Midway Controller Clears 737 Into Path Of Learjet (Audio)

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File Size 2.1 MB / Running Time 2:14

Audio has been released of an event that took place December 1, 2011, at Chicago Midway Airport and appears to show that Midway tower controllers cleared a Southwest 737 to cross a runway into the path of a jet that was taking off. The event involved Southwest Flight 844, a Boeing 737, and a Learjet. Together, the two aircraft carried 85 people. According to the NTSB, "Air traffic control did not cancel the takeoff clearance of the (Learjet) nor direct the (Southwest plane) to hold short of Runway 31R," the Washington Post reported. As the Southwest jet approached the intersection, its crew spotted the Lear on its departure roll. The Southwest crew stopped short and "the thing went right over our head." The NTSB calculated separation at 287 feet with the Lear passing 62 feet overhead. The Southwest crew then called the tower and may have gotten a response they were not expecting.