FLYING Magazine

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Thursday it will hold a board meeting next month to vote on proposed findings and safety recommendations resulting from its investigation into the near-collision of a FedEx Express with a commercial passenger jet in Texas last year. 

The announcement came shortly after the agency sent a team of experts to Istanbul, Turkey to investigate an emergency landing Wednesday by a FedEx (NYSE: FDX) Boeing 767-300 freighter when its front landing gear failed to deploy.

The NTST will meet June 6 in Washington to hear presentations from investigators, deliberate over the draft report and vote on proposed findings, probable cause and safety recommendations related to the near crash on  Feb. 4, 2023.  

A preliminary report said that a FedEx 767 freighter was only 150 feet above the ground when pilots realized a Southwest Airlines jet was preparing to take off on the same runway and aborted its landing at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Feb. 4, 2023. The FedEx pilots also warned the Southwest crew to abort their takeoff. The FedEx aircraft veered sharply to the right and pulled up to avoid a collision.

In Turkey, the transport ministry said the aircraft, arriving from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on Wednesday morning, informed the control tower at Istanbul airport that its landing gear failed to open and touched down with guidance from the tower, sliding to a stop.

Turkish authorities are leading the investigation of the incident, with the NTSB providing support. 

The aircraft involved is a 10-year-old Boeing 767. FedEx Express operates 137 B767s, more than any other jet aircraft in its fleet, according to the latest quarterly report. The plane will be out of service for an undetermined period while the investigation continues and repairs are made, but FedEx has other planes in reserve.

FedEx said in a statement it was cooperating fully with investigators. No crew members were injured. 

Video of the incident shows the plane’s back wheels touching down, followed by its fuselage, with sparks and smoke coming from its underside. 

Boeing is under public scrutiny for a series of safety incidents involving the 737 MAX narrowbody and for production concerns related to the 787 Dreamliner. But manufacturers aren’t responsible for maintenance or other uncontrollable circumstances that could cause a malfunction years after an aircraft enters service.

Storm recovery

Meanwhile, FedEx also had to deal with disruptions and damage from severe weather incidents in the United States.

The FedEx Express global air hub in Memphis, Tennessee, experienced “substantial” delays Wednesday night due to severe thunderstorms that created hazardous operating conditions, the company said in a service bulletin. It alerted customers that some packages scheduled for delivery on Thursday could arrive late. No damage was reported.

Meanwhile, a tornado slammed into a FedEx Ground facility in Portage, Michigan, on Tuesday evening causing extensive damage. FedEx said some service delays are likely to be seen with inbound and outbound shipments across portions of Michigan, but it is diverting incoming shipments to less the impact on service. Several team members sheltered in place inside the facility during the storm. There were no serious injuries, the company said in a customer alert.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on FreightWaves.

The post NTSB to Deliver Findings on FedEx-Southwest Near Miss appeared first on FLYING Magazine.

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