A JetBlue Embraer 190 and Learjet 60 almost crashed while the larger aircraft was coming into land and the other “began a take-off roll”.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released details of the incident which unfolded shortly before 7pm on 27 February 2023, at Boston International Airport (BOS).
According to the FAA the pilot of the JetBlue plane, arriving from Nashville, was forced to take “evasive action” to avoid the Learjet, operated by HopAJet as a charter flight.
A statement from the aviation authority on February 28, 2023 read: “The pilot of a Learjet 60 took off without clearance while JetBlue Flight 206 was preparing to land on an intersecting runway.”
The statement detailed how the Learjet pilot was told by air traffic control to “line up and wait” before taking off.
“An air traffic controller instructed the pilot of the Learjet to line up and wait on Runway 9 while the JetBlue Embraer 190 landed on Runway 4-Right, which intersects Runway 9. The Learjet pilot read back the instructions clearly but began a take-off roll instead,” read the FAA statement.
As part of the investigation the FAA will determine how close the two aircraft came together.
Air traffic tracking service Flightradar24 believes the closest distance between the planes was just over 550ft.
The Associated Press reported that JetBlue said in a statement: “On Monday, February 27, JetBlue flight 206 landed safely in Boston after our pilots were instructed to perform a go-around by air traffic controllers. Safety is JetBlue’s first priority and our crews are trained to react to situations like this.”
The Boston airport near miss is the latest in a series of recent close calls under investigation by the FAA.