First Lady’s Plane Got Closer to Jet Than Originally Reported

By JOAN LOWY
|  Saturday, Apr 23, 2011  |  Updated 7:57 AM EDT
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Closer Call for First Lady's Plane: Report

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A plane carrying first lady Michelle Obama this week came closer to a big military cargo jet than previously reported, officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Friday that the distance between the two planes closed to 2.94 miles before air traffic controllers at Andrews Air Force Base directed the first lady's plane to abort a landing.

Obama's plane, a Boeing 737, was considerably smaller than the 200-ton C17. Regulations require five miles between planes to avoid dangerous wake turbulence when the plane in the lead is significantly larger than the trailing plane.

The board also said a Southwest Airlines jet with 142 people aboard came within 100 feet vertically and a tenth of a mile horizontally of a small plane over central Florida last month.
 

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