Mesa Airlines Flight was forced to halt landing to avoid collision with a departing plane

A Mesa Airlines flight crew was forced to abruptly halt a landing at California’s Hollywood Burbank Airport on Wednesday after an air traffic controller cleared a plane to depart ahead of them, according to preliminary information obtained by NBC News.

The incident is the latest in a string of apparent mix-ups at U.S. airports, including several near misses.

The crew of Mesa Airlines Flight 5826 was landing at the airport in Burbank, California, just before 7 p.m. local time when an air traffic controller cleared the other plane to depart ahead of them, the FAA said.

The air traffic controller cleared a SkyWest Airlines Embraer E175 to take off from Runway 33 while the approaching Mesa Bombardier CRJ900 was around just 1.3 miles from the runway, according to the information.

The Mesa pilot was able to discontinue the landing and initiate a climb out. Meanwhile, the SkyWest aircraft continued with its departure, which prompted an automated alert to sound on the flight deck of the Mesa aircraft.

The controller then instructed the Mesa crew to turn to a course that took it away from the other aircraft.

The FAA has said it is investigating the incident, which comes as the agency has launched probes into a number of recent near misses.

In one case earlier this month, an air traffic controller may have double-booked a runway at a Texas airport, sending two jetliners on a course for a potential collision, which was averted, according to officials.

The close call happened on Feb. 4 at about 6:40 a.m. at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. A Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines was cleared to depart shortly before a FedEx 767 cargo plane was expected to make its approved landing, the FAA previously said.

“The pilot of the FedEx airplane discontinued the landing and initiated a climb out,” it said. “The Southwest flight departed safely.”

In another incident on Jan. 16 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, a Delta Air Lines plane about to take off was ordered to halt when controllers noticed an American Airlines aircraft crossing its path, the FAA previously said.

In that case, the Delta 737 was able to stop safely after a controller was heard on radio traffic archived by the website LiveATC saying, “Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance!”

Billy Nolen, the FAA’s acting administrator, has called for an industry safety summit in March following the recent string of incidents.

Dennis Romero contributed.

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