The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has opened an investigation on the mid-air incident where a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 passenger jet passed closely beneath a privately owned Cessna 172 aircraft at Orlando International Airport, according to US media.
As reported by ABC News, the close call occurred on August 17, 2022, when the single-engine Cessna 172 and the Delta Boeing 757 planes took off from the busy Orlando International Airport (MCO). The article stated that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told media that the two aircraft came within around three-tenths of a mile horizontally and 500 feet vertically.
ABC spoke to the Cessna 172 pilot, who said he was heading east, as per directions from air traffic control. But when the pilot noticed the Boeing 757 taking off, he took action.
“I knew that this didn’t look right, […] So I turned right, and I climbed as deeply as I could because the Boeing 757 from Delta has a much higher climb rate than the aircraft that I was flying,” the pilot said during the interview with ABC News. The pilot said the Delta jet passed beneath his aircraft.
According to the FAA statement in the article, the pilots of each aircraft reported having the other in sight. AeroTime has asked the FAA for comment.
ABC cited Delta as saying it was aware of reports of the incident and that “nothing is more important than safety”.
The MCO incident comes shortly after several were killed when two light aircraft collided mid-air at an uncotrolled airport in California.