Close call: FedEx, Southwest planes narrowly avoid collision at Austin Airport

FedEx Boeing 767 freighter
Markus Mainka /

The US authorities are investigating a close call incident at Austin Internation Airport (AUS) on February 4, 2023. FedEx and Southwest Airlines flights came close to each other on a runway, when a landing cargo aircraft overflew a departing passenger plane, narrowly avoiding a crash.

Involved in the incident were a FedEx Boeing 767F, registered as N297FE, and a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, registered as N7827A. The cargo plane was carrying flight FX1432 and was arriving in AUS from Memphis International Airport (MEM). Meanwhile, Southwest flight WN708 was departing from AUS to Cancun International Airport (CUN), Mexico.

The freighter was reportedly granted permission to land on Runway 18 left, from which the passenger plane was also departing and had not taken off yet, media reports indicate. website logs show the Boeing 767F approaching the airport and the runway before aborting the landing and climbing out.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed opening an investigation into the incident. The authority published a message on social media describing the event as a “possible runway incursion and overflight”.

The visibility conditions were poor in Austin.

Flight FX1432 landed safely at the airport following the go-around, while flight WN708 successfully took off, reaching and landing in Cancun some two hours later.

John Gress Media Inc /
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