The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB are investigating an aborted landing of a FedEx cargo plane on Saturday in Austin, Texas, that had been set to land on a runway on which a Southwest Airlines jet was also cleared to depart.
NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy told Reuters the “near miss” incident could have resulted in “terrible tragedy.”
The two planes came close to colliding when the FedEx aircraft was forced to overfly the Southwest jet to avoid a crash in poor visibility conditions around 6:40 a.m.
“Shortly before the FedEx aircraft was due to land, the controller cleared Southwest Flight 708 to depart from the same runway,” the FAA said on Saturday.
Homendy said it appears likely the FedEx plane overflew the Southwest plane during their takeoff role momentarily and then Southwest passed beneath the FedEx plane again as its speed increased on takeoff.
“At some point this FedEx plane and the Southwest plane are moving together…