The pilots of a JetBlue flight were forced to make an ‘evasive’ manoeuvre while landing at Boston Logan Airport on Monday evening after a private Learjet took off from an intersecting runway without permission.
JetBlue flight B6-206 from Nashville to Boston was due to land after an otherwise uneventful flight but had to initiate a ‘go around’ at the last moment in order to avoid a potential collision with the private jet.
The Embraer E190 regional jet operated by JetBlue was able to do a quick loop over Massachusetts Bay before landing safely on the second try. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) described the pilot’s action as ‘evasive action’.
In a statement, the FAA confirmed it was now investigating the potential near miss. In a statement, the federal agency described how the incident occurred when air traffic controllers instructed the Learjet to line up on runway 9 and wait for takeoff clearance while the JetBlue plane landed on runway 4 which intersects with RWY9.
“The Learjet pilot read back the instructions clearly but began a takeoff roll instead,” the statement explained.
“The pilot of the JetBlue aircraft took evasive action and initiated a climb-out as the Learjet crossed the intersection.”
No further information about the incident was immediately made public, although the investigation will likely be treated as a priority following a series of recent near-miss accidents at U.S. airports that had alarmed the public and professional safety experts alike.
As part of its investigation, the FAA says it will determine how close the two aircraft came to hitting each other. The Learjet was operated by a private air charter operator, Hop-A-Jet, while JetBlue said it is fully cooperating with the FAA investigation.
A spokesperson for the carrier said: “Safety is JetBlue’s first priority, and our crews are trained to react to situations like this.”
The Embraer E190 operated by JetBlue had a seating capacity of 100 passengers while the Learjet 60 typically seats just four passengers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.