FAA Probes Serious Incident on Southwest Flight

(LibertySons.org) – A Southwest flight veered off its course while approaching New York’s LaGuardia Airport for landing, leading to a possible near miss with a control tower at the terminal building. There’s still no word as to why the plane ended up so far off the runway, but an air traffic controller managed to avoid tragedy by ordering an immediate rise in the craft’s altitude. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched a probe into the serious incident.

Southwest Flight 147 on March 23 reportedly suffered poor visibility as it tried to land because of bad weather, and it was on its second attempt to hit the runway when it received frantic orders from the air traffic controller. Feed from liveatc.net recorded the worker ordering the pilot to “climb and maintain” an altitude of 2,000 feet. Preliminary data suggests that the aircraft began climbing at 300 feet, possibly as it flew right over the 233-foot-tall tower. If that information is correct, then the Boeing 737 missed hitting the tower by just 67 feet.

The flight diverted to Baltimore/Washington International Airport and landed without incident. It eventually returned to New York and landed without any further issues.

Pilots attempting to land other planes during that time also had difficulties, with multiple flights being forced to circle before they were able to safely touch down. The pilots in the cockpit of JetBlue Flight 698 stated that they had difficulties due to wind shear — or sudden changes in wind trajectory and/or speed.

Close calls have become increasingly common over the past few years. The 2023 fiscal year saw 23 serious incidents, and 2022 had 16. The average was 11 per year about a decade ago. Some estimates put the recent numbers much higher. Issues that can contribute to mistakes include fatigue, jet lag from long-distance schedules, and the mental stress of having to stay on top of quick decisions while manning the craft.

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