Two airplanes had a terrifying near miss after almost colliding with each other over Portland Airport, with the air traffic controller frantically telling them to change direction.
The two commercial flights, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 trying to land and a Skywest Airlines plane taking off from Portland International Airport, were flying during a storm at around 4.41pm on 16 October.
A YouTube video by the channel VASAviation caught the suspenseful moment when the Alaska flight started to head nearer the SkyWest plane.
Audio from a person in air traffic control became panicked as it tried to warn the Alaksa flight to change direction when it became dangerously close to the other plane mid-air.
The two planes allegedly came within approximately 250 vertical feet of each other. Commercial planes flying below 29,000 must maintain a vertical separation of 1,000 feet, according to BAA Training, a global aviation training centre.
This frightening incident was well within what the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classes as a “near midair collision,” with aircraft having to be within proximity of less than 500 feet for it to be considered a near miss.
However, Alaska Airlines reportedly believes a safe level of separation was maintained.
“The crew of Flight 1299 followed cockpit indications and reacted immediately to increase separation from the other aircraft,” an Alaska spokesperson said, according to The Oregonian.
“The aircraft maintained a safe amount of lateral separation throughout the entire event.”
“At no point was the safety of the flight compromised,” SkyWest also said in a separate statement on Friday, the local outlet reported.
According to the FAA, the pilot of the Alaska Airlines plane was going to land, but initiated a go-around when it almost collided with the Skywest flight.
At that particular time, Portland was cast over with heavy rain and mist, limiting the aircraft crew’s visibility.
“While attempting to land at Portland International Airport, the pilot of Alaska Airlines Flight 1299 initiated a go-around due to wind and turned towards SkyWest Airlines Flight 3978, which had just departed,” the FAA said in a statement.
“An air traffic controller instructed the Alaska Airlines pilot to turn away from the SkyWest aircraft.”
Moments before the go-around, the Skywest flight had taken off from one of…