updated 1/12/2008 12:05:58 PM ET 2008-01-12T17:05:58

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a near-collision of two airplanes on the runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Friday.

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Investigators believe an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight bound for Greensboro, N.C., ignored orders from the control tower to stop its taxi across the runway, coming within seconds of running into a Mexico-bound Delta Air Lines Inc. jet, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

The ASA pilot acknowledged the orders and repeated them back to controllers in the tower but did not stop, Bergen said.

The ASA jet was carrying 44 passengers, and the Delta flight had 130 aboard.

Air traffic controllers estimated the planes came within 1,250 feet — or about 2 to 3 seconds — of colliding. Both continued on their scheduled flights and arrived safely at their destinations, airline officials said.

ASA is a Delta Connection carrier and is owned by SkyWest Inc.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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