FAA Investigating Another Close Call at Hollywood-Burbank Airport

Staff aboard a Southwest passenger jet was told to land on the same runway where an LAFD helicopter was doing training exercises. Fortunately, an air traffic controller spotted the issue in time for the Southwest jet to go around.

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On Saturday morning, just before 10 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration says a Southwest Airlines 737 from Phoenix was heading toward Runway 8 for a landing.

The plane was a mile out when air traffic control noticed a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter doing touch-and-go landings on the same runway. The controller told the helicopter to remain in place and told the Southwest pilot to "go around" and not to land.

"The system is working," retired commercial pilot and aviation expert, Ross "Rusty" Aimer told the I-Team.

"I'm more concerned about unruly passengers onboard than a go-around at Burbank Airport," said Aimer.

This is the second close call at Hollywood-Burbank in the past few weeks.

On Feb. 22, the control tower gave a SkyWest Airlines plane the go-ahead to take off at the same time a Mesa Airlines jet was coming in for a landing. That imminent takeoff automatically sounded an alarm in the Mesa Airlines plane. If the Mesa Airlines plane had not aborted its plans to land at the same time, there could have been a collision.

These close calls follow other high profile close calls at airports across the country.

"Airlines are increasing flights as much as they can. Everyone is in the air," said Aimer.

Aimer points to more people flying and busier control towers as contributors.

"But the system is safe," Aimer told the I-Team.

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