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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

An American Airlines flight at DCA had to abort take-off due to a near miss

By Vaseline May30,2024

An American Airlines passenger plane was forced to abort takeoff from Arlington National Airport in Arlington on Wednesday because it risked colliding with a private jet that was landing at the same time, according to flight records and federal aviation authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration said an air traffic controller “cancelled takeoff clearance for the Boston-bound plane” because another plane had been cleared to land on an intersecting runway. The agency says it is investigating the incident.

It was the second near miss at National in six weeks. On April 18, an air traffic controller ordered a Southwest pilot to cross a runway used by a departing JetBlue plane, the FAA said.

The incidents have raised concerns among critics of a recent bipartisan aviation bill expanding the number of flights to and from National.

Virginia’s U.S. senators had argued that the April incident was “a flashing red warning light that this airport is overloaded” and said adding five round-trip flights later this year would “ensure the safety of the 25 million people who fly through DCA each year.” endangered.

After Wednesday’s incident, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) expressed relief in a social media post that no one was injured, but said it shows why the move “to block any more flights to DCA was so dangerous. The FAA must oppose new flights that endanger safety.”

The agency did not answer questions about whether the two incidents point to broader safety problems at the airport or whether the new aviation law could worsen any safety concerns.

The FAA said serious runway incursions are rare nationally and are down 33 percent so far this fiscal year compared to last year, citing its work to improve technology, coordination and training.

“Aviation is the safest way to travel and that’s because we never take anything for granted,” the agency said in a statement.

The FAA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which said earlier this month that “regardless of the number of flights at DCA,” the FAA’s priority is to keep the airport’s operations safe.

On Wednesday, American Airlines Flight 2134 had accelerated to 89 knots when a Hawker Beechcraft turboprop plane touched down, according to data from aircraft location tracking platform ADS-B Exchange. By the time the small plane was directly in front of the passenger plane at the intersection of the two runways, the American plane had managed to greatly reduce its speed, according to the data.

The precise circumstances, including why the U.S. plane was cleared to take off, are among the questions for investigators.

American Airlines said in a statement: “We are grateful to our crew for their professionalism.”

After the incident, a member of the American crew informed air traffic control via radio about what should be done next, according to a recording made by LiveATC.net.

“We need a seat after that failed start,” he said. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do here.”

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