A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600 carrying 172 passengers and crew and a SkyWest Airlines Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia with two pilots and no passengers came within 50ft (15m) laterally of colliding on the evening of May 6 at Los Angeles International Airport, the US FAA has confirmed.

The incident, which the FAA is initially classifying as an operational error, occurred as the Virgin Atlantic aircraft landed on Runway 24R and the SkyWest EMB-120 apparently taxied too close to the runway on an intersecting taxiway, says a FAA spokesman.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

LAX has been the scene of other recent runway incursions, including the February 17 2006 near-miss of a SkyWest EMB-120 and a Southwest Boeing 737.

On August 19 2004 an air traffic controller cleared an Asiana Boeing 747-400 to land on the same runway that he had just directed a Southwest 737 to depart.

The Asiana captain ultimately saw the 737 on the runway, initiating a go-around and passing within several hundred feet of the other aircraft, according to the FAA.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com