A Delta pilot remained cool, calm, and collected Friday night despite nearly colliding nose-first into the side of an American Airlines that had crossed into its runway.
The unnamed pilot could be heard in audio recordings from the John F. Kennedy International Airport air traffic control tower simply saying he will need to make a few phone calls about the nearly fatal crash.
‘Yeah, we’re gonna have to go somewhere, run a couple of checklists and probably make some phone calls for Delta 1943,’ the pilot says calmly, adding that he figures the crew will just head back to the gate.
The Boeing 737 he was piloting was traveling at 115mph down a runway at the New York’s airport at around 8.45pm when an air traffic controller noticed that the American Airlines flight to the UK crossed from an adjacent runway right in front of the departing plane, ABC 7 reports.
Air Traffic Control had told the American Airlines flight to cross ‘runway 31L at Kilo’ but instead crossed runway 4 Left at Juliet, crossing directly in front of the departing Delta flight.
The Delta pilot was forced to abruptly brake, traveling another 661 feet before he came to a complete stop with just 1,000 feet to spare before the plane would have T-boned the American Airlines Boeing 777, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a preliminary statement.
It was then forced to return to the gate, and did not take off again until the next morning, while the American Airlines flight arrived in the UK on time.