A Lufthansa jumbo jet speeding toward takeoff was forced to a screeching halt on a Kennedy Airport runway to avoid a catastrophic collision with an EgyptAir plane that made a wrong turn into its path, sources told The Post.
“Cancel take off! Cancel take off plans!” yelled a frightened air controller who saw that the Munich-bound Lufthansa Airbus A340 was headed toward a collision with an Egypt Air Boeing 777 at around 6:50 p.m. Monday.
“Lufthansa 411 heavy is rejecting takeoff,” the pilot radioed back.
“Those two were coming together,” radioed an unidentified pilot who witnessed the near-disaster.
A few minutes later, a pilot aboard a Virgin America flight arriving from Los Angeles piped in: “That was quite a show.”
The Lufthansa plane was cleared for takeoff seconds before the incident. Its pilots had to slam the brakes so hard, they worried they had become dangerously hot.
“It was close,” said an air-control source who believes the EgyptAir flight ended up in the path of the Lufthansa jet after its crew took a wrong turn.
A collision would have been an epic tragedy. The Lufthansa jet had 286 passengers, plus crew, the airline said. EgyptAir declined comment, but its Boeing 777s can carry up to 346 passenger, plus crew.
An Airbus A340 has a normal takeoff speed of 180 mph—meaning that if they’d reached full-speed a half-mile from the Egypt Air plane, the Lufthansa pilots had at best 10 seconds to safely stop their jet.
(Source: NY Post)