The FAA says it's investigating how two passenger jets managed to come within just a few hundred feet of each other last week over New York City.
The Federal Aviation Administration says a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 approaching New York's John F. Kennedy airport and a Shuttle America Embraer E170 departing LaGuardia Airport passed within 200 feet vertically around 2:40 p.m. EDT on June 13.
The FAA says the planes had only about a half-mile separation horizontally. Regulations dictate that two such aircraft should be no closer than 3 miles horizontally and 1,000 feet vertically.
In a statement, the agency did point out that the planes were not converging, but "turning away from each other at the point where they lost the required separation."
"Both aircraft landed safely," it said.
The Delta flight was cleared for landing at Kennedy, but the pilot aborted his approach, which apparently brought the two planes in close proximity, the agency said.
The 747 was arriving from Tokyo and the E170 was departing for Jacksonville, Fla.
The Associated Press reports that Delta has declined to give details, including the number of passengers onboard, pending the FAA investigation.
According to the AP:
"The Shuttle America jet was operating as a Delta Connection flight and is equipped for 69 people. The Delta 747 can hold 376 passengers."