NTSB investigating near-collision of US Airways A319, Cargolux 747

There were three near-midair collisions over U.S. airports between April 19 and May 21 of this year, two involving Southwest and one involving a US Airways A319.

On Friday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced it has launched an investigation into the near-midair collision of a US Airways passenger jet and a cargo jet.

On May 21, US Airways Flight 146—en route from Phoenix to Anchorage with 138 passengers and crew—came with 100 feet vertically and one-third of a mile laterally of a Cargolux Boeing 747 that was departing Anchorage for Chicago.

The situation unfolded after the US Airways jet initiated a missed approach “because of the effects of tailwinds on the aircraft’s approach path,” according to an NTSB Advisory. As a result, the crew requested new landing instructions from air traffic control, which instructed the A319 to turn right and report the Cargolux 747 in sight. After the A319 crew reported the 747 in sight, the tower instructed the A319 to climb to 3,000 feet and turn right. The A319 crew refused the turn because it would have put their jet “in direct conflict with the 747,” says the NTSB.

This most recent incident is the third near-midair collision over a U.S. airport in the past six weeks.

On the afternoon of Wednesday April 28, Southwest Flight 1322 (departing Houston’s Hobby Airport for Baltimore) came within 125 feet vertically and 100 feet laterally of a Bell 207 news gathering helicopter as both were departing the airport. 

And on Monday April 19, a Southwest 737 and a private plane came within 200 feet of colliding over Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California.