US Airways Jet Narrowly Avoids Midair Collision

On the morning of September 16, a US Airways jet narrowly averted a midair collision over Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a near midair collision between a US Airways Airbus 320 and a Bemidji Aviation Services cargo aircraft.</b>

The incident took place on the morning of September 16, 2010, as both aircraft were taking off from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. 

Immediately after departure, the traffic control tower instructed US Airways flight 1848 (en route to Philadelphia with five crew members and 90 passengers) to turn left and head west, causing the jet to cross paths with the cargo plane. 

Neither pilot saw the other aircraft because they were in the clouds, though the US Airways pilot reported hearing the Beech 99 pass by. Estimates based on recorded radar data indicate that the two aircraft had 50 to 100 feet of vertical separation as they passed each other approximately 1,500 feet above the ground. 

The US Airways aircraft was equipped with a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) that issued climb instructions to the crew to avert collision. The Beech 99 was not equipped with TCAS and was unaware of the proximity of the Airbus.

No damage or injuries were reported. 

Several near midair collisions over U.S. airports have been reported this year, including one on May 21 in which a US Airways jet nearly collided with a 747 cargo plane over Anchorage. 

Southwest Airlines jets were involved in near midair collisions on April 19 (Burbank) and April 28 (Houston).