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FAA investigating planes’ ‘loss of standard separation’ over North Texas amid storms

Dallas Morning News logo Dallas Morning News 3/23/2023 Hojun Choi, The Dallas Morning News

Federal Aviation Administration officials are looking into an incident involving three planes flying near the Dallas-Fort Worth area amid storms that blew through North Texas last week.

The three aircraft had delayed landings at DFW International Airport, according to the agency, which observed a “loss of standard separation” among the trio.

Pilots of a Boeing 767 operated by FedEx got an alert about 6:11 p.m. March 16 from the on-board traffic collision avoidance system because of the proximity of a Boeing 747 operated by UPS, the aviation administration said in a written statement Wednesday.

Crew members of an United Airlines airplane — a Boeing 737 — were also alerted when the FedEx plane descended into the vertical safety buffer of the passenger plane, according to the FAA. The passenger plane descended in response.

Preliminary information from the investigation showed that the closest distance between the FedEx and UPS planes was 1.1 miles laterally and 900 feet vertically, the FAA said. The closest distance between the FedEx plane and the United Airlines craft was 1.3 miles laterally and 1,000 feet vertically.

The incident showed a potential conflict in flight paths, according to the FAA.

Hundreds of flights were delayed and dozens canceled at DFW Airport and Love Field on Thursday, when a line of storms caused damage in multiple parts of North Texas.

©2023 The Dallas Morning News. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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