On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board reported a “near miss” when an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 and a cargo plane came within a quarter mile of each other over Fire Island, Alaska.
Alaska Airlines Flight 135 originated in Portland, Oregon, and was lining up to land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport just after 3:00 p.m. However, before the pilot could land, he received instructions from the Anchorage air traffic controllers telling him to make a “go around,” which gives the aircrafts more separation near the airport.
The instructions were given to avoid a collision between an Ace Air Cargo Beechcraft 1900 prop-jet and the Boeing 737, which were so close that the pilots reported being able to see the other plane. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Clint Johnson said that the Ace Air Cargo Beechcraft 1900 was en route to Sand Point, Alaska.
The Ace Air Cargo pilot Todd Erickson said that he was aware of the situation, and was in contact with the control tower the entire time. “There was no danger,” Erickson explained. “Once Alaska Airlines radioed they had the 1900 in sight, our crew had no cause for concern.”
Johnson explained that the quarter mile proximity qualified as a “near miss.” The Alaska Airlines Flight 135, that was carrying 143 passengers and five crew members, later landed safely without incident.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating further to determine what caused the planes to fly so close to each other.
Image via Wikimedia Commons