A plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obamanearly collided with a military cargo jetMonday due to a mistake by air traffic control personnel.
The Washington Post is reporting that the Boeing 737 with Michelle Obama onboard was preparing to land at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland when air traffic control instructed the White House plane to execute a series of S-turns so it would not collide with a 200-ton C-17.
[Corrected, 3:20 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the plane was trying to land at Edwards Air Force Base.]
When it became a greater possibility that the C-17 wouldn't be able to get off the runway quickly enough for the White House plane to land, the Andrews controllers instructed the 737 to abort its landing.
"In the grand scheme of things, events like this happen fairly frequently," a federal official who works with the air traffic control system told the Post anonymously. "Unfortunately, this one involves a presidential plane."
A second FAA manager told the Post that the error began with an air traffic controller at the Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Warrenton, Va. "Not only did he get them too close, he told the [Andrews controller] that they were farther apart than they were," the manager said