American 777 and Delta 737 Narrowly Avoid Collision at New York JFK

American 777 and Delta 737 Narrowly Avoid Collision at New York JFK

On the 13th of January, an American Airlines Boeing 777 and a Delta Airlines Boeing 737 experienced a near miss on the runway at New York’s JFK Airport.

The Delta Airlines Boeing 737-900 with registration N914DU was scheduled to depart as flight DL1943 to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic whereas the American Airlines Boeing 777-200ER with registration N754AN was scheduled to operate flight AA106 to London Heathrow.

However, while the Delta 737 started its takeoff roll from runway 4L, surprisingly the American 777 crossed the active runway at the same time. Thankfully, the air traffic controller noticed this situation and asked Flight DL1943 to abort the take-off immediately.

a screenshot of a map of airplanes
Source: Flightradar24 via FL360aero

A recording from revealed the communication between the two flights and the JFK air traffic controller. As shared by @xJonNYC, here’s the transcript between the ATC and Delta flight DL1943:

Air traffic controller: Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance. Delta 1943, cancel takeoff clearance.

Flight DL1943: Rejecting.

Flight DL1943: All right, Delta 1943.

Air traffic controller: Delta 1943, are you able to taxi, or do you need a couple of minutes to run checks?

Flight DL1943: Yeah we can get off the runway, Delta 1943.

Meanwhile, here’s the transcript between the ATC and American flight AA106 to London Heathrow:

American Flight AA106: The last clearance we were given, we were cleared to cross, is that correct?

Air traffic controller: American 106 heavy, we’re departing runway 4L, I guess we’ll listen to the tapes, but you were supposed to depart runway 4L, you’re currently holding short of runway 31L.

Furthermore, the mishap could be illustrated by the following recording obtained from Flightradar24.

FAA Investigation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and other U.S. aviation authorities have started an investigation into the mishap.

Preliminary information from the FAA suggests that Delta Flight DL1493 stopped its takeoff roll approximately 1,000 feet before reaching the point where the American 777 had crossed the adjacent taxiway.

After the mishap, the Delta Airlines 737 returned to the gate and could not depart due to staffing issues. As a result, the flight eventually left JFK on Saturday morning, and Delta said it provided customers with hotel accommodation. A total of 145 passengers and six crew members were onboard the aircraft.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s number one priority. 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.”

Delta Spokesperson

Meanwhile, the American Airlines Boeing 777 bound for London Heathrow departed JFK 20 minutes after the mishap. Reportedly, the 777 did not have clearance to cross the active runway. It was also supposed to depart from runway 4L, however, instead, it crossed that runway, planning to depart from runway 31L.

The air traffic controller and the Delta pilots were praised for their quick response and the occurrence is being investigated by FAA officials.

Sources: JonNYC, Flightradar24,