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"Ugly" Near-Miss Incident at JFK Airport Saturday; Cayman Airways Jet Executing Missed Approach Crosses Paths With Departing 767 - (7/7/2008)

CONTACT: Barrett Byrnes, NATCA New York-JFK Tower Facility Representative, 631-365-1411   

NEW YORK – There was a very scary near mid-air collision at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday night (July 5). At approximately 8:30 p.m. EDT, LAN Chile Flight 533 (Boeing 767) was taking off from Runway 13-Right. At the same time, Cayman Airways Flight 792 (Boeing 737) was executing a missed approach on 22-Left, which runs perpendicular off the end of 13-Right.               

(For a map of the runway layout at JFK, please click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:JFK_airport_map.gif)   

When a JFK Tower air traffic controller saw that Cayman 792 was executing the missed approach, he gave instructions for the jet to make a left turn to avoid the departing LAN Chile 533, which was told to turn right, over the water. But it was too late. The paths of both jets crossed. Air traffic controllers at New York Terminal Radar Approach Control in Westbury, N.Y., which handles airborne flights into and out of JFK, say the radar targets of both jets merged on top of each other and estimated their closest proximity at 100 feet.   

Controllers at both JFK Tower and New York TRACON all used the word “ugly” to describe the incident. One TRACON controllers said it was the ugliest go-around they have seen in 24 years on the job. Other TRACON controllers said the radar targets of both jets merged into one on their scopes   

Here is the audio recording of the event; Click here and listen about four minutes into this 30-minute recording: http://archive-server.liveatc.net/kjfk/KJFK-Twr-Jul-06-2008-0030Z.mp3    

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