Michelle Obama’s Plane Barely Avoids a Mishap

By
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Monday night, a White House plane with First Lady Michelle Obama onboard barely avoided collision with a military cargo jet after an air traffic controller error. The plane carrying Mrs. Obama and Jill Biden was forced to abort a planned landing at Andrews Air Force Base in order to avoid colliding with a C-17 military jet that was approaching the airport at the same time. According to reports, the two planes were flying much closer than the five-mile distance required by the Federal Aviation Administration. "The FAA is investigating the incident. The Boeing 737 landed safely after executing the go-around. The aircraft were never in any danger," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. Andrews blames the traffic controllers in Warrenton, Virginia, from whom they were handed off controller responsibilities. At the time of the hand-off, the planes were only three miles apart. "The manager and tower controller at Andrews did several things to try to increase the separation on final [approach] before ordering a go-around," said a senior FAA manager while clarifying that the controller in Warrenton showed "really bad controller technique." Jeez, air traffic controllers, get it together!

Plane carrying Michelle Obama narrowly avoids collision [NYP]