FAA reviews jets’ close call over NYC

NEW YORK — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating why two airplanes came too close to each other over New York City last week.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport came close to a Shuttle America Embraer E170 leaving LaGuardia Airport at about 2:40 p.m. on June 13, the FAA said in a statement Friday.

The planes were about a half-mile apart horizontally and 200 feet vertically, the FAA said. The required separation is 3 miles horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically.


The FAA said the aircraft were ‘‘turning away from each other at the point where they lost the required separation.’’

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Delta declined to give details, including the number of passengers on board, pending the FAA inquiry. The Shuttle America jet was operating as a Delta Connection flight and is equipped for 69 people. A Delta 747 can hold 376 passengers.

Jason Rabinowitz, editor of the aviation news website NYC Aviation, reviewed air traffic control audio and radar tracking data and concluded the pilots and controllers acted professionally in an unusual set of circumstances brought on by strong winds.

‘‘The traffic controllers did a very good job,’’ he said noting that traffic is very heavy at the two airports. ‘‘It was handled very well. . . . They did take immediate action to prevent anything from happening in very unusual circumstances.’’