‘Stop, stop!’ Southwest's Boeing 737 MAX 8 narrowly avoids collision with JetBlue E-190 | Watch - Hindustan Times
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‘Stop, stop!’ Southwest's Boeing 737 MAX 8 narrowly avoids collision with JetBlue E-190 | Watch

ByArya Vaishnavi
Apr 19, 2024 11:58 PM IST

In a recording of the incident, the Southwest pilot can be heard saying, “We stopped. We were cleared to cross Runway 4,” when asked by the controller to “stop”

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 had a close call with a JetBlue Airways Embraer E-190 Thursday morning. The two planes narrowly avoided the collision on the runway after both were cleared for takeoff. The JetBlue flight bound for Boston was forced to abort takeoff as the Southwest aircraft attempted to cross the runway at Washington Reagan National Airport.

A Southwest flight and JetBlue plane narrowly avoided a runway collision(X, formerly Twitter)
A Southwest flight and JetBlue plane narrowly avoided a runway collision(X, formerly Twitter)

Southwest Boeing aircraft, JetBlue's E-190 narrowly avoid collision

The incident occurred when the air controller gave the JetBlue flight clearance for cross Runway 4 at 7:40 am local time. Meanwhile, the Southwest aircraft bound for Orlando was also given clearance for the same runway at 7:41 am local time.

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As both planes attempted to take off from the same runway, an air traffic controller yelled at them to stop immediately. No injuries were reported. Shortly after the incident, both the flights were able to safely depart Washington.

According to flight data, while the Boeing aircraft never made it to the runway, the JetBlue flight had already started accelerating and reached the speed of 35 miles per hour.

Upon realising the gravity of the situation, the air controller radioed both pilots to halt their takeoffs immediately. With the air controller's quick decision, a deadly accident was avoided as the planes ended up about 300 feet from each other, per CBS News.

In a recording of the incident shared on social media, the Southwest pilot can be heard saying, “We stopped. We were cleared to cross Runway 4,” when asked by the controller to “stop.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed in a statement that the agency is investigating the matter.

“An air traffic controller instructed Southwest Airlines Flight 2937 to cross Runway 4 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport while JetBlue Flight 1554 was starting its takeoff roll on the same runway,” the FAA said, per CNN.

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