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Delta Jumbo Jet encounters a near miss over New York

by Lux Joseph 21. June 2013

Everyone has heard the statistics regarding the safety of flying. It has become common sense to most of us that traveling to and from work in our cars everyday poses a greater threat to us than hoping on a flight to visit our relatives out of state. However, the threat was greater than anyone could have anticipated for the passengers aboard Delta’s 747 Jumbo Jet and a Shuttle America Embraer aircraft as they experienced a near collision while flying over NYC on Jun 13. 

As a Platinum Medallion holder with Delta, this story is particularly difficult for me to swallow, as more than 99% of my travels take place on a Delta flight. Although I am by no means afraid of flying, I think that everyone keeps the possibility of a crash in the back of his or her mind when flying. Though we brush off the fear and trust that we are in good hands, incidents such as the one that took place 8 days ago leave many of us with an unsettling feeling in the pit of our stomachs and many unanswered questions.

To everyone’s relief, both planes landed safely. Nevertheless, the close call was considerable enough to spark a federal investigation. The ‘Federal Aviation Administration’ revealed to CNN that “At their closest, the two planes were separated by about half a mile horizontally and about 200 feet vertically. They were required to have separation of three miles horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically.”

I think the most disturbing fact of all is that apparently, similar close encounters have occurred sporadically throughout the last couple of years and seem to be on the rise. With a trip to San Diego approaching fast, this story definitely has me thinking a lot more about the hands I place my life in every time I step onto an airplane. What I am most curious about is what takes place during these investigations? If discovered that someone is at fault, what then?

Had the parallel outcome occurred while both planes were at full capacity, there could have been more than 480 fatalities. In an industry that handles the lives of millions of people every day, there is no room for mistakes, even on the smallest scale. What is being done to prevent these incidents from happening in the future and what can we learn for these near-fatal mistakes? If the system airlines rely on is powered by communication, where is the miscommunication?

Though the industry is said to be the safest it has ever been; this is no time to relax. Much improvement is needed to guarantee the safety of all passengers and with scores of problems at hand; the race is far from over.





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