NTSB Looks at Near-Crash over California

The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the near collision of a commercial jetliner and a small private plane at the intersection of two active runways at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport in Southern California.

At about 10:58 a.m. PDT on April 19, Southwest Airlines flight 649, a Boeing 737-700 (N473WN) inbound from Oakland, carrying 119 passengers and a crew of five was landing on runway 8 while a Cessna 172, in the departure phase of a “touch and go” on runway 15, passed over the 737.  A “touch and go” is a practice maneuver in which an aircraft briefly lands on the runway before accelerating and becoming airborne again.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplanes came within 200 feet vertically and 10 feet laterally of each other at the runway intersection. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred under a clear sky with visibility of 10 miles.

NTSB investigator Betty Koschig, an air traffic control specialist based in Washington, is traveling to Burbank today to begin the investigation.