All the usual authorities are investigating an unusually close call at JFK on Jan. 13. The crew of a Delta 737 had to reject a takeoff at 104 knots when an American 777 crossed the runway in front of them. As the animation by Real ATC above shows, a controller spotted the incipient conflict and canceled the Delta takeoff clearance. The planes were only about 1,000 feet apart when they stopped. The American crew took a wrong turn in an area of multiple intersections where Runway 4L and Runway 31L cross each other.
The American crew got initial taxi instructions after pushback. They were supposed to cross 31L and take a parallel taxiway to line up on 4L behind the Delta plane. Instead, they missed the correct taxiway and crossed 4L just after the Delta flight had received its takeoff clearance.
An earlier version of this story mixed up the runways and chronology of the taxi instructions. We’ve also substituted a clearer version of the tower tape. Sorry for the mixup.