United flight that dove within 800 feet of sea one of recent flight close calls


Delta flight bound for New York makes emergency landing in Scotland

A Delta Air Lines flight from Scotland to New York had to make an emergency landing in Glasgow after flames burst from one of its wings Friday. (Cory McIntosh via Storyful)

The airline industry has had a busy few months during and after the winter holidays. 

Not all of it has been smooth soaring, with airlines having to answer for multiple incidents and deal with unruly passengers.

Though the aviation industry is known for its safety, below are recent notable incidents involving close calls on the ground and in the air.

United Airlines flight plunged to within 800 feet of Pacific Ocean after takeoff, data shows

A United Airlines flight that departed Hawaii for San Francisco late last year came just 775 feet from crashing into the Pacific Ocean, data shows. 


A United Airlines passenger plane flies over the sky during Fleet Week in San Francisco Oct. 7, 2022.  (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Statistics provided by Flightradar24 and first reported by aviation news website The Air Current show that United Airlines Flight 1722 reached an altitude of 2,200 feet about a minute after takeoff from Maui Dec. 18, 2022, before plunging to 775 feet above sea level nearly 20 seconds later.

The Boeing 777-200 then began climbing again and reached its normal altitude before arriving in California.

American Airlines pilots receive NTSB subpoenas on JFK close call

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Feb. 10 that it slapped three pilots of an American Airlines jet with subpoenas after a close call with a Delta Air Lines plane at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport last month.

The agency said the American Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft crossed an active runway Jan. 13 without approval from air traffic controllers, leading to a close call with a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 that was taking off on the same runway.

The planes were separated by about 1,400 feet at the closest point.

An American Airlines jet moves along the runway at LaGuardia Airport Nov. 10, 2022, in the Queens borough of New York City.  (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Officials investigating Austin airport after planes nearly collide on runway

U.S. aviation officials have opened an investigation at the Austin, Texas, airport after two planes operated by FedEx and Southwest Airlines could have collided Feb. 4.

The incident occurred when air traffic controllers at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport cleared a Southwest passenger plane to take off on the same runway that a FedEx cargo plane had been cleared to land on. The FedEx plane aborted its landing and regained its altitude after the mistake was identified.

"The pilot of the FedEx airplane discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The Southwest plane was able to take off without incident, and a FedEx spokesperson later confirmed to the media the FedEx plane also safely landed following the incident.


Qantas Airways sees second flight incident in 2 days as Fiji-bound plane has ‘potential mechanical issue’

A Qantas flight from Sydney to Fiji was forced to turn around Jan. 19 after pilots received notice of a "potential mechanical issue," becoming the second incident to affect the Australian airline in two days. 

People arrive at the Qantas domestic terminal at Sydney Airport Aug. 25, 2022, in Sydney, Australia.  (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The change of course for Qantas Flight 101 comes after Qantas Flight 144 on Jan. 18 landed with only one operating engine in Sydney after issuing a mayday call over the Pacific Ocean. 

On Jan 11, airlines were grounded nationwide after a computer system, which sends safety information to pilots, failed and caused mass delays and cancellations. 

Acting Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Billy Nolen told lawmakers the agency implemented several changes to prevent another systemwide computer outage. 


In a Jan. 27 letter to lawmakers, obtained by FOX Business, Nolen said the agency has taken several steps to make the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system more resilient and will continue to do so as it further reviews the outage that essentially halted domestic travel for a short stint earlier this month.

FOX Business' Greg Norman, Daniella Genovese, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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