American Airlines Boeing 777 reportedly nearly collides with Delta 737 at JFK in New York

Two planes departing from JFK reportedly had a near-collision.


A close call between an American Airlines Boeing 777 and a Delta Boeing 737 is believed to have occurred at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York on January 13, 2023.


An event that almost turned into a tragedy

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 (registration N914DU) was departing for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, when an American Airlines Boeing 777 (registration N754AN) crossed the same runway. An air traffic controller noticed the American Airlines Boeing 777 jet and forced Delta Air Lines Flight DL1943 to abort takeoff. The initial report of the incident came from JonNYC via Twitter, according to View from the Wing.

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A LiveATC.net recording revealed an air traffic controller instructing DL1943 to abort takeoff. The air traffic controller yelled, “Delta 1943 cancels takeoff clearance.” Subsequently, the Delta Boeing 737 aborted takeoff within two seconds and cleared the runway.

Meanwhile, American Airlines flight AA106, which was scheduled to fly to London Heathrow Airport (LHR), was found not to have been cleared to cross that runway. According to air traffic control recordings, the Boeing 777 aircraft was supposed to depart from runway 4L, but had short runway 31L.

Delta Airlines Boeing 737-900 N930DZ

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple flying

Simple Flying has asked American Airlines and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for comment.

The American Airlines Boeing 777 bound for London Heathrow Airport, in the United Kingdom, took off 20 minutes after the incident. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 returned to the gate after aborting takeoff.

According to passenger Brian Healy, flight DL1493 between New York JFK Airport and Santo Domingo departed 15 hours later.

Rare occurrence

For a safe takeoff and landing, pilots must constantly communicate with air traffic controllers and ground crew to avoid a disastrous runway accident.

It is worth noting that runway incidents and accidents can be attributed to a variety of causes, such as pilot or air traffic control error, inadequate runway maintenance, unauthorized movements, and technical failures. But while runway collisions are extremely rare, they still happen occasionally.

The last runway incident was reported in September 2022, when the winglet of a Korean Air aircraft came into contact with the tail rudder of an Icelandair Boeing 757 at London Heathrow Airport, UK. Although this was labeled a “minor incident”, it was still considered a serious incident.

An American Airlines Boeing 777-300 in the hangar

Photo: American Airlines

Meanwhile, the deadliest runway accident happened when two Boeing 747 planes crashed on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport in 1977. The KLM plane collided with the Pan Am plane which stalled on the runway on takeoff, leading to the loss of 583 lives.

Sources: LiveATC.net; View from the wing; JonNYC

  • britishhairways_216862008867490 (1)

    New York JFK airport

    IATA/ICAO code:
    JFK/KJFK

    Country:
    United States

    DIRECTOR:
    Rick Cotton (executive director of the NY and NJ Port Authority)

    Number of passengers:
    16,630,642 (2020)

    Runways:
    4L/22R – 3,682m (12,079ft) | 4R/22L – 2,560m (8,400ft) | 13L/31R – 3,048m (10,000ft) | 13R/31L – 4,423m (14,511ft)

    Connections:
    Clamp 1 | Clamp 2 | Clamp 4 | Clamp 5 | Terminal 7 | Clamp 8

  • Delta A350

    Delta Airlines

    IATA/ICAO code:
    DL/DAL

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Hub(s):
    Boston Logan International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

    Year of establishment:
    1929

    Alliance:
    Air team

    DIRECTOR:
    Ed Bastian

    Country:
    United States

  • American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from above

    US airlines

    IATA/ICAO code:
    AA/AAL

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Hub(s):
    Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

    Year of establishment:
    1926

    Alliance:
    a world

    DIRECTOR:
    Robert Isom

    Country:
    United States

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