JetBlue pilot lands plane in Boston, averts potential collision
BOSTON - A JetBlue pilot had to take "evasive action" while landing at Boston’s Logan International Airport when another aircraft crossed an intersecting runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The close call occurred at about 7 p.m. Monday when the pilot of a Learjet 60 took off without clearance as a JetBlue flight was preparing to land on an intersecting runway, according to the FAA's preliminary review.
The FAA is investigating just how close the two aircraft came, but flight data tracking service Flightradar24 said Tuesday that a preliminary analysis put the aircraft approximately 530 feet (160 meters) apart.
An air traffic controller instructed the pilot of the Learjet to line up and wait on one runway while the JetBlue flight landed on another, the FAA said in a statement.
"The Learjet pilot read back the instructions clearly but began a takeoff roll instead," the FAA said. "The pilot of the JetBlue aircraft took evasive action and initiated a climb-out as the Learjet crossed the intersection."
The FAA did not disclose any additional information.
The close call at Logan is the latest near miss involving commercial aircraft in the past few months. There was one at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in January, a second in Austin, Texas, in February, and a third off the coast of Hawaii in December.
That prompted FAA Administrator Billy Nolen to say earlier this month that he was putting together a team of experts to review airline safety.
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JetBlue Airways said it is cooperating with investigators in the Logan near miss.
"On Monday, February 27, JetBlue flight 206 landed safely in Boston after our pilots were instructed to perform a go-around by air traffic controllers," the airline said in a statement. "Safety is JetBlue’s first priority and our crews are trained to react to situations like this."
A Logan spokesperson deferred questions to the FAA.