Tags: 2 | planes | nearly | collide | flight | numbers

2 Planes Nearly Collide After Pilots Reportedly Confuse Flight Numbers

By    |   Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 12:37 PM

Two planes nearly collided during takeoff at Chicago’s Midway airport on Tuesday, an incident that may have been the result of similar flight numbers.

Southwest Flight 3828, bound for Tulsa, Oklahoma, began its cleared take off down Runway 4-Right around 7:40 p.m. when Delta Flight 1328, headed to Atlanta, also began to accelerate down an intersecting runway. After an air controller alerted the Delta flight to “stop, stop, stop,” both planes halted just 2,000 feet away from a potential collision, CBS Chicago reported.

The Southwest flight then paused takeoff to complete “necessary reports and tasks" and "the flight later continued onward to Tulsa without further incident,” the airline announced. The Delta flight also continued on its course to Atlanta.

"We appreciate the professionalism of our pilots and the FAA Traffic Controller," stated Southwest Airlines, according to CNN.

Before takeoff, a ground controller warned the pilots that the similar sounding flight numbers would be out at the same time and to listen to the dual transmission carefully, reported 4-traders. The National Transportation Safety Board will likely investigate the incident in addition to the FAA.

The transcript of the conversation between the air controllers and the two pilots obtained by CBS Chicago shows the confusion in the situation:

Air Traffic Control: (inaudible)…1328 stop! Stop! Stop!

DELTA PILOT: 1328, Stopping

ATC: 1328 make the right turn on to uh, taxiway Delta, right turn to Delta, hold short runway four-right.

ATC: You keep answering for each other, it’s Southwest 3828 and Delta 1328.

SW PILOT 11:12: Southwest 3828

ATC: Go ahead sir.

SW PILOT: …were we the ones clear for take-off?

ATC: Yessir, you were, you were the one – you were doing what you were supposed to be doing.

SW PILOT: …Delta was rolling also?

ATC: Yes…he took your call sign, somebody kept stepping on ya, trying to figure out who it was and then, that’s why I reiterated that it was you that I was clearing for take-off.

“Just knowing that there were two aircraft of that size headed to the same intersection at the same time . . . this could have been catastrophic,” Rob Mark, a pilot and Jetwhine.com publisher, told CBS.

Each plane was carrying more than 100 passengers.

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Two planes nearly collided during takeoff at Chicago’s Midway airport on Tuesday, an incident that may have been the result of similar flight numbers.
2, planes, nearly, collide, flight, numbers
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2015-37-18
Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 12:37 PM
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