SIA plane in near miss with another above Houston

SIA plane in near miss with another above Houston

A Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane got a little too close to another plane above Houston airport on Thursday night, according to reports.

According to a CNN report, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Saturday that SIA Flight 61 took off at 6.51pm on Thursday and did not level off at an altitude of 4,000 feet (about 1200m) as required.

At the same time, Delta Air Lines Flight 2443 was inbound to the airport at an altitude of 6,000 feet (about 1,800m).

The incident happened about 16km north-east of Houston's George Bush International Airport, NBC News reported.

"The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a loss of required separation that occurred Thursday evening between two jetliners while in airspace controlled by the Houston Terminal Radar Approach Control," an FAA statement said. "An air traffic controller noticed the deviation and issued traffic alerts and instructions to the pilots of both aircraft."

A Houston Chronicle report said the planes were just 61m apart vertically, but more than 800m apart horizontally.

But the FAA has said it did not yet know exactly how close the two planes came. It said in the statement that "the FAA has taken steps to ensure that all flight crews are aware of the top altitudes for standard departure routes," NBC reported.

A New York Daily News report described the SIA plane as a Boeing 777 jumbo jet.

This is the second near miss above the airport in as many months. CNN reported on May 23 that the FAA was investigating a near miss between two jets on May 9. That incident involved two United Airlines jets that took off from the airport.

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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