Second Near-midair in Two Weeks

 - May 6, 2010, 7:23 AM

The NTSB is investigating the second airport environment near-midair collision involving general aviation aircraft and Southwest Airlines 737s in as many weeks. The latest occurred last Wednesday, April 29, when SWA Flight 1332, a Boeing 737-700 bound for Baltimore with 140 aboard, was lifting off from Houston Hobby Airport’s Runway 12R and came within an estimated 125 feet vertically and 100 feet laterally of a Bell 407. The news helicopter, operated by Helicopters Inc., had been cleared to depart the airport and was converging on the 737’s flight path. Both pilots took evasive action and no injuries were reported. Again, no injuries were reported on April 19 when SWA Flight 649, a 737-700 inbound to Burbank Runway 8 from Oakland with 124 aboard, narrowly missed a Cessna 172 departing Runway 15 after a touch-and-go. According to the FAA, the 172 passed over the 737, and the aircraft came within 200 feet vertically and 10 feet laterally of each other. Both incidents occurred during day VFR conditions.