NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


August 29, 2008

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two runway incursion incidents and an aircraft separation incident, all of which occurred in the last two days.

In the first runway incursion incident, a commuter jet narrowly missed a general aviation aircraft during a nighttime landing at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.  On August 28, 2008, at approximately 9:07 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, a Piper PA-46 landed on runway 29R.  Before the aircraft had exited the runway, the tower controller cleared a SkyWest Canadair CRJ2 commuter jet to land on the same runway. The CRJ2 pilot saw the Piper and veered to the right side of the runway, missing the aircraft by an estimated 15 feet, wingtip to wingtip.  The incident occurred at night with 10 miles visibility.

In the second runway incursion incident, a pilot of a general aviation aircraft landed on a closed runway at the Reading Regional Airport/Carl A. Spaatz Field, in Reading, Pennsylvania.  On August 27, 2008, at about 4:25 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 172 landed on runway 18, which was closed, after receiving a clearance to land on the closed runway by the tower controller.  The runway had been closed for approximately four weeks due to construction activity.  The incident occurred during day with 10 miles visibility.  

In the aircraft separation incident, two commercial jets came within 1 minute lateral separation over the Atlantic Ocean in a non-radar environment where 15 minutes of lateral separation is required.  On August 28, 2008, at approximately 6:37 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time, Transaero flight 554, a Russian Registered Boeing 747-400, and Delta Air Lines flight 485, Boeing 737-800 en route from New York's Kennedy Airport to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, came within zero feet vertical and 1 minute lateral separation at an altitude of 33,000 feet about 179 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Transaero 747 descended 200-300 feet after receiving an alert from its Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).

NTSB investigators are responding to each of the incident locations. 

NTSB Media Contact:
Peter Knudson



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.