AUDIO: Jumbo Jets in Near Miss at JFK

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Listen to the frightening exchange as air traffic controllers rapidly cancel a scheduled take-off to avoid a collision between jumbo jets at JFK. (Published Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011)

    Air traffic control tower audio conveys the frightening exchange between the tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport and a Lufthansa flight as the airbus came dangerously close to colliding with another jet.

    The incident happened at about 6:30 p.m. Monday when an EgyptAir pilot apparently did not follow air traffic control instructions to hold short of its taxiway and veered into the path of the other plane, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    "Egypt Air 986, a B777, did not follow ATC instructions to hold short of Taxiway D. As a result, air traffic canceled the takeoff clearance for Lufthansa 411, an A346 on Runway 22R," an FAA statement said.

    The Lufthansa flight had been cleared for take-off moments before the EgyptAir plane veered into its path, and the pilots had to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash, reports The New York Post

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    "Cancel take off! Cancel take-off plans!" shouted an air controller who saw the Munich-bound Lufthansa plane barreling toward the EgyptAir flight.

    It wasn't immediately clear how close the planes came to each other. 

    "The closest proximity still is being determined as part of our ongoing investigation," according to an FAA statement.

    The Lufthansa plane was taken off the runway for a brake inspection following the incident, and ended up departing about an hour and 40 minutes behind schedule. It landed safely in Munich.

    A Lufthansa spokesperson said the jet was carrying 286 passengers, plus crew, at the time of the incident. EgyptAir declined the Post's requests for comment, but the paper reports the airline's jets can carry up to 346 passengers in addition to crew.