The pilot of an American Eagle flight on approach to land
early Friday at Los Angeles International Airport had to execute a
go-around, after a chartered news helicopter appeared near the Saab
340's flight path.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Associated Press the plane
came within 100 vertical feet, and approximately 2,500 horizontal
feet of the helicopter after beginning its descent into LAX.
Gregor said the regional aircraft, inbound from Santa Barbara,
had been cleared to land at the airport -- and was turning to
final and descending out of 2,500 feet when the incident
A spokesman for the airline said the Saab's traffic alert system
sounded as plane approached the helicopter, leading the pilot to
The plane's next time around was uneventful, and successfully
landed on the second attempt.
The FAA and American Eagle will conduct investigations into the
incident, which the agency reports is the first near-collision in
the skies over Los Angeles since January 12, 2004.
An FAA spokesman also made a point to UPI that staffing at
the San Diego air route traffic control center -- which directs
traffic over LA -- did not contribute to the