US investigators probe close call on North Carolina runway

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A file photo of a Pilatus PC-12

Investigators with the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are looking into a serious runway incursion at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. A regional jet came within ten feet of striking a private turboprop.

The other aircraft was a CRJ-200

The incident occured on May 29. A Bombardier CRJ-200 owned by US Airways subsidiary PSA Airlines was cleared to take off. As the jet moved off down the runway a Pilatus PC-12 was cleared to move onto the same runway and await permission to begin its own takeoff.

As the jet headed towards the other aircraft a monitoring system called ASDE-X alerted air traffic control that the aircraft was on a collision course. The controllers immediately informed the PSA jet. As the aircraft approached the PC-12 the turboprop's pilot also realised the danger and moved his aircraft to one side of the runway.

The jet was able to come to a stop just ten feet from the other plane. The CRJ-200 had 42 passengers and three crew on board, and it is unclear how many people were on the PC-12.