A Delta airliner and a small plane came within ‘close proximity’ last month in Orlando. The FAA is investigating the incident


(CNN) — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident at the Orlando airport last month in which a Cessna single-engine plane and a Delta Boeing 757 came within “close proximity” to one another, the agency said.

The close pass occurred when the planes were departing the Orlando International Airport on August 17, the FAA said in a statement. No injuries were reported in the incident.

“The Cessna departed from Runway 36-Left a short time before the Delta flight was cleared to depart from Runway 35-Left,” the statement said.

Delta flight 1373 was headed to Atlanta, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

The FAA said the planes were about three-tenths of a mile horizontally and 500 feet vertically from each other, according to preliminary information. At 500 feet, the aircraft were about one and a half football fields apart.

“The pilots of both aircraft reported having the other in sight,” the agency said.

Delta Airlines said it was aware of the “reports involving aircraft” near the airport and that it was investigating the incident. “Nothing is more important than safety,” the airline said.

It’s unclear whether the horizontal and vertical distance cited by the FAA is a violation of any FAA air traffic control protocols.

In an interview with ABC News, the Cessna pilot Malik Clarke said he saw the Delta aircraft on the runway. “We thought it had landed because we thought there’s no way air traffic controllers would, you know, put us in a situation like that,” he told the network.
When Clarke saw the Delta flight taking off, he told ABC News it didn’t look right. “So immediately I turned right, and I climbed as deeply as I could because the Boeing 757 from Delta has a much higher climb rate than the aircraft that I was flying,” he said in the interview.

CNN has reached out to Clarke but he has yet to respond.

CNN has also reached out to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association for comment on the incident.

CNN’s Amanda Jackson and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.


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