Sunday, February 22, 2015

Federal Aviation Administration investigating near miss on O'Hare International Airport (KORD) runway last week

The pilot of an American Eagle airliner taking off from O'Hare International Airport last week took evasive action to avoid hitting another plane that strayed onto the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration and a source said Sunday.

The incident involving two regional jets occurred at 9:46 p.m. Tuesday. The American Eagle plane, which was cleared by air-traffic controllers and was on its takeoff roll, "steered around" a United Express Bombardier CRJ-700 that "turned without authorization onto an active runway," FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

The United Express plane, traveling to Toronto, had just begun to enter runway 28 Right when the pilot of the American Eagle Embraer 145 steered around it and departed safely en route to Columbus, Ohio, Molinaro said. He said the incident is under investigation.

A source at O'Hare said the United Express pilot strayed onto the runway after missing an assigned turn from one taxiway to another. The FAA did not confirm that account Sunday.

No additional information was immediately available Sunday. The Tribune contacted the National Transportation Safety Board, which was expected to send an investigator, an FAA source said.

Runway incursions, which are incidents involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on a runway, are the leading threat to safety at airports, according to the FAA and the NTSB.

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