Plane carrying the First Lady of US aborts landing

"The aircraft were never in any danger," the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said in a statement about the incident without specifically mentioning the First Lady.

FAA said its controllers at Andrews Air Force Base instructed an incoming Boeing 737 on approach to Runway 19 to perform a "go around" on Monday, April 18, 2011, just after 5 p.m. because the plane did not have the required amount of separation behind a military C17.

"The FAA is investigating the incident. The Boeing 737 landed safely after executing the go around," said the FAA statement. Besides the First Lady, the Boeing 737 also carried Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President, Joe Biden. Both were returning from an event in New York.

The planes -- which were both trying to land -- were three miles apart, when they are supposed to be five miles apart, CNN reported quoting officials familiar with the incident.

"Although the incident was clearly an error by a controller and reduced the margin of safety, it did not appear to have put either aircraft in imminent danger, according to a retired senior controller," reported USA Today.

Gary Brittain, who handled aircraft in the busy skies around Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport before retiring, called the incident an "eyes wide open kind of error" in which controllers monitoring the situation had ample time to ensure there was no midair collision, the daily said.

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