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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:34 AM

3 US Airways Commuter Jets Avoid Last-Second Collision Near Washington, D.C.

Source: ABC News

Three US Airways jets, carrying a total of 192 passengers and crew members, were reportedly taking off or landing at Washington National Airport when they came within 12 seconds of a mid-air collision.

The incident occurred Tuesday at about 2 p.m. when air traffic controllers put two departing commuter jets on a collision course with a third plane that was set to land, according to The Washington Post. All the flights reached their destination without mishap.

The FAA confirmed overnight the near-miss to ABC News, stating, "The FAA is investigating the incident and will take appropriate action to address the miscommunication."

US Airways released a statement, saying, "We are currently investigating and working with the FAA to determine what occurred. The safety of our customers and employees is always our top priority."

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/us-airways-commuter-jets-avoid-collision-washington-dc/story?id=16910493#.UBpk5WFSTQQ

21 replies, 3786 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply 3 US Airways Commuter Jets Avoid Last-Second Collision Near Washington, D.C. (Original post)
Lasher Aug 2012 OP
davidpdx Aug 2012 #1
Lasher Aug 2012 #2
davidpdx Aug 2012 #4
Panasonic Aug 2012 #11
valerief Aug 2012 #3
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2012 #5
Jeff In Milwaukee Aug 2012 #6
hootinholler Aug 2012 #7
Berlum Aug 2012 #9
Lasher Aug 2012 #12
Digit Aug 2012 #14
rocktivity Aug 2012 #8
Hassin Bin Sober Aug 2012 #10
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #21
Historic NY Aug 2012 #13
NCarolinawoman Aug 2012 #18
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #20
tawadi Aug 2012 #15
NCarolinawoman Aug 2012 #16
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #17
Major Nikon Aug 2012 #19

Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:51 AM

1. Holy crap that would have been bad

The FAA needs to start reducing flights into airports if this is happening. Nothing can replace the safety of people.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:55 AM

2. I had a similar close call a few years back.

We aborted our landing at the last second because there was a plane taxiing across our runway. If our pilot hadn't been so alert we would all have been killed.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:20 AM

4. The pilot made a good decision

You and your fellow passengers were lucky to have him. The only flight that I've ever been on that's scared the hell out of me was from Detroit to Seattle in early September August 01' and that was because of turbulence. It also scared me after the fact, because that was 5 days before 9/11.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:31 AM

11. We were planning to fly to NYC on 9/12

 

We finally got to NYC from Tucson a few days later - and saw the smoking hole and were stunned. This was two days after the FAA removed the grounding order.

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:15 AM

3. The 1% all have their own jets. What do they care if they crashed? nt

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:59 AM

5. Link to the article by Ashley Halsey III in the WaPo

Two planes taking off from National put on collision course with plane trying to land

By Ashley Halsey III, Published: August 1
The Washington Post

Three commuter jets came within seconds of a midair collision at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday after confused air traffic controllers launched two outbound flights directly at another plane coming in to land, according to federal officials with direct knowledge of the incident.

The three planes, all operated by US Airways, carried 192 passengers and crew members, the airline said. All of the flights reached their destinations without mishap, but the near-collision was another among several thousand recorded errors by air traffic controllers nationwide in recent years.
....

Hours after being alerted to the incident by The Washington Post, the FAA’s public affairs office issued a statement Wednesday night saying that it is investigating the matter and will take appropriate action to address the miscommunication.


It sounds as if Ashley Halsey III or someone in the newsroom at the Post had his police scanner on, tuned to the aviation band, and caught the action.

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:17 AM

6. Dear Feds: You know all that money you put into checking out my socks when I get on a plane?

How about a little more funding for air traffic control and ground safety at airports?

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:19 AM

7. "...landing at Washington National Airport..."

Woot! Notice the lack of Reagan in the airport name! :greenbouncythingojoy:

Go ABC! That airport will always be National to me. Calling BWI Thurgood Marshall I can get behind though.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:47 AM

9. "Tee hee." - Ronnie Reagan (R- 1%)

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:18 PM

12. Washington National was already named for our first President.

It was a travesty when Congressional Republicans and spineless Democrats attached that fool's name to it.

BTW, you give ABC too much credit.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 02:53 PM

14. I noticed that also...it will always be National to me as well! eom

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:46 AM

8. Why do they call it a "NEAR-miss?" They DID miss!

Last edited Fri Aug 3, 2012, 02:44 PM - Edit history (1)

If they HADN'T missed, they would have COLLIDED! It's a near-COLLISION!


rocktvity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:28 AM

10. It was a miss that was near versus a miss that was far.

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 01:55 PM

21. If the planes were in different states, it would be a "far-miss"

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:09 PM

13. This is not a first either

NTSB INVESTIGATING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICE INTERRUPTION AT WASHINGTON'S NATIONAL AIRPORT
March 24, 2011
http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2011/110324.html

REPUBLIC AIRLINES INC
Accident occurred Sunday, February 17, 2008
http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20081124X34243&key=1



http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/index.aspx

127 various records all for National

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:29 PM

18. Just saw your post. Thanks for the information.

This may be an opportunity for me find out the details of what really happened on that flight I took back in the 70's.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 01:08 PM

20. This is not unusual

For any busy airport you'll find hundreds mishaps.

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 03:52 PM

15. Scary how the tower didn't seem to have any concern for the lack of fuel

That one poor pilot kept repeating, over and over, he was low on fuel. But the tower seemed to ignore him.

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:14 PM

16. I was involved in something similar at that very same airport,

back in the 70's, when I was very young and in college.

I was flying from Raleigh/Durham to Philadelphia on Eastern Airlines. We were making the usual stop in DC.

As we were approaching the airport for a supposedly routine landing, the sound of the engine suddenly became very loud and the plane started flying up at a very steep angle. From what seemed like the longest time, we heard no explanation from the cockpit..... just silence. Finally, the voice of the pilot said, "Better safe than sorry".

Later, as we taxied along the runway, you could hear people talking about how we almost hit another plane. I turned to the man next to me, who happened to be a priest and said, "I 'm really glad I'm sitting next to you." I still remember the nice smile he gave me.

As we left the plane, everybody thanked the pilot profusely. The flight attendants looked very serious.

I don't think this ever made the news, but it was a different kind of communication system then. No twitter, etc.

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Response to NCarolinawoman (Reply #16)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:20 PM

17. Thank you for taking the time to share that. Sounds harrowing! nt

PB

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Response to Lasher (Original post)

Fri Aug 3, 2012, 01:02 PM

19. Media frenzy over nothing

Notice how the media points out there was "only" 800' vertically between the two planes.

This happens routinely. Even in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) (planes can't see each other), the separation standard in the terminal environment is only 1,000' vertically in the terminal environment. Because of inherent instrument errors, planes routinely pass each other with only 800' of separation, even in bad weather, all over the country.

The FAA defines a near midair collision as less than 500'.

b. Definition. A near midair collision is defined as an incident associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a possibility of collision occurs as a result of proximity of less than 500 feet to another aircraft, or a report is received from a pilot or a flight crew member stating that a collision hazard existed between two or more aircraft.

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