Singapore Airlines 777-300ER (from Wikipedia)

The American news media could more aptly be described nowadays as “newsertainment”.  Headlines follow that trend.

News about airlines is sometimes really fun to read.  For instance, American Airlines recently announced a redesign of Business Class on their 777-200s.  That’s good news (mostly).

Then there are headlines like this one today: Two Planes in Near Miss at Houston Airport

Basically what happened is a Singapore Airlines 777 and a Delta A320 were too close in the air (the FAA likes a certain horizontal and vertical distance between aircraft).  The term “near miss” would seem to indicate that there was a crash imminent, or pilots pulling back on the yoke all of a sudden because there was a plane in their windshield AIIIEEEEEEEEEE…but what actually happened (buried in the article, of course) was the flight controller gave both pilots instructions to get them back to an acceptable distance apart.  The airplanes were never closer than 800m apart.

Now, is this actually news?  Maybe.  But what really happened, and should’ve been reported, was that an alert FAA controller averted what could have turned into a bad situation.  The FAA is investigating, rightly, but it doesn’t appear that at any time were passengers or flight crew in danger.

Just a friendly reminder to take headlines with a grain of salt.  And thank your friendly neighborhood FAA flight controller.



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