Another close call at Denver airport; jet within 200 feet of plow
DENVER – A United Airlines plane landing at Denver International Airport came within 200 feet of a snowplow on a runway last week, the second close call at the airport in a month, federal safety investigators said Monday.The Boeing 737 with 101 passengers and crew aboard was arriving from Billings, Mont., on Friday when one of the pilots saw the plow on the runway, and the flight crew applied maximum breaking power and full thrust reversers to stop the plane, the National Transportation Safety Board said.There were no injuries.The plow was being escorted by another airport vehicle that was in radio contact with the air control tower, but the escort vehicle had already cleared the runway, the NTSB said.The agency said it was unclear whether the plow operator was in radio contact with either the escort or the tower. Visibility was about 10 miles, the NTSB said.NTSB spokesman Paul Schlamm said he did not know the specifics of the plow’s direction or location on the runway or far it was from the escort.Turner West, aviation manager at Denver International, said the airport is working with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration to determine what happened. West said the airport is also conducting its own investigation and has put more training in place for plow drivers.On Jan. 5, a Frontier Airlines jet attempting to land in Denver came within 50 feet of a smaller charter plane that had inadvertently entered the runway.The Frontier crew spotted the Key Lime Air plane in time, aborted the landing and continued flying until it could land the jetliner a short time later, authorities said. No injuries were reported.The NTSB is also investigating that incident.
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