NTSB: United CRJ700 narrowly avoids Cessna single on Allentown runway
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a near-miss between a departing United Express CRJ700 operated by Mesa Airlines and a taxiing single-engine Cessna 172 on Runway 6 at the Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania in favourable weather on 19 September.
According to investigators, the Chicago-bound CRJ with 60 onboard, operating as Mesa Airlines flight 7138, had reached a speed of approximately 120kt at 1945 Friday when pilots saw the four-seat Cessna on the runway ahead and swerved to avoid a collision, missing the aircraft by an estimated 10ft. No injuries were reported. The Cessna had landed earlier but missed its runway turnoff.
NTSB says the same air traffic controller who asked the Cessna to turn off on taxiway A4 after it landed, then cleared the CRJ, already holding for departure at the end of the same runway, to takeoff.
The Mesa crew told investigators they heard the Cessna pilot say he had missed the taxiway and ask for a turnoff farther down the runway.
United says it is "working with our flying partner and the authorities in investigating the matter".