The Embraer was approaching Runway 04R from Nashville, but had to stop because the Learjet crossed its path. The Learjet was instructed to prepare for departure from runway 09, which is approximately perpendicular to 04R.
Without permission from air traffic control, the Learjet took off when Embraer was almost on the runway. The JetBlue crew decided to leave immediately. The Embraer would have been flying at a height of 23 to 30 meters above the tarmac.
The incident is similar to other recent runway incursions in the United States. On January 13, an American Airlines Boeing 777 at New York JFK overran the active runway while a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 was on its final approach. The 737 then made a trip.
On February 4, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport suffered a near-collision when a FedEx Boeing 767 nearly collided with a Southwest 737 taking off from the same runway. On February 22, a Mesa Airlines Mitsubishi CRJ900 had to go around Burbank Airport to avoid SkyWest Embraer E175, which was on the same runway as it was taking off.
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