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FAA probes close call of Spirit jet, small plane

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July 1, 2013 05:43 PM EST | AP


DETROIT — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a close call between a Texas-bound Spirit Airlines flight and a skydiving plane that forced the jetliner to dive sharply over Michigan. A passenger says flight attendants bumped their heads, luggage bins popped open and screaming passengers feared they would die.

The FAA says the Sunday evening flight with 126 passengers was heading from Detroit to Dallas-Fort Worth when controllers reported another plane nearby.

The FAA says the Spirit jet then got an automated warning to immediately descend 1,600 feet. It says the planes got within 1.6 miles of each other.

Passenger Janet Dunnabeck calls the experience "horrifying" and tells The Associated Press that screaming passengers feared an imminent crash. She says a pilot explained the dive afterward.

Spirit says the pilots acted appropriately.