Video: American Jet Nearly Collides With Van During Takeoff
A new wild video posted to social media reveals a near miss between an American Airlines aircraft and van on the runway in Branson, Missouri.
On June 27, 2018, American Airlines flight 3360, operated by Envoy Air, was scheduled to depart from Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) en route to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) at 12:41pm.
During its takeoff roll, the Embraer 145, which was carrying 50 passengers and three crew members, nearly hit an airport operations vehicle while it crossed a runway. Recently released video taken from the airport's control tower shows just how close the aircraft came to hitting the van.
Neither the aircraft nor the vehicle were damaged, and no injuries were reported, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is still investigating the event.
The driver of the van, Jim Brown, filed a report detailing the incident, which was obtained by the Springfield News-Leader. Brown was driving himself and two others to an airport employee barbecue.
"I decided that due to the time limitations we would cross the runway in order to make it in time," Brown said in the report. "Just as I had cleared runway 20 the Ground Controller cleared me to cross runway 14, I repeated back cleared to cross runway 14 and proceeded at a high rate of speed (to minimize time on the taxiway and runway) down taxiway Uniform."
Brown's two passengers confirmed that the air traffic controller cleared him to cross runway 14, and yet, Brown was unsure if he looked both ways before crossing the runway.
"It is generally my practice to look at both ends of any runway I cross, but I honestly cannot say for sure that I looked both ways or how far down the runway I might have looked," Brown said.
The NTSB's report says "visual meteorological conditions prevailed" meaning weather was not preventing either the pilots or Brown from seeing each other.
"About halfway across runway 14 the right front seat passenger said 'Oh S[***]' I looked out the right passenger window to see the landing lights of an E145 (passenger jet) coming down the runway," said Brown.
Even after accelerating to get out of the way, the aircraft came so close that Brown could hear it overhead.
"The nose gear had already rotated, I do not know if the mains had left the ground or not. I accelerated across the runway and heard the aircraft overhead just as we were leaving the runway surface."
"The airport takes safety very seriously. As such, we are reviewing internal operating procedures that may have contributed to this incident," Springfield-Branson airport spokesman Kent Boyd told TPG. "The driver of the van is an airport employee. We cannot comment further because the incident is under investigation and in addition, we do not comment about personnel matters."
Another story from the Springfield News-Leader details numerous near miss events at Springfield-Branson airport, with at least 15 incidents that the FAA recorded between 2002 and 2014.