FAA Investigates Southwest Flight Incident

FAA Investigate Southwest Flight Incident

(USNewsBreak.com) – A rash of safety issues has caused close calls involving commercial airliners. In recent months, an Alaska Airlines flight had to divert after a door plug blew off mid-air, several planes had to land after mechanical issues, and two Delta flights experienced a slight collision. One recent incident prompted a new probe from the FAA.

On March 23, a Southwest Airlines flight was reported to have had a close encounter with the air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The pilot had veered off course while approaching the runway, causing the controller to urgently demand that the plane “Go around! Go around!” and climb back to 2,000 feet. The air traffic control tower is 233 feet high, and initially, it was reported that the plane may have flown over it at a mere 67 feet. However, CBS News reported that later, an FAA official said that the plane was flying at a minimum of 800 feet while near tower. This would have put the aircraft at 550 feet above the structure, if the plane flew over it.

Based on Flightradar24 data, it appeared the flight, arriving from Nashville, was directly over the terminal building and not the runway, which the controller relayed to the pilot after they gained altitude. The pilot diverted the plane to Baltimore, where it landed briefly before heading back to New York and landing safely.

At the time, the plane carried 153 people onboard, including six crew members. The airline, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident to determine the cause. The NTSB doesn’t anticipate issuing any immediate reports and generally takes between six months to a year before providing details. The FAA is expected to determine whether the plane flew over the tower. According to The New York Post, Southwest Airlines reported turbulence and low visibility on the flight at LaGuardia Airport.

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