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Pilot complains Air Force fighter came too close

F-16 July 30, 1997
Web posted at: 9:24 p.m. EDT (0124 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The pilot of a Pan Am flight traveling from New York to Los Angeles last Saturday says an Air Force F-16 came too close to his jet over the skies of Arizona.

The pilot filed a formal complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration over the incident. He says the fighter came within 1,200 feet of the passenger jet, which, if true, would violate FAA regulations. However, the pilot said he was not forced to take evasive action.

Air Force sources told CNN that they believe that the Pan Am plane's automated collision avoidance system did not activate as a result of the too-close-for-comfort encounter. The F-16 was one of a number of fighters participating in an exercise out of Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.


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