Southwest and FedEx planes nearly collide at Texas airport

February 7, 2023 4:46 am

[Source: BBC]

Aviation officials are investigating a near-collision between a FedEx cargo plane and a Southwest passenger flight at a Texas airport on Saturday.

The cargo plane had to abort its landing as the Southwest flight was cleared to depart on the same runway, officials said.

A voice reportedly from an air traffic control recording is heard warning: “Southwest abort. FedEx is on the go.”

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The planes were under 1,000ft (304m) apart, a flight-tracking service said.

The FedEx jet – a Boeing 767 cargo plane – had been cleared to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 06:40 local time (11:40 GMT) on Saturday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

But an air traffic controller cleared Southwest Flight 708 for departure from the same runway with the FedEx crew about three miles away, flight data interpreted by FlightRadar24 shows.

The FedEx plane at one point reported an altitude of 75ft before climbing as it caught up to the Southwest plane, which remained on the runway.

An animated video released by FlightRadar24 shows the cargo plane approaching and passing directly over the commercial flight before making a sharp turn away from the runway.