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

October 28, 2009 | 12:03 pm

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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