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JetBlue flight and Learjet have 'close call' at Logan Airport, FAA says

Close call between 2 planes investigated at Logan Airport
Close call between 2 planes investigated at Logan Airport 02:42

BOSTON - A JetBlue flight and a Learjet had a "close call" at Logan Airport Monday night, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

In a statement released Tuesday, the FAA said "the pilot of a Learjet 60 took off without clearance while JetBlue Flight 206 was preparing to land on an intersecting runway" just before 7 p.m. 

JetBlue Flight 206 was coming from Nashville on Monday. 

"The pilot of the JetBlue aircraft took evasive action and initiated a climb-out as the Learjet crossed the intersection. The FAA will determine the closest proximity between the two aircraft as part of the investigation," the agency said. 

The FAA says the Learjet repeated instructions to stay put but took off anyway.

A JetBlue flight and a Learjet had a "close call" at Logan Airport Monday, February 27, 2023. CBS News

Adam Johnson was on the JetBlue flight. "I think the pilots did a really incredible job," he told WBZ-TV. "We came in, it was a scary situation, but it was very smooth it wasn't like it was a jolting experience, it wasn't a jerky experience. We just went back up into the air and came back around and landed."

Johnson said he knew something was off but had no clue about the close call he was encountering. He found out the next day on the news.

According to FlightAware, the JetBlue flight landed at Logan at 7:13 p.m., 14 minutes late.

It is just the latest instance of a close call at an airport. 

"This is one of the most vulnerable phases of flight and it's also where the traffic is the most dense," said John Hansman, MIT professor of Aeronautics.  

New York's JFK Airport had an instance last month and Burbank, California had a similar case last week, leaving many wondering what is going on.

"That is exactly what we all want to know," said Robert Sumwalt, former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. He said close call incidents are on the rise, going from around eight a year to nearly 20 on average.

"They are really going to want to find out, was there a communications breakdown? Was there a distraction involved?" Sumwalt said of the FAA investigation.

For its part, JetBlue says, "Safety is JetBlue's first priority and our crews are trained to react to situations like this."

The Learjet was operated by HopAJet as a charter flight, the FAA said.

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