2 Airplanes Nearly Collide Midair Over Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 7, 2014 1:03 PM EST
Had it not for the quick attention and decision of air traffic controllers at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, a midair collision of two commercial airplanes could have happened on Thursday, potentially claiming dozens of lives.
An American Airlines airplane takes off from Heathrow airport in London July 3, 2014. Britain has stepped up security at airports after U.S. officials said they were concerned that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: TRANSPORT CRIME LAW TRAVEL)
Lynn Lunsford from the Federal Aviation Administration said an air traffic controller noticed the deviation between a Singapore Airlines jumbo 777 and a Delta Air Lines A320 just before 7 p.m. on Thursday. The air traffic controller immediately issued traffic alerts and instructions to both pilots, averting what could have been a midair disaster.
The Singapore Airlines 777 jumbo jet and Delta Airlines A320 was a half-mile horizontally and about 200 feet vertically of each other.
"The FAA is still determining the closest proximity between the two flights," Lunsford said.
FAA guidelines state that aircrafts should be separated a half-mile vertically and three miles horizontally.
The outbound Singapore Airlines 777 jumbo jet took off just before 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time but was found that it "did not level off" at the required 4,000 feet.
The Delta Air Lines A320, meantime, was flying inbound at an altitude of 6,000 feet and preparing to land.
Their almost midair crash scenario was averted by only a distance of eight football fields horizontally.
FAA officials are now investigating the incident. "As a result of a preliminary analysis of the event, the FAA has taken steps to ensure that all flight crews are aware of the top altitudes for standard departure routes," Lunsford said.
A similar incident has occurred at the same state in May when two United Airlines passenger jets came within a mile of each other.
Occurring just after takeoff, United Airlines Flights 601 and 437 flew 0.87 miles apart horizontally and 400 feet vertically from each other.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- HTC Google Nexus 8 Release Date Imminent with New Nexus 7 Deals, Two New Tablets Soon
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales