RealNews

F-16 patrols over DC cause near collision

The F-16s flying homeland security patrols above Washington have been diving through the region’s crowded airspace unannounced to air traffic controllers and airline pilots, risking mid-air collisions. Sources told Channel 7 in Washington Thursday the jets descend from 20,000-feet, chasing and identifying small, low-flying aircraft to guard against terrorists using planes as weapons. But, failing to get prior clearance from civilian air traffic controllers worries an aviation analyst. “It is potentially a very dangerous situation,” said Josh Marks, from George Washington University’s Transportation Operations Center. Marks told Channel 7 the F-16s are descending at 500 or more miles an hour and crossing through lanes of slower moving traffic. “So they literally have to dive through lanes of traffic to investigate these threats,” he said. Sources told Channel 7 that one such incident Tuesday left an air traffic controller so shaken that minutes later he lost concentration while working radar, and let two jetliners fly too close near Dulles airport. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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