- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board want to know how an Alaska Airline passenger jet was able to fly within a quarter-mile of a cargo plane that was traveling over Fire Island, just outside the main airport in Anchorage.

Air traffic controllers told the Alaska Airlines pilot — who was navigating in from Portland, Ore., and about to land at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport — to do a “go-around,” said NTSB spokesman Clint Johnson. So the big question is, CBS reported: How come that plane still nearly collided with an Ace Air Cargo Beechcraft 1900 prop-jet that was taking off from one of the port’s runways, in the north-south region?

The passenger plane veered right, while the cargo plane steered right in its path, Mr. Johnson said, CBS reported. The planes passed within a quarter-mile of each other while flying the same height.

The Alaska Airlines jet and its 143 passengers plus five crew members all landed safely. But the federal agency is calling the incident a “near miss” and is demanding answers.

The airline released a statement saying officials are cooperating with the investigation and that the Boeing 737s have collision-avoidance systems, which did alert.

“Our pilots are highly trained and skilled at responding to situations like this and are to be commended for their handling of the situation,” the airline said, CBS reported.