FAA investigating close call between two planes at New York airport

NEW YORK (AP) — Officials are investigating a close call at a New York airport Friday night between a plane crossing a runway and another preparing for takeoff.

“(Expletive)! Delta 1943, revoke take-off clearance! Delta 1943, revoke take-off clearance!” an air traffic controller said in an audio recording of air traffic control communications when he noticed the other plane, operated by American Airlines, crossing ahead. The recording was made by LiveATC, a website that monitors and publishes flight communications,

The Boeing 737 plane departing from Delta Air Line then came to a safe stop on the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport as the other crossed ahead, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

“I think the controller made a good call to abort the takeoff,” said John Cox, a retired pilot and aviation safety professor at the University of Southern California.

He said the rejected take-off safety manoeuvre, which involves stopping the plane and aborting the take-off, is a maneuver they are “very, very familiar with”.

“Pilots practice rejected takeoff almost every time they arrive at the simulator,” he said.

The Delta plane came to a stop about 1,000 feet (about 0.3 kilometers) from where the American Airlines plane had crossed from an adjacent taxiway, according to the FAA statement.

The agency said Saturday it would investigate the incident, which happened around 8:45 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board also said it was reviewing the proximity call.

“They will come back and listen to every transmission between the US jet and air traffic control to see who misunderstood what,” Cox said.

The worst air disaster in history involved the collision of Pan Am and KLM planes on the Tenerife runway in Spain’s Canary Islands in the late 1970s, killing 583 people in the two planes.


Maysoon Khan is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.

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