News Article - August 02, 2007

Two Planes Nearly Collide At PHL  
  There was a scare at Philadelphia International Airport recently. It caused tense moments as two planes nearly collided on the runway Sunday. One jet was cleared for takeoff, but another pilot ignored instructions from the tower and taxied right in the jet's path, NBC 10 reported. A tragedy was averted, but it was a frightening mistake.

   Since May, there have been more than half-dozen near-misses in the Northeast region of the United States alone. It's happened in Florida, New York and now in Philadelphia. A US Airways flight from Las Vegas had just landed, and at the same time an Air Wisconsin plane was preparing to take off for Cincinnati Sunday. On the airport tapes, the words November, Sierra and Tango are the taxiways from which the planes are taking off.

   US Airways Flight 1752: And, uh, US 1752, are we cleared to cross here at November?

Air Traffic Control: 1752, I need you to taxi...I gave you instructions... November Sierra. Make the right. Make the right turn southbound on November.

US1752: OK, November Sierra southbound. We're going to Charlie 27. It is open.

ATC: 1752, you are...1752, what are you doing? 1752, hold your position. 1752, ground?

US1752: You said I was cleared.

ATC: No I didn't, 1752. I cleared you to go south on November.

US1752: I specifically asked to cross, and you said, "Cleared to cross 9 left."

ATC: Negative, 1752. I gave you, I gave you a right turn to go south, November Sierra.

  The US Airways plane was supposed to take a right on the taxiway, NBC 10 reported. Instead, the jet went left, sending it directly into the path of the other plane. Air traffic controllers realized what the pilot of the US Airways plane did and turned the Air Wisconsin jet at the closest taxiway to avoid a collision.

   ATC: Turn right on Tango. That traffic was unauthorized to cross that runway. US Airways had no comment Wednesday. The pilot's mistake is still under investigation, NBC 10 reported.

Source - NBC10