The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an air-miss between a departing United Express Bombardier CRJ700 operated by Mesa Airlines and a taxiing single-engined Cessna 172 on 19 September.

The incident occurred on Runway 6 at Lehigh Valley International airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania in favourable weather at 19:45. Investigators say the Chicago-bound CRJ700, with 60 people on board (operating Mesa flight 7138), had reached a speed of roughly 120kt (222km/h) when pilots saw the four-seat Cessna on the runway ahead and swerved to avoid a collision, missing the aircraft by an estimated 3m (10ft). No injuries were reported. The Cessna had landed earlier but missed its runway exit.

The NTSB says the same air traffic controller who asked the Cessna to turn off on taxiway A4 after it landed, then cleared the CRJ, already holding for departure at the end of the same runway, to take off.

The Mesa crew told investigators they heard the Cessna pilot say he had missed the taxiway and ask for a turn-off farther down the runway.

United says it is "working with our flying partner and the authorities in investigating the matter".


Source: Flight International