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Near Mid-Air, Great Job on Avoiding Guys

NSDQ

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Feb 10, 2007
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Two airliners were one minute from colliding when at least one of the planes turned away from the other over the Caribbean this week, federal authorities said Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating an incident in which a Delta Air Lines flight and a Russian-registered passenger jet were heading toward each other Thursday north of Puerto Rico when cockpit alarms went off.

The NTSB said the pilot of the Russian plane - a Transaero Boeing 747 - descended 200 feet to 300 feet to avoid Delta Flight 485.

The planes were at the same altitude - 33,000 feet over open ocean - and were "60 seconds apart from occupying the same airspace," said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson.Knudson said the agency doesn't have enough information yet to know if the planes would have collided had evasive maneuvers not been taken, or if they would have narrowly missed each other.

The two planes were about 180 miles north of San Juan when the near-collision occurred at about 6:30 p.m. EDT. The Delta Boeing 737 - with 152 passengers aboard - was headed from New York's Kennedy International Airport to Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The NTSB said there were no injuries.

"This was every bit the classic near miss," said Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

The Delta pilot told air traffic controllers that the incident was "extremely close" and that he also took evasive maneuvers, said Victor Santore, a vice president of the controllers union. NTSB's Knudson said he could not confirm the controllers' account.

There was no FAA radar coverage in the area where the planes nearly collided - as is the case over most open ocean. The NTSB says aircraft are required to remain at least 15 minutes apart when flying through areas with no radar coverage.

Flight plans filed by the two airlines placed the aircraft on intersecting flight paths, which would have been fine as long as they stayed 15 minutes apart, Santore said.

Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton declined to provide any further details of the incident. "We are fully cooperating with the NTSB," said Talton.

The NTSB also reported Friday that it was investigating:
 

skyaddict

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Jan 26, 2005
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I wish it was authorized in domestic airspace too. On airways we are all perfectly head-on all the time thanks to the wonders of GPS.
 

123

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Mar 13, 2003
Posts
241
I wish it was authorized in domestic airspace too. On airways we are all perfectly head-on all the time thanks to the wonders of GPS.


This is common practice domestically on the DC-9. Or, maybe it is just the crews trying to track the centerline.
 

Colonel Savage

Southern style...
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Mar 11, 2008
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What would be wrong with a one mile "pilot's discretion" offset in domestic or Carribean airspace? Airways and Jet Routes are 4 miles either side of centerline, and a FMC equipped aircraft offsetting an airway by one mile is well within ATC clearance criteria, is it not?
 

samballs

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Apr 26, 2005
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DL has been involved in a lot of near misses this year. PIT JFK RSW FLL JFK CVG. I believe all controller fault.
 

Clacker

Merkwürdigeliebe.
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Jan 12, 2006
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One of the things I liked about flying the old INS equipped 747s is that SLA is guaranteed!

(Same with the DC-9, unless you're bored with the cockpit conversation and paying too much attention to the cdi...)
 

vtwo

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Jul 18, 2005
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I have the flight attendants play ' pick a number 1,2 or 3"
And that becomes the S.L.O.P. for the crossing.
then it really gets fun when you tell them they just picked how far off course we are going fly today.
the looks are great, the questions are even more fun to answer??

pretty random and it keeps things from getting routine.
 

CF34-3B1

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Mar 6, 2002
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FA's can count that high?

Oh did I say that out loud? BAD pilot, bad, bad pilot..
 
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