FAA: Plane headed to Lexington forced to take evasive action to avoid colliding with other plane
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Passengers had a terrifying experience aboard an Allegiant flight this past weekend headed to Lexington.
The FAA says flight 485 left Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, but after 30 minutes, it somehow ended up on a collision course with another jet.
Jerrica Thacker of Pikeville spent the past week cruising the Caribbean for a family reunion. But she soon realized her ensuing flight home from Fort Lauderdale would not be smooth sailing.
“When we got on the plane, our flight had already been delayed twice because of storms up in northern Florida,” Thacker said.
She says they were delayed again on the runway, and what they ultimately experienced was no storm turbulence.
“All of a sudden... it felt like a drop,” said Thacker.
The FAA confirmed Thacker’s Allegiant Flight 485 had to take evasive action at 23,000 feet to avoid crashing into another plane.
“We later found out that we went up. But because of how fast we were going up, it felt like we went down,” Thacker said.
At that altitude, EKU’s chief flight instructor Sean Howard says near-collisions are very rare. But he says pilots can use a computer system called TCAS, the Traffic Collision and Avoidance System, to course correct.
“If they get close to each other and the computer says, ‘wait a minute,’ there’s a potential problem here,” Howard said.
Flight 485 returned to Fort Lauderdale, and Thacker decided to drive all the way home.
Thacker says she was reimbursed for the flight, but they then had to spend $800 on the car ride home.
Howard says this incident serves as a cautionary tale of why you should wear your seatbelt at all times on flights.
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