Close call: Two airliners have near miss over NYC

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-21 11:16:49-04

An animation of the near miss over New York City on June 13. (CNN)

NEW YORK (CNN) — A Delta 747 Jumbo Jet arriving over New York and a departing Shuttle America Embraer airliner came close enough to each other to trigger a federal investigation, the FAA told CNN on Friday.

Both aircraft landed safety after the June 13 incident, the FAA said, and it’s unknown exactly how close they came.

“We’re cooperating with the FAA on the incident,” Delta Air Lines told CNN.

The Delta jet, which was bound for John F. Kennedy Airport, apparently came unusually close to the Shuttle America Embraer E170, which was departing from nearby LaGuardia Airport.

Both planes were turning away from each other at the point where they “lost the required separation,” as an FAA spokeswoman described it.

The required separation distance between aircraft varies by aircraft type, airspace and the type of operation.

The 747 is one of the world’s largest passenger airliners, with a capacity of about 350 to 400 seats. The Shuttle America E170 had a capacity of 70 to 80 passengers, according to Embraer’s website.

The scare follows a string of close calls during the past few years across the nation’s skies.

Last year, a control tower miscommunication resulted in three airplanes barely missing each other over the nation’s capital.

In Denver, a passenger plane was caught on radar steering directly into a line of other aircraft, narrowly avoiding a collision.

In 2010, a pilot took a wrong turn at Boston’s Logan International Airport, steering directly into the path of another plane. A crash was avoided after an air traffic controller quickly called for the plane to stop.