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Airliner Forced Into Turn to Avoid Collision in Air

October 11, 1987

A commercial jet taking off Friday from Ontario International Airport climbed and turned off course to avoid colliding with an unidentified twin-engine plane which came within about 50 feet of the airliner carrying 74 passengers and a crew of six, authorities said Saturday.

"There will be an extensive investigation of all people involved" in the near-collision, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Russell Park in Los Angeles.

The incident occurred about 12:05 p.m. when American Airlines Flight No. 374, bound for Dallas-Fort Worth, had reached an altitude of 6,500 feet, Park said.

The pilot of the aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas-80, said he saw a white twin-engine plane on his left, American Airlines spokesman John Raymond said. The pilot then climbed and banked to the right, avoiding the smaller craft by about 50 feet, Raymond said.

No one was injured, and most of the passengers were unaware of the near-collision, Johnson said. He said the pilot was unable to identify any markings on the smaller plane.

Federal flight rules require planes to remain five miles apart horizontally and 1,000 feet vertically.

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