A United Airlines plane landing at Newark Airport flew close to an Express Jet that was taking off on an intersecting runway, Federal Aviation Administration officials said.
The FAA says the Express Jet Airlines Embraer E145 was taking off and a United Airlines 737 was landing Thursday afternoon when they experienced a "loss of separation," or came too close.
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Express Jet Flight 4100 was headed for Memphis, Tenn., and United Flight 29 was arriving from San Francisco.
The planes were about half a mile apart horizontally and several hundred feet vertically.
Air traffic recordings indicate controllers asked the United flight to attempt a go-around as the jetliner was about a mile from the airport.
Officials said the pilot appears to have decided it was not safe to abort the landing and proceeded toward runway 29 from the east. At the same time, the Express Jet was set to take off from runway 4-R, which intersects with runway 29.
Audio recordings indicate that, after landing, the United pilot told controllers the incident was a close one.
Safety experts said pilots, not controllers, make the final safety call about when to land or if there is enough time to abort a landing attempt and try a go-around.
The NTSB is also investigating.
Copyright AP - Associated Press