A Lufthansa jet with 286 passengers on board had to slam on its brakes during takeoff from JFK to avoid a near-collision with an EgyptAir jet this past week, according to the FAA.
The incident occurred Monday night, shortly after an Airbus A340 operated by Lufthansa was cleared for takeoff on Runway 22R at the New York airport. The aircraft had initiated its takeoff roll and was accelerating down the runway when a Boeing 777 operated by EgyptAir crossed the 22R hold short line, said an FAA spokesman.
Realizing the dangerous situation, an air traffic controller abruptly radioed the Lufthansa pilot to cancel the takeoff. The pilot of the Lufthansa jet, which was bound for Munich with 10 hours worth of fuel on board, immediately applied the brakes.
According to FAA spokesman Kathleen Bergen, the Lufthansa jet came to a halt “a considerable distance” from the EgyptAir 777. The agency is investigating the incident.
The EgyptAir jet that, according to the FAA, triggered the near-collision had been instructed to taxi from the ramp, but apparently made a wrong turn.
Also captured on audio were a few statements made by nearby pilots who witnessed the event. “That was quite a show. Thought it was going to be a short career,” said one individual who has been identified as the pilot of a nearby Virgin America airplane.
Immediately after the incident, the Lufthansa pilot expressed concern about the aircraft’s “hot brakes.” The flight was delayed for approximately 40 minutes afterward, as maintenance personnel looked into the issue. Both the Lufthansa flight and the EgyptAir flight eventually took off after the near collision without further incident.
Listen to audio recordings of the incident below.