A pilot who nearly landed a private jet on top of a commercial jetliner on Friday apparently noticed the other plane still on the runway, and investigators say collision was avoided by less than 100 feet.
The head of the National Transportation Safety Board tells CNN that a Cessna Citation coming in for landing on San Diego International Airport’s runway 27 Friday came “within 100 feet” of Southwest Airlines flight 2493.
The detail provided Monday by NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy comes as her agency is investigating the incident known as a runway incursion, the seventh being probed by investigators since the start of this year.
“It’s a big concern for me and the agency,” Homendy said. “I worry about potential tragedy.”
The FAA said over the weekend that San Diego air traffic controllers cleared an arriving Cessna Citation jet to land on runway 27, then told Southwest flight 2493 to taxi onto the same runway and stand by for takeoff clearance.
The agency says collision warning alarms alerted air traffic controllers “about the developing situation,” and controllers ordered the crew of the Citation to abort their landing and go around.
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Archived air traffic control audio reviewed by CNN from LiveATC.net reveals the pilot of the incoming Cessna Citation jet apparently noticing the Southwest plane was still on the runway.
“Verify Four Hotel Victor is still clear to land?” asked the pilot of the Citation.
“Citation Four Hotel Victor go around, fly the published missed approach,” said the controller in tower.
“Alright, going around, Four Hotel Victor,” replied the pilot of the Citation.
The air traffic controller in the tower then told the waiting Southwest flight to taxi clear of the runway. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
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