Military Flights Are Resumed After Close Calls

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12, 1997

The Air Force resumed training flights along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday after warning its pilots to stay well clear of commercial airliners to avoid a repeat of several close encounters with passenger planes.

After a review of four incidents last week in which Air Force and Air National Guard fighters flew near commercial jets, military pilots were warned about the sensitive collision-avoidance systems carried on commercial jetliners.

“The Air Force realizes after this they have to follow rules that will keep them farther away from civilian planes so that they don’t trigger this system,” said Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon.

Bacon rejected speculation that some of the pilots may have been tailgating, flying up behind the airliners as part of their interception practice.

“I think they were carrying out normal operations.”


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