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LAX planes not as close as feared, analysis finds

October 29, 2009|Dan Weikel

A radar analysis shows that two airliners involved in a runway incursion Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport were actually more than 80 feet apart, the Federal Aviation Administration reported Wednesday.

The finding disputes an earlier estimate by an air traffic controller at LAX that the Northwest Airlines and Midwest Express planes were 10 to 15 feet from colliding. FAA officials said the Midwest Embraer E190 rolled past the hold lines on a taxiway and stopped about 70 feet from the edge of the inner runway, where a Northwest Boeing 757 was taking off. Assuming the Northwest plane was in the center of the runway, FAA officials said, the distance between the aircraft was about 82 feet.

The incursion prompted City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the airport area, to ask for an examination of the incident. He requested the study in a motion he made at Tuesday's City Council meeting. A vote is pending.

-- Dan Weikel

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