After near-misses at New York between an American Airlines and Delta Air Lines jet and in Austin between a FedEx and Southwest jet brought increased scrutiny, federal investigators are now looking into another near-collision between a United Airlines 777-200 and a Kamaka Air Cessna 206 at Honolulu Airport.
Report: United Airlines 777-200 Near-Collision In Honolulu
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation concerning an incident that occurred at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on January 23, 2023, involving a United Airlines 777-200 passenger jet and a Kamaka Air Cessna 206 single-engine aircraft operating with cargo onboard.
According to preliminary reports, the United jet, which had arrived from Denver (DEN) as UA384, crossed a runway at HNL without permission while the cargo aircraft was landing. At the closest point, the aircraft were separated by 1,170 feet. It is not clear why the pilots disregarded tower instructions and crossed a runway they had been advised not to.
I want to stop for a moment and point out that this is a newsworthy incident because 1.) pilot error occurred and 2.) it is never comforting when two aircraft come close to one another, even if 1,170 feet is more than enough space for a single-engine aircraft like the Cessna 206 to slam on the brakes.
Even so, I think it is fair to point out the intense media scrutiny over near-misses or near-collisions after there American Airlines incident at New York (JFK) in January. Runway incursions are not exactly rare: this FAA database counts up over 30,000 over the last two decades. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to ask why such transparency has not led to a permeant reduction or elimination in these errors.
United has refused to comment on this incident, referring questions to the NTSB. The Federal Aviation Admiration (FAA) is also investigating this incident.
The NTSB is investigating another near-collision, this time involving a United Airlines 777 and a small propeller-powered aircraft in Honolulu. What concerns me is not so much this particular case, but the fact that so many errors seem to be occurring. While I am thankful we have avoided major tragedy thus far, vigilance is absolutely necessary to keep that trend going.