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Two airliners in LAX runway incursion were 80 feet apart, not 10 to 15 feet, FAA says

A radar analysis shows that two airliners involved in a runway incursion at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday were more than 80 feet apart, the Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday.

The finding disputes an earlier estimate by an air traffic controller at LAX that the Northwest Airlines and Midwest Express planes were 10 to 15 feet away from colliding with each other.

FAA officials said the Midwest Embraer E190 rolled past the hold lines on a taxiway on the airport’s south side and stopped about 70 feet from the edge of the inner runway, where a Northwest Boeing 757 was taking off.

Assuming the Northwest plane was in the center of the runway, FAA officials said, the total distance between the aircraft was about 82 feet.

The incursion has prompted City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the airport area, to ask for an examination of the incident. He requested the study in a motion he made at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. A vote is pending.

--Dan Weikel

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Comments () | Archives (3)

with how small an embraer 190 is compared to a 757, I suppose the controller's eyes were playing tricks on him.

Not a good week for Northwest Airlines, is it? First, "distracted" pilots and now this?

What does Northwest have to do with this? Other than the fact that they were on the runway to take off, they have no control of the actions of the Midwest pilots. And as is quite common for pilots, as they make that last turn before the hold short line, they are at times cleared to position as soon as the other aircraft has begun its take-off roll. I would see this as complacency on the part of the Midwest pilots or the controller responsible for that runway at the time...either way, Northwest was just a by-stander in this one.


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