NTSB Investigating Near-midair over SFO

 - April 1, 2010, 12:33 PM

The NTSB is investigating a near-midair between a United Airlines Boeing 777 and a Cessna 182 over San Francisco on Saturday. The aircraft missed each other by just 300 feet. At about 11:15 a.m., United Flight 889, destined for Beijing carrying 251 passengers and a crew of 17, was cleared to take off from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Runway 28L and climb to 3,000 feet. The first officer, who was the pilot flying, reported that after the landing gear was retracted and the jet was at about 1,100 feet msl, the tower controller reported traffic at his 1 o’clock position. Immediately following this advisory, the TCAS issued an audible traffic alert (TA). The airliner crew saw the Cessna 182 in a hard left turn traveling from their 1 o’clock to 3 o’clock position. The first officer pushed the control column forward to level the airplane. Both crewmembers reported seeing only the underside of the 182 as it passed to within an estimated 200 to 300 feet of the 777. Their TCAS then issued a resolution advisory (RA) to descend, to which the first officer complied and the flight continued to Beijing without further incident.