A330 Almost Takes Off From Newark Taxiway


The agencies are undoubtedly looking into the case of a wayward Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 crew that nearly took off from a taxiway at Newark Liberty Airport Aug. 7. According to the Aviation Herald, the crew was cleared to take off on Runway 22R but overshot that mark and lined up on Taxiway P, which is between 22R and its parallel partner, 22L. With the clearance granted, the big Airbus spooled up and headed for Istanbul. About two-thirds of the way through the takeoff run, a controller noticed.

The crew was ordered to abort the takeoff when they were going about 90 knots so they screeched to a halt and then asked for further instructions, noting they’d need some time to cool their brakes. They were sent to the end of an inactive runway and after about 45 minutes returned to 22R to resume the trip home. According to a passenger onboard, the captain made a PA announcement saying the aborted takeoff was due to a mechanical issue.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. “The crew was ordered to abort the landing when they were going about 90 knots”.
    A little proofreading goes a long way.

  2. We all make mistakes but are foreign pilots trained to the same level as USA/Canadian/European pilots? Are they allowed to fly into the USA solely with foreign credentials?

    With at least two pilots up front I’d not have expected them to pull a Harrison Ford.

    • Or Asiana 214 into SFO, how does an aircraft in VFR conditions with 5 pilots up front crash short of the runway and destroy the airplane. MY guess, they are computer operators and not real pilots

    • The FAA does scrutinize furrin air carriers, occasionally bans one. (Perhaps in conjunction with ICAO.)

      Aviation requires constant vigilance, read history and you’ll find quite a few cases of trying to take off on shortened or closed runways – such as one years ago in the SE US where crew could not achieve takeoff on shortened runway.

      I have not read the accident report on Asiana 777 at SFO, sounds amazing, nobody watching speed apparently.

      • Thank you Keith for the reply.

        If a person graduated as foreign medical school the credentials are not automatically accepted in this country and special approval and validation and certification is required, often taking years and requiring repeating training in the US.

        Flying an airplane, like practicing medicine is life and death, every day, so it would surprise me if foreign pilots are automatically allowed to operate on American runways, or taxiways as the case may be.

        This is not to say that some foreign doctors or pilots are not superior to their American counterparts, bit some verification needs to exist.

    • That’s what I was thinking. Maybe it would have been safer to just let them continue and then discuss it later.

    • If, in fact, he was at 90 knots, it would be far more than 10 seconds to rotation. He was probably at (or near) MTOW.

  3. Length of taxiway is key.

    Lying to pax is dumb – they may figure things out.

    Decades ago I was on a Canadian Pacific Airlines DC-8, YVR-YOW.
    When I woke from napping the guy across the aisle from me said I’d missed the excitement.
    He said an engine was shut down – he flies on these airplanes all the time and knows what they sound like.
    Never mind crew said they were diverting to Montreal due weather in Ottawa.
    Sure enough:
    – as we rolled out we passed fire trucks
    – departing down portable stairs, we walked past an engine with cowling open an an open case of cans of oil was on the ground.

    Inside the terminal, I overhear people who had phoned their office in Ottawa and learned that weather was good there.

    Obviously the crew twits and operations control had diverted the airplane to a station where there was more maintenance especially if engine change was needed (home base at YUL).

  4. “About two-thirds of the way through the takeoff run, a controller noticed.” The controller noticed what…when…? Poorly written article, find a new job.

    • Reading requires that you remember what you have read before so that you understand the context of what you are reading.

      In this case, if you’d read the two preceding sentences, you’d understand what the controller noticed. This was not a difficult sentence to understand, and I think the author’s abbreviated sentence was intentional and stylistic.

      If you need every sentence to stand alone and be fully comprehensible without the context of the preceding text, I suggest you find a new website, maybe “Dick and Jane.”

  5. My question is, why did it take so long for the tower guys to notice he was taking off on a taxiway? Don’t they at least check to see if the plane is on the correct runway before approving takeoff?

  6. Blue lights vs. white lights, but I’ve never had the perspective from the cockpit of anything that large in a place as large and chaotic as Newark. I’m not disparaging the
    smooth and safe operations at Newark, I’m referring to bring chaotic to the eye with that many lights and markings. This is another reason why ForeFlight is so awesome.