Commercial Flight Took Evasive Maneuvers To Avoid A Collision With A Private Jet

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South Florida is a particularly tricky place to fly these days, what with the tourist destinations, extreme weather, influx of private planes and oh yeah, space launches. The FAA is also dealing with a shortage of air traffic controllers up and down the eastern seaboard. While vacancies are being filled, it takes years to train someone to handle the complex ins-and-outs of air traffic.

Allegiant Air flight 485 left Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and was routed by a traffic controller at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. The pilot was told to turn east at 23,000 feet. There, it crossed right into the path of a Gulfstream business jet heading north, according to NBC Miami:

“The equipment worked exactly the way it should have. All airliners have had something called TCAS for many years to alert pilots that there’s a potential collision,” he said. “Now, all airplanes, even small ones, are required to have an updated version.”

The pilot of the Gulfstream also took evasive action after receiving a similar alert, officials said.

Naturally the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. Since turbulence was expected, and the flight was only 20 minutes or so underway, the 174 passengers aboard the Allegiant Air flight remained unharmed, but two flight attendants were thrown to the floor of the fuselage during the maneuver.

A private jet and a Airbus A320 commercial aircraft got a little too close for comfort in the skies above southern Florida last weekend.

Longtime commercial airline pilot and Air Force veteran Dan Stratman told NBC there’s been a spike in near-misses this year.

An Allegiant spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by NBC6, writing, “I must refer you to the FAA, as this is an active investigation.”

The pilot received an automated alert about another aircraft at the same altitude and took “evasive action,” the FAA said in a statement.

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