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The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a near-miss between two commercial airplanes at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.
According to preliminary information from the FAA, a Delta Air Lines flight had to stop “its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet” from where an American Airlines flight had crossed the same runway in front of the Delta plane.
The close call occurred around 8:45 p.m. local time as the American Airlines plane, a Boeing 777, was traveling from an adjacent taxiway and air traffic controllers noticed the two approaching aircraft, the FAA said.
In audio posted on Twitter by flight watcher @xJonNYC, a panicked air traffic controller appears to realize that the two planes are converging and tells the Delta plane, a Boeing 737, to stop.
“Delta 1943 cancel takeoff plans! Delta 1943 cancel takeoff plans!” the person says. “Rejecting,” someone replies.
Another clip appears to be a conversation between an air traffic controller and one of the American Airlines pilots.
“I guess we’ll listen to the tapes, but you were supposed to depart runway 4 left,” the air traffic controller says. “You’re currently holding short of [runway] 3-1 left.”
A spokesperson for Delta said the safety of its customers and crew was the airline’s top priority.
“Delta will work with and assist aviation authorities on a full review of flight 1943 on Jan. 13 regarding an aborted takeoff procedure at New York-JFK,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay of their travels.”
According to Delta, 145 passengers and six crew members were on board the flight headed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
After the near-miss, the flight returned to the gate and was delayed overnight due to crew resources, the airline said. Customers were given overnight accommodations and the flight departed the following morning.
American Airlines said it was deferring comment to the FAA.