OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Two small planes were involved in a frightening close call near Oakland International Airport during the 35-day government shutdown, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed this week.
According to the FAA, the incident took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Officials said the planes, which were both flying at an altitude around 2,000 feet, came within 500 feet of each other. One of the planes descended to avoid a collision.
The pilots told the New York Times that the control tower mistakenly told them to fly directly at each other.
A FAA spokesperson said the control tower at Oakland filed a report about the incident on the day it occurred and investigated the incident the next day. The agency’s quality assurance office in Seattle also looked into the incident while the shutdown was ongoing.