Air Traffic Control: Be Careful Out There

As air traffic soars, so does concern about safety in the skies

The Northwest DC-10 was speeding toward takeoff at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when the warning came from the flight engineer: "There's a whale on the runway!" Another Northwest wide-bodied DC-10 had just left a taxiway and poked its nose into the path of the oncoming plane. "I see it," replied the amazingly cool captain of the departing aircraft. He abruptly jerked his jumbo jet into the air. His wing cleared the fuselage of the crossing plane by a mere 50 ft. There were 501 people on the two jets. They had barely avoided what would have been the world's second worst...

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