National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a runway incursion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in which two airliners may have come within 100 feet of each other.
At about 2:30 p.m. on July 11, 2007, the crew of United Airlines flight 1544, an Airbus A-320, received taxi clearance from the terminal to runway 9L via taxiway T7. Delta Airlines flight 1489, a Boeing 757, arriving from Atlanta, Georgia was inbound for landing on runway 9L. As United was taxiing on taxiway D near runway 9L, the tower controller noticed the airplane was going too fast to hold short of the runway and told the ground controller to tell United to stop. United stopped on runway 9L, 30 feet from the centerline.
As Delta flight 1489 was touching down on runway 9L, the tower controller instructed them to "go around." The airplane became airborne and the tower controllers reported that Delta flew over UAL by less than 100 feet.
Fort Lauderdale International Airport is not equipped with either a ground safety system such as an Airport Movement Area Safety System or Airport Surveillance Detection Equipment. The United crew stated that they missed the turn onto taxiway B. The FAA has classified this incident as a pilot deviation.
A preliminary report on the incident is available here.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.