Runway scare forces passenger jet to abort landing at Burbank Airport; FAA investigating
A passenger jet was forced to abort its landing Wednesday at Hollywood Burbank Airport in the Los Angeles area after another jet had been cleared to take off from the same runway, federal authorities said, the latest in a recent series of close calls between planes at U.S. airports.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to CBS News Friday that Mesa Airlines Flight No. 5826 was cleared for landing by an air traffic controller a little before 7 p.m. local time Wednesday.
However, that controller had already given clearance for another passenger jet, SkyWest Flight No. 5326, to take off from Runway 33, the FAA said. The Mesa plane had been cleared to land on the same runway, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet Friday.
While about 1.3 miles from the same runway, the pilot of the Mesa plane "discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out," the FAA said. The Mesa plane descended to about 1,100 feet before it was forced to re-ascend, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.
The SkyWest flight continued its take off, however, "prompting an automated alert to sound on the flight deck" of the Mesa plane, the FAA reported.
"The controller instructed the Mesa crew to turn to a course that took it away from the other aircraft," the FAA said.
SkyWest told CBS News in a statement that its pilots "slowed their climb" in response to the automated alert.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating. In a statement to CBS News, Mesa Airlines said it is "fully cooperating" with that investigation.
Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing with acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen which addressed the recent flight scares.
On Feb. 4, a FedEx cargo plane that was attempting to land at an Austin airport was forced to reverse course after a second plane was cleared to depart from the same runway, the FAA said.
And on Jan. 18, a JetBlue plane that was scheduled to depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York collided with an unoccupied aircraft on the runway. There were no injuries in either incident.
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