(BOSTON) — Authorities are investigating an incident where a United Airlines flight failed to stop and hold short of an active runway and almost crossed into the path of a landing JetBlue flight at Boston Logan International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.
Friday evening, United Airlines flight 1946, was returning to the gate due to a maintenance issue. According to a Boston Logan spokesman, the Boeing 737 entered a “safety area” of the tarmac before the runway, which triggered a sensor that set off an alarm in the control tower.
GD Pennington, a passenger on the plane, tweeted, “Close call with our pilot slamming the brakes.”
Air traffic controllers told United Airlines flight 1946 at least five times to “hold short of runway 27.”
The pilot of the United flight responded, “We’re short.”
As a precaution air traffic controllers told the approaching Jet Blue flight to execute a “go around” according to the airport spokesman. “The United Airlines aircraft never actually got onto the runway,” the airport spokesman said. “This was an example of the system working perfectly.”
A United Airlines spokesman said the pilot of the Boeing 737 stopped the aircraft to avoid snow on the tarmac, and the JetBlue flight’s execution of a “go around” was “completely unrelated” and “coincidental.”
A similar incident occurred last October at San Francisco International Airport when an Air Canada flight failed to respond to six separate calls from air traffic control tower to abort its landing because an aircraft was already on the ground. The FAA said they are investigating that incident as well.
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