Officials Investigate United Pilot's Report of Near-Miss in Air
O'Brien, Bill, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Bill O'Brien Daily Herald Staff Writer
A United Airlines Boeing 737 had an apparent near-miss Sunday with a small plane near Chicago, an incident which required one pilot to "pull up abruptly," an airline official said.
United Flight 1517, which was flying from Philadelphia to Chicago, landed safety at O'Hare International Airport following the 9:20 a.m. incident, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.
Two flight attendants, however, sustained minor injuries after the United pilot suddenly increased altitude to avoid what he described as a twin-engine Cessna that came within an estimated half-mile of his commercial jet, Bergen said.
George Freeman, a 36-year-old flight attendant from Atlanta, hit his head against the aircraft interior. He suffered neck strain and was admitted for observation at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. The other flight attendant cut her hand but refused treatment.
There were no other injuries among the 76 passengers and five crew members.
The twin-engine aircraft had not yet been identified late Sunday, but the FAA has launched an investigation. Such an investigation includes interviewing pilots and air traffic controllers and examining radar data and air traffic control tapes, Bergen said.
Bergen said the small plane was not flying under air traffic control responsibility at the time.
"It was under visual flight rules," she said. "We're not talking about two aircraft that were under positive control."
The United plane, classified as a Boeing 737-300, was under the control of the FAA's Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora when the incident occurred 70 miles east of Chicago. …