Panicked audio captures moment two planes almost collide at JFK Airport, prompting FAA probe

Tense audio captured air traffic controllers’ panic as two commercial planes nearly collided at New York’s John F Kennedy Airport.

The close call on Friday night which saw one plane taxi in front of another just as it was taking off is now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 plane that was in the middle of take-off came to a stop within 1,000 feet (305 metres) of the taxiing American Airlines Boeing 777 at around 8.45pm on Friday, the agency said. No injuries were recorded.

Air traffic control audio was shared on Twitter by flight watcher @xJonNYC.

“S**t! Delta 1943 cancel takeoff plans! Delta 1943 cancel takeoff plans!” a controller says.

After the disaster was averted, the controller is heard letting out a big sigh.

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According to the FAA, air traffic controllers “noticed another aircraft crossing the runway in front of the departing jetliner,” an agency statement said. “According to a preliminary analysis, Delta Air Lines Flight 1943 stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet before reaching the point where American Airlines Flight 106, a Boeing 777, had crossed from an adjacent taxiway.”

Delta said its 737-900 was heading to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic with 145 passengers and six staff members on board.

The airline said the plane had to go back to the gate and couldn’t depart because of staff problems. The flight instead took off on Saturday morning after passengers had been provided with hotel accommodations overnight.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s number one priority,” Delta told CNN. The airline said it will work with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to analyse the problem.

“Delta will work with and assist the NTSB on a full review of flight 1943 on Jan 13 regarding an aborted takeoff procedure at New York-JFK. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay of their travels,” the airline added.

The NTSB is also involved in the investigation.

American Airlines hasn’t made a public statement, instead referring queries to the FAA, according to CNN.

American Airlines Flight 106 flew from JFK to London Heathrow, taking off on Friday night and landing on schedule the following morning.