Near Catastrophe: Two Jets Collide at Houston Airport After Unauthorized Takeoff

In a shocking turn of events, two jets collided at William Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, after one of them took off without clearance from air traffic control. The incident unfolded on a seemingly routine day, reminding the aviation community of the importance of strict adherence to safety protocols and the need for effective communication between pilots and air traffic controllers.

Photo: New York Post

Intersecting Runways and Miscommunication

The incident unfolded at William Hobby Airport, where both planes were utilizing intersecting runways. The first aircraft involved was a Hawker 850XP, carrying three people, which was in the process of taking off to the southwest. The second plane was a Cessna Citation with five occupants, coming in to land from the northwest.

Initial reports from the NTSB indicate that the Hawker had been instructed by air traffic control to line up and wait on the runway. However, things took a dramatic turn when the air traffic controller directed the Hawker pilot to continue with the takeoff. In response, the pilot conveyed the chilling words, “I just had a midair. We can’t do that.”

The audio recording, archived by, captures the moment of confusion and alarm. The controller’s bewildered response, “You said what?” underscores the gravity of the situation. The pilot explained, “You guys cleared somebody to take off or land, and we hit them on a departure.”

Miraculously, the Hawker managed to complete its takeoff and circled back around to land at the airport. However, the repercussions of this incident were far-reaching, prompting air traffic controllers to spring into action, redirecting other incoming flights to nearby George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Photo: Fox News

Airport Closure and Ongoing Investigation

William Hobby Airport, a bustling transportation hub serving both private jets and major airlines, had to close its doors for hours following the collision. This temporary closure disrupted air travel in the region, and air traffic controllers were forced to divert several incoming flights to nearby airports, including George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

As for the owners of the two planes involved, they have yet to provide comments or statements regarding the incident, which remains under investigation.

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