“Close Call at Fort Lauderdale International Airport: FAA Investigates Allegiant Air Flight Incident”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently conducting an investigation into a recent close call between an Allegiant Air flight and a private jet near Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida. On Sunday, July 23, Allegiant Air Flight 485, an Airbus A320, had to take evasive action after the pilot received an automated alert about another aircraft at the same altitude. The FAA stated that the incident occurred when the flight was instructed to turn eastbound at 23,000 feet and unexpectedly crossed paths with a northbound Gulfstream business jet, prompting both pilots to take immediate evasive measures.
Aviation Safety Concerns
The FAA’s investigation comes in the wake of a series of near-miss incidents at American airports, which led to the issuance of a safety alert for airlines and pilots earlier this year. The alert, titled “Aviation Safety Call to Action,” pointed out six “serious runway incursions” that had occurred at various airports across the country. The incidents included a taxiing aircraft narrowly avoiding a departing aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, and a landing aircraft coming within 100 feet of a departing aircraft at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas.
The FAA acknowledged that while the overall number of incidents and occurrences in the National Airspace System may not have increased, the potential severity of these events remains a significant cause for concern.
One passenger on Allegiant Air Flight 485, Jerrica Thacker, described the incident as an unnerving experience, comparing it to a roller coaster ride. She stated that the sudden movements of the aircraft felt like coming down from a high point and then going over a big hill. Jerrica, who was flying for only the second time, shared that the frightful encounter has left her with a lasting fear of flying.
FAA’s Safety Measures
The FAA has been proactive in addressing safety concerns in recent months. Notably, they launched an investigation into a close call between two planes at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. In this incident, Republic Airways Flight 4736 crossed a runway without clearance while United Airlines Flight 2003 was cleared for takeoff. Thankfully, the air traffic controller on duty promptly canceled United’s takeoff clearance, averting a potential disaster.
Allegiant Air’s Response
When approached for comment, an Allegiant Air spokesperson referred to the ongoing investigation by the FAA and cited it as the reason for not providing further details. The airline is cooperating fully with the authorities during this process.
As the FAA delves deeper into the investigation of the close call at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, safety remains paramount in the aviation industry. The FAA’s continuous efforts to address safety concerns and take preventive measures are commendable. Aviation authorities and airlines must remain vigilant and committed to ensuring the highest standards of safety for all passengers and crew members. As for Jerrica Thacker and others like her, overcoming the fear of flying will require not only the reassurance of safety measures but also the understanding and empathy of airline operators and fellow travelers.
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