MINNEAPOLIS — Hours before two Northwest Airlines jumbo jets nearly collided at snowy Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last week, two other jets came within three-quarters of a mile of each other, authorities said.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Friday that the incident involving Eastern and Republic Airlines planes came to light during an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into the Northwest incident.
Two air controllers were decertified after the Northwest incident last Sunday night. FAA spokesman Fred Farrar said the controller involved in the Eastern-Republic incident also was decertified, which prevents the employee from controlling traffic until preliminary findings of an inquiry are complete.
Officials said the Eastern and Republic jets came within 3,900 feet of one another on a runway at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Regulations call for a separation of at least 6,000 feet. The Eastern DC-9 had aborted its takeoff after it lost power in one engine and was still on the runway when the Republic DC-9 landed.
In the Northwest incident, the two jumbo jets missed each other by about 100 feet.