Freighter involved in near collision at Minneapolis

A LIGHT freighter almost collided with a passenger jet above Minneapolis this week.

The twin-engine Beech 99 turboprop operated by Bemidji Aviation Services failed to turn immediately after take off as instructed by the air controllers. It then flew into the flight path of a US Airways A320, which was taking off from a parallel runway. The two aircraft passed within 15 to 30 metres of each other.

Although both aircraft were passing through a cloud bank and so could not see each other, the pilot of A320 claims to have heard the freighter pass.

When asked by traffic control why he didn’t turn when directed the pilot of the Beech said: “Sorry about that”.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the incident has been classified Category A, the most severe of operational errors.

“This is something we’re very concerned about,” Cory said. “We want to find out what happened and why. And we want to find out what we can do to prevent it from happening again.”

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