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Jet landed before avoiding plane, officials say

A Delta jet that was involved in a near collision on an airport runway had already landed when controllers ordered it to take off again to avoid a United plane in its path, federal investigators said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Delta jet that was involved in a near collision on an airport runway had already landed when controllers ordered it to take off again to avoid a United plane in its path, federal investigators said.

Officials have said the two planes came within 100 feet of colliding on July 11 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Initially, the Federal Aviation Administration said the Delta jet was still approaching the runway when it was told to pull up.

The FAA has said the United Airlines plane missed a turn onto a taxiway and ended up on the same runway. The National Transportation Safety Board, in a report released July 13, quoted from the air traffic controllers.

"UAL 1544 stop, stop, stop," a controller urged the United plane, but it continued rolling into the runway, the NTSB report stated.

The Delta jet's landing gear was already on the ground when controllers warned the pilots about the United plane. The NTSB report said the Delta crew "noted the urgency in the controller's voice so they knew they had to get the aircraft airborne."

The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport had three runway incursions during the 12 months that ended May 31, according to FAA records. Two were blamed on pilot error and the third was ruled an air traffic control error. Nationwide, the FAA reported 330 runway incursions in fiscal year 2006.