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Southwest Cooperating in Midway Runway Incursion Investigation

Low Cost Carrier Southwest Airlines is assisting Federal Agencies in the investigation of a close call at Chicago’s Midway Airport last month. On December 1st of last year a SWA Boeing 737 arrived from Minneapolis with 74 passengers onboard and was cleared to cross Runway 31 Right. As the airliner began to cross the runway, the co-pilot noticed a smaller jet, a Learjet, accelerating down the runway for takeoff. The pilot of the Southwest flight was able to stop just in time, coming within just a couple hundred feet of the smaller business jet. The problem was that the Southwest Plane was cleared to cross and the smaller jet was also cleared for takeoff. Air Traffic Control failed to realize that two aircraft had been cleared for the same runway. It isn’t known if any Controllers have lost their jobs. Southwest is cooperating completely with the National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) in the incident. You can hear from the Air Traffic Control audio recording that the tower controller knew he did something wrong.

Photo from airliners.net. Audio from Liveatc.net


  1. January 11, 2012    

    Oops. That pilot was peeved.

    • January 11, 2012    

      He had every right to be. Could have been really bad.

  2. christopher davis christopher davis
    January 12, 2012    

    sounds like local controller was actiing as if he was on autopilot. luckily the pilots were paying attention as they proceeded to cross the runway and that the taxiway just happen to be facing back toward the approaching departing acft. had that had been a high speed exit they may never have seen the approaching acft. could have been a totally different ending, I do not blame the pilots for being a little peeved, the local controller just pushed them off as if nothing had happened.

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About Kyle

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Aviation Management. I spend my time as an airline industry professional, private pilot, blogger and world traveler. I have visited 36 countries to date and don't plan on slowing down. This blog is my way of sharing the latest developments in the airline industry as well as experiences from my world travels. All views and opinions are strictly my own.

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