Close call for two planes at JFK Airport in Queens

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Saturday, December 9, 2017
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Derick Waller reports on the close call at JFK Airport.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- In what's becoming a more common occurrence, there was a close call Tuesday at JFK Airport.

A passenger plane for the Mexican airline Volaris was coming in for a landing on the wrong runway at about 1:25 p.m. Tuesday, and even worse that runway was occupied by a Delta jet getting ready for takeoff.

The Volaris Flight 880 from Mexico City was cleared to land on Runway 13 left, but it mistakenly lined up to 13 right.

Air traffic control helped sort it out before anyone could get hurt.

Here were some of the transmissions:

CONTROL TOWER: "Volaris 880, you're lining up for 1-3 right. To your left, make a left turn, you're lining up for the wrong runway."

PILOT: "Go around, Volaris 880".

CONTROL TOWER: "Volaris 880 go around, turn, turn left!"

Air traffic control ordered the jet to do what's known as a go around procedure, keeping it from landing on top of the other plane.

The FAA says the Airbus A319 re-entered the flight traffic pattern and landed safely on the correct runway.

The plane that was already rolling down the runway as the Volaris flight approached was Delta Flight 4231, operated by Delta Connection carrier Republic Airline. A Republic spokesman says the crew safely halted its takeoff and later completed its flight to Washington.

It's not clear how close the planes were to each other.

The FAA says there were more than 1,700 incursions of varying severity on runways nationwide last year.

This incident happened just one week after two planes clipped wings on the taxiway at JFK.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)