The Close Call On 22R At JFK


Two loaded airliners nearly collided on Runway 22R at JFK on June 20 and while an accident did not take place, the event produced more than just some interesting audio. The incident involved a loaded Egyptair Boeing 777-300 fueled for Cairo and a Munich-bound Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 with 286 on board. When the Egyptair jet missed its turn, the two jets were rolling toward each other on the active runway as the Lufthansa accelerated for takeoff. Audio of the event includes comments from pilots of nearby aircraft. They include, “Yeah. That was quite a show … thought it was going to be a short career.”

The German jet was on the runway accelerating for takeoff when the Egyptian crew missed their taxiway and turned onto the runway ahead of the German airliner. Controllers immediately told the Lufthansa Airbus to “cancel” the takeoff, which called on the jet’s pilots to stop the jet, and its 10 hours of fuel, as quickly as possible. Controllers explain by saying, “There’s a … as you see what’s going on. No need to speak about it on frequency.” The jet did successfully stop, and another voice on frequency is heard saying, “… those two were comin’ together.” Once secure, the Lufthansa pilots expressed concern that “maybe we have hot brakes now, so, maybe we take a minute… .” The German plane was allowed to taxi off the runway at its discretion. Its brakes were inspected to determine if they had overheated or suffered other damage and the aircraft departed an hour and a half later. The Egyptair jet, which had been taxiing for departure when it missed its turn, was released about an hour after the event. Controllers asked the crew to call to report a “possible pilot deviation” upon landing in Cairo, and provided a phone number.

Here’s the audio, as captured by

Click here for the MP3 file.