FAA Investigating Vehicle On Airport Runway

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A vehicle encroached on the main runway at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington while a landing jet was taxiing, and the Federal Aviation Administration was investigating.

The vehicle and two others were never closer than 4,150 feet from the Pinnacle Airlines jet, and there was no danger of a collision, FAA spokesman Warren Woodberry said.

The incident at 10:11 a.m. EST Monday involved Flight 5888 from Detroit, Woodberry said.

An airport vehicle was leading two landscape vehicles that were seeding grass next to the runway and asked air-traffic control for permission to move to another location. Woodberry said the vehicle was told to hold short of the main runway at a taxiway intersection.

He said the flight crew reported that two of the right wheels of one of the seeding vehicles, which was parallel to the runway, were partially over the hold-short line.

The Pinnacle pilot asked the air-traffic control tower if the vehicle was supposed to be where it was, said Ken Bechtold, local representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He said the airport vehicle "went over the hold-short line by a couple of tires" and called the incident "very, very minor."

Pinnacle spokesman Joe Williams said the airline's chief pilot's office is also investigating.

The airport referred questions to the FAA.

Woodberry said the incident probably would be classified as a "Category D" runway incursion, meaning there was no chance of a collision.

In August 2006, 49 people were killed when a Comair jet attempted to take off from the wrong runway at the airport.

Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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