NTSB investigating close call between jets at Midway

January 11, 2012 9:18:37 AM PST
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into a close encounter between two jets at Chicago's Midway Airport.

The incident involving a a private Learjet 45 and a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 happened on December 1, 2011.

According the the NTSB the Southwest jet had just landed on runway 31-Center and exited onto a taxiway that would take it across runway 31-Right. At that same time the private Learjet45 was cleared for take-off on runway 31-Right and began to accelerate.

The first officer on the Southwest jet saw the Learjet and yelled for the captain to stop the 737. They reportedly stopped just off the edge of runway 31-Right.

The Learjet45 continued its take-off and passed within 287 feet laterally and 62 feet vertically of the commercial airliner. The pilot of the Southwest jet actually alleged the Learjet flew over the top of his aircraft.

The NTSB investigation is expected to take six to 12 months to complete.