FAA: 45+ close calls in D.C.-area skies this year
By Ed O'Keefe
By The Post's Ashley Halsey III:
On-board systems intended to keep airliners from colliding in midair have been triggered more than 45 times this year in the skies over the Washington as the air traffic controllers who guide planes to and from the region's airports have made dangerous mistakes at a record-setting pace.
Two of the closest calls this month involved four airplanes carrying a total of 589 people, including one in which a Delta 737 was turned into the potentially deadly turbulent wake of a United 757 as the two planes flew along the Potomac on final approach to Reagan National Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration dispatched a safety review team to the Washington region's Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility last month after onboard collision avoidance systems were activated as a result of a controller error as a United Airlines flight carrying U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) narrowly missed colliding with a 22-seat Gulfstream business jet.
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