The Federal Aviation Administration and National Security Council for Transport have launched an investigation into a chilling close call Friday night between two commercial airliners at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.
According to the FAA, Delta Air Lines Flight 1943 had to abort takeoff when an American Airlines Boeing 777 taxied down the runway.
The danger was spotted by air traffic controllers, and Delta canceled the rolling takeoff “about 300 feet” from where the U.S. plane was crossing over, the agency added.
Audio on Twitter from LiveATC, a website that monitors and publishes flight communications, captured a panicked air traffic controller telling the Delta Boeing 737 pilot, “Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance! Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance!
“Decline,” someone replies over the audio. Seconds later, the same voice says, “Whoo!”
The Delta aircraft was carrying 145 passengers and six crew members.
Another sound appears to be an American Airlines pilot asking after the close call, “We got clearance to cross, is that correct?”
An air traffic controller responds calmly: “I think we’re going to listen to the tapes, but you should have left runway 4 on the left. You are currently short [runway] 3-1 left.”
The Delta aircraft came to a safe stop and there were no injuries.
Delta released a statement saying it will “coordinate with aviation authorities and assist in a full review” of the flight “regarding a successful rejected takeoff at New York-JFK. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and the delay of their travels,” it added.
American Airlines declined comment.
The Delta plane, bound for Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, returned to the gate and the flight was delayed overnight. Passengers were provided with overnight accommodations and the flight departed the following morning.