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Planes nearly collide at California airport

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Planes nearly collide at California airport

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the near collision of a Southwest Airlines jet and a small private plane at Southern California's Bob Hope Airport.

Southwest's Flight 649, carrying 119 passengers and five crew members on board a Boeing 737-700, was landing at the airport's runway 8 on Monday while the Cessna 172, departing on runway 15, just cleared the jet.

The Cessna was performing a practice maneuver known as a "touch and go," in which the aircraft briefly lands before accelerating and going airborne again, the NTSB said.

Runways 8 and 15 intersect at the Burbank airport. The aircrafts came withing 200 feet of each other vertically and 10 feet laterally at the runway intersection, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Nobody was injured, and weather conditions were clear.

Improving runway safety is one of NTSB's "most wanted" goals. The deadliest U.S. runway accident occurred in August 2006, when Comair Flight 5191 crashed after taking off from the wrong runway, killing all but one of the 50 people on board. The worst involving two aircraft happened between a US Airways jet and a commuter plane in a February 1991 collision at the Los Angeles airport, killing 34.

The world's deadliest aviation accident also happened on a runway. In March 1977, two jumbo jets collided on a runway at the Canary Islands, killing 583 passengers and crew members.

Source: CNN

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