Two Injured Over New Jersey
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A passenger and a flight attendant aboard a Pan Am Express commuter plane were injured when the pilot took evasive action to avoid colliding with a military aircraft over New Jersey, federal officials said today.
The incident, which is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, occurred Wednesday over McGuire Air Force Base in southern New Jersey, according to NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz.
The commuter plane, carrying three crew members and nine passengers, was on a flight from Philadelphia to New York, and landed safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport after the incident.
Alan Loflin, a Pan Am spokesman, said in New York that the flight attendant and passenger suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization. ″Basically, both amounted to a bump on the head,″ Loflin said.
Earlier, Lopatkiewicz said preliminary reports to the safety board indicated that the two injured people were taken to a hospital, although it was not known whether they actually were admitted.
″Our pilot looked out the window and initiated evasive action on his own. The captain of our aircraft felt (the military jet) was a little too close,″ said Loflin.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said they had not received a formal near-collision report on the incident.
Lopatkiewicz said the military aircraft involved in the incident was a Lockheed C-141, a four-engine jet which is the Air Force’s basic cargo aircraft. He said he had no other details on the military jet.
NTSB investigators from the board’s New York office were looking into the incident. Lopatkiewicz said no details were immediately known about how close the aircraft came or specifically what evasive action was taken.
The Federal Aviation Administration also is investigating the incident. FAA spokesman Fred Farrar said it was not immediately known how close the two aircraft came, but that preliminary information indicated the pilot of the commuter plane made a sharp right turn.
Maj. Jan Dalby, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, said the C-141 was assigned to the 438th Military Airlift Wing at McGuire Air Force Base, and that it landed at McGuire after the incident.
″As we understand it, the C-141 was flying a routine, local training mission,″ Dalby said. ″It was under the control of the military air-traffic controllers at McGuire and flying a routine practice mission.″
Dalby said he didn’t know how many crewmen were on the cargo jet, but the normal complement is four to six. He said there were no injuries reported among the Air Force crew.
The spokesman said he had been told the incident occurred about six miles north of the McGuire base.