Last updated: 11:25 AM ET, Thu June 18 2015

Near Collision at Chicago Airport Being Investigated by FAA and NTSB

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | June 18, 2015

Near Collision at Chicago Airport Being Investigated by FAA and NTSB

PHOTO: A runway at Chicago's Midway International Airport was nearly the site of a collision between two planes Tuesday night. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident that took place Tuesday night at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, where two passenger jets attempted to take off on intersecting runways at the same time.

According to The Associated Press, an air traffic controller saw the two planes both beginning their takeoff procedures and was forced to radio one of the pilots and tell the plane to stop in order to avoid the collision.

Southwest Airlines Flight 3828 had been cleared to take off for Tulsa, Oklahoma, and began its move down the runway when an air traffic controller saw Delta Air Lines Flight 1328 also speeding along an intersecting runway.

The air traffic controller yelled into the microphone for the Delta flight to stop, and both planes ended up stopping just 2,000 feet from the runway intersection. According to audio obtained by The AP, there was confusion on the part of both pilots and the flight tower, but the Southwest plane was the aircraft approved for takeoff.

The FAA is reporting the Delta flight did not have the proper clearance to begin a takeoff. After the near collision, the air traffic controller directed the planes to different taxiways, and both the Southwest and Delta flight were allowed to leave after a thorough safety inspection.

A report from Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune suggests the similar flight numbers on each plane and interference on the radio communications could have resulted in the incident on Tuesday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board will also be investigating the near accident.

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