An Alaska Airlines jet had to dodge a SkyWest flight near an Oregon airport. Near-misses are surprisingly common. – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

An Alaska Airlines jet had to dodge a SkyWest flight near an Oregon airport. Near-misses are surprisingly common.

An Alaska Airlines flight.

John McCoy/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Two commercial flights were nearly involved in a mid-air collision near Portland International Airport.
An Alaska Airlines plane and a SkyWest Airlines flight came a bit too close to each other. 
The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the close-call incident. 

Two commercial planes avoided a mid-air collision near Oregon’s Portland International Airport and federal aviation officials are now investigating the close-call incident

The situation unfolded last Monday at about 4:15 p.m. local time when an Alaska Airlines flight from California abandoned its landing attempt at the Portland airport due to bad weather — just as a SkyWest Airlines flight departed from the same airport. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot of Alaska Airlines Flight 1299 initiated a standard maneuver known as a “go-around” due to wind while attempting to land at the airport and turned toward SkyWest Airlines Flight 3978, which had just taken off. 

“An air traffic controller instructed the Alaska Airlines pilot to turn away from the SkyWest aircraft,” the FAA told Insider in a statement. 

Flight tracking footage posted on YouTube by the channel VASAviation, along with audio communications, shows how the two planes came shockingly close to each other in the sky. 

 

An estimate from the Oregonian found the aircraft came within about 1,800 feet horizontally and 250 feet vertically of each other. 

“The FAA will determine the closest proximity between the aircraft as part of the investigation,” the government agency said. 

Alaska Airlines told Insider in a statement that as Flight 1299 conducted the go-around during its initial approach to landing, “There was another aircraft departing on the parallel runway to the north which created a potential traffic conflict.”

“The crew of Flight 1299 followed cockpit indications and reacted immediately to increase separation from the other aircraft. The aircraft maintained a safe amount of lateral separation throughout the entire event,” the airline said. 

The plane was then diverted to Oregon’s Redmond Municipal Airport. 

“The flight later continued to its intended destination in Portland where it landed safely,” Alaska Airlines said. “The safety of our guests and employees is always our top priority, and consistent with that value, Alaska Airlines is internally reviewing this event,” said the airline. 

SkyWest Airlines told Insider that the flight “departed normally with pilots following air traffic control instructions and landed routinely at Seattle.” 

“At no point was the safety of the flight compromised,” the airline added. 

Airplane near-misses are surprisingly common

A recent New York Times investigation has found that near-miss collisions between planes have been happening far more frequently than previously thought.

On average, there have been multiple airline close calls per week so far this year, the report, which was published in August, found.

In July alone, there were at least 46 near-miss incidents involving commercial planes, according to the New York Times. 

The FAA has said it is taking action to assess airline safety after several events that could have turned tragic. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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