NTSB Investigating Close Call Between Two Airliners On LA Runway

The National Transportation Safety Board said today it is investigating a runway incident in which two airliners may have missed each other by less than 40 feet at Los Angeles International Airport.

No one was hurt in last Thursday's incursion involving a jet that had just landed and an airliner taking off.

The NTSB said in an advisory of the investigation that the aircraft may have come within 37 feet of each other.

Previous estimates of the distance between the aircraft have ranged from 50-to 200 feet.

The incident involved the two parallel runways on the north side of the airport's central terminal area.

Aircraft landing on the outer runway have to cross the inner runway to reach terminal gates.

The NTSBY says a WestJet Boeing 737 landed on Runway 24 Right,
turned onto an exit and held between the parallel runways as directed by the control tower.

The agency says the WestJet crew then changed radio frequencies
without authorization and contacted ground control.

The safety board says the ground controller assumed the WestJet
plane had been cleared to cross Runway 24 Left and gave instructions for the aircraft to taxi to a terminal gate.

The tower controller, meanwhile, expected the WestJet plane to hold between the runways and cleared the Northwest flight to depart on Runway 24 Left.

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