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Two United airliners were “too close for comfort”

May 23, 2014, Houston, Tx. - They were seconds away from a potential collision, but passengers aboard two United flights leaving George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston had no idea how close the planes came to crashing into each other, local media report.


May 23, 2014
By CBC News

The two planes leaving the U.S., en route separately to Vancouver and
Mexico City, had just taken off on May 9 when air traffic control
mistakenly told one of them to turn right instead of left, according to KHOU 11 News and the Houston Chronicle.

The near-fatal error put one aircraft right in the path of the other
departing plane, just 120 metres below it. At the speed they were
travelling, that put them several seconds from impact, just 1.6
kilometres from the airport, according to reports.

 

Air traffic control recordings catch a third-party pilot who
witnessed the near collision, calling the incident "pretty gnarly." 

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“You all basically crossed directly over the top of each other," KHOU quoted the pilot as saying.  

 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed it is investigating the incident.