the JetBlue and Southwest flights taxied again to completely different runways and, a short while later, departed to their respective locations.

Nance emphasised that the system labored in stopping a collision. However, there have been a number of breakdowns.

“There was no margin left, if there had been a failure to speak to JetBlue they usually have been on a high-speed portion of their take off, they might not have been in a position to swerve, greater than probably with somebody getting into the intersection at precisely that time,” Nance stated.

“Had the controller did not situation the warning, you may need simply had a collision. We have backup programs, generally they’re human and generally they’re mechanical, however while you run out of backup programs and another drawback goes to provide the excessive probability of a significant collision, that is very worrisome,” he added.

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