I'm often amazed that we don't hear about more incidents for sports teams, given how much they travel by plane, bus, and even train. You just kind of take for granted that teams will be in a given city on a given day- but there is a lot of high-speed movement in between those games.
On Friday morning at around 6:20AM, the Phillies' team plane, a Delta 747 charter, was on its final approach, two and a half miles out from runway 27R at Philadelphia International Airport. At the same time, an American Airlines flight was given clearance to takeoff from the same runway. Their alert pilot noticed the approaching Phillies plane and relayed his concern to air traffic control. After a tense exchange, the controller told the Delta flight to abort the landing and perform a go-around.
Crisis was completely averted, but according to FAA guidelines, there should have been a three mile buffer between the two planes. Usually, larger planes will land on runway 27R and takeoff from parallel runway 27L. At the time, 27L was just finishing up construction and unavailable- even though the controller offered it as a last minute option to the Phils.
Needless to say, the magnitude of an incident would have had far-reaching consequences.
Thanks CBS anchor and CB reader Chris May (@chrismayphilly) for the heads up, and CBS 3 for the crack reporting.
Somehow, I feel like people will try to blame this on Ryan Howard.
Must watch video after the jump.