WASHINGTON (CBS) -- The FAA is investigating a near-collision involving three planes flying over Washington, DC.
Federal officials say three us airways regional jets came within seconds of crashing in the skies over the nation's capitol.
One plane was approaching Reagan National Airport for a landing when air traffic control mistakenly sent it directly into the path of two other planes taking off.
Tuesday afternoon air traffic controllers changed the flow of traffic because of a wind shift from an oncoming storm, but no one told the inbound pilot. Investigators say the two of the planes came within 12 seconds of a midair collision before the control tower ordered one of the pilots to swerve away.
The three planes involved were carrying a total of 192 passengers and crew. They all reached their destinations safely.
Former NTSB chairman, Mark Rosenker says a communication failure almost caused a tragedy. He says, "Where was the breakdown in procedure? We have to determine where it was so we can make sure it doesn't happen again."
US Airways says it's investigating, and working with the FAA to find out what went wrong.
When the incoming jet was diverted at the last-second, the pilot told the control tower he was almost out of fuel, and had to land quickly.