NEW YORK (CNN) – We’re learning more about a scary close call in mid-air between two jets that came dangerously close to one another.
Terrifying moments thousands of feet above the Pacific.
“I thought, ‘Oh God, this is it,’” said passenger Kevin Townsend.
United Airlines Flight 1205 from Hawaii to California cruising at 33 thousand feet on April 25th, the 757’s collision alert system goes off. Flight 1205 in danger of colliding with a US Airways jet.
Flight tracking sites show the plane plunged 600 feet in 60 seconds, without warning for passengers, like Kevin Townsend.
“I’m looking down the aisle and there’s hundreds of people in front of me, people start screaming, there’s noise of things that weren’t secured falling around,” said Townsend.
Close calls usually come down to pilot or controller error. But disaster is almost always averted thanks to collision avoidance technology and controllers.
“You’re going to run into this situation, unfortunately. Nothing is perfect, I know that’s not a comforting answer, but indeed the system worked,” said airline pilot Les Abend.
Last year three planes were on a collision course at Reagan National near Washington DC.
In 2012 a radar tape shows a Japan Airlines plane nearly slammed into a cargo jet. A new controller blamed for the mistake was sent for retraining.
Townsend wants to make sure near collisions are thoroughly investigated.
“I don’t think there’s some epidemic of near accidents that’s occurring, but it was a jarring experience dodging another plane,” said Townsend.
United says it’s working with NTSB which is reviewing the most recent incident.