Americans, concerned about the seeming deterioration in air safety, have issues with Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg.
On Friday night, an American Airlines plane crossed about 1,000 feet ahead of a Delta flight about to depart from New York’s Kennedy International Airport. Only a quick-acting pilot prevented this near-miss from being a transportation disaster.
The American Airlines plane, Flight 106, bound for London with 137 passengers aboard, was proceeding along a taxiway about 8:45 p.m. when it came near a spot where two runways cross perpendicularly, according to Ross Feinstein, a former spokesman for both the Transportation Security Administration and American Airlines who said he had reviewed publicly available radar and recordings.
The Delta plane was waiting to take off on Runway 4 Left, which is intersected by Runway 31 Left.
An air traffic controller can be heard telling the American plane, a Boeing 777, to “cross Runway 31 Left,” which would require it to turn right before coming around to line up for departure on Runway 4 Left behind the Delta plane.
The American pilot confirms, “Cross 31 Left.”
Another air traffic controller tells the Delta plane, a Boeing 737, that it is cleared for takeoff. The Delta pilot confirms: “Cleared for takeoff, Runway 4 Left, Delta 1943.”
But the American flight, instead of turning right to cross Runway 31 Left, jogged left then right and proceeded straight across Runway 4 Left as the Delta plane began its takeoff, the radar shows, according to Mr. Feinstein.
The Delta pilot was forced to abruptly brake, traveling another 661 feet before he came to a complete stop with just 1,000 feet to spare before the plane would have collided with the American Airlines Boeing 777. Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.
The FAA said a Boeing 737 operated by Delta Air Lines stopped its takeoff around 8:45 p.m. when air traffic controllers noticed another American Airlines aircraft crossing the runway. The Delta flight “stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet” from the point where the American Airlines Boeing 777 had crossed, according to the FAA’s preliminary analysis.
The agency told CNBC the information is subject to change.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet Sunday that it is also investigating the incident.
NTSB is investigating the Jan. 13 runway incursion at JFK airport involving an American Airlines Boeing 777 and a Delta Boeing 737.
— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 15, 2023
One has to wonder if the social justice emphasis on hiring air industry professionals plays a role. Or perhaps, as with the case of the recent air crisis, bad software is to blame.
Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised the air traffic control personnel who prevented this disaster.
Had a chance to thank some of the ATC personnel whose quick action on Friday night at JFK reminds us of the importance of all the vital work that takes place every day to keep air travel safe. https://t.co/FxzOescyOW
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) January 16, 2023
Americans, concerned about the seeming deterioration in air safety, had issues with Buttigieg.
Sec, this is going from bad to worse. Time to get it under control. What’s the plan? Is there a plan? Need a presser.
— George Hayduke Oliver (@AquaBlueLounge) January 16, 2023
Shocked you had since you are still worried about racist bridges and interstates.
— Deke (@DekeistheMan) January 17, 2023
Meanwhile, no affordable domestic energy; no affordable housing/rent; no affordable food; no affordable gas/diesel vehicles; no decent career jobs; no crime reduction; no southern border controls. Some victory lap…for one disaster after another.
— Mark Connor (@MarkConnorNJ) January 17, 2023
Meanwhile, Buttigieg’s string of bad luck is being noticed.
During the 40-year-old Buttigieg’s tenure, there have been widespread global supply chain issues and logjams at major ports, multiple instances of mass flight cancellations by airlines and a narrowly avoided nationwide strike by railroad workers that was only averted by an eleventh-hour intervention from Congress.
The latest transportation mishap was the most high-profile yet.
On Wednesday morning, a malfunction in an obscure and apparently obsolete internal system called the Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, forced the temporary grounding of all air traffic in the United States. The move touched off a cascading snarl that resulted in the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights and the delay of 9,000 more. It was the biggest shutdown of U.S. aviation since the attacks of Sept 11, 2001.
…The trials and tribulations of his current assignment have reached the point where White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had to address questions on Wednesday about Biden’s confidence in Buttigieg’s performance.
Biden, she said, “respects the secretary and the work he has been doing.”
The phrase damned with faint praise comes to mind.DONATE
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