Jet, small plane almost collide over San Francisco, FAA needs to look at Split Frequency Operation

SAN FRANCISCO – Federal investigators are looking into the weekend near collision of a commercial jet and small airplane that came within 300 feet of each other over San Francisco.

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking “strong measures to make sure something similar does not occur in the future” following Saturdays near-miss between United Airlines Flight

889 to Beijing, China, and a light-wing airplane, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. The National Transportation Safety Board also is investigating.

According to Gregor, air traffic controllers cleared the United flight, a Boeing 777 carrying 251 passengers, for takeoff at 11:15 a.m. and quickly spotted a Cessna 182 flying south.

The controller radioed both planess; pilots, and the jets automatic traffic collision avoidance system alerted its pilot of the small aircraft approaching, Gregor said, causing the jet pilot to level the planes climb.

“The Cessna pilot reported that he had the 777 in sight, and adjusted his path to maneuver above and behind the 777,” Gregor told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

The closest the planes came to each other was 300 feet vertically and 1,500 feet horizontally, Gregor said. The United flight continued to Beijing with no further incident.

via Jet, small plane almost collide over San Francisco.

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