Delta Flight Forced to Abort Takeoff After ATC Error

April 29, 2016
A Delta Airlines flight aborted takeoff on April 27 to avoid another aircraft at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, known as the busiest airport in the world.

A Delta Airlines flight aborted takeoff on April 27 to avoid another aircraft at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, known as the busiest airport in the world.  

Delta Flight 873 was cleared for takeoff from the tower air traffic controller 20 seconds after another Delta flight crossed the runway around 10:30 a.m. Delta flight 749 and Delta 873 were separated by a 1 ¼ miles, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

"The air traffic controller handling the flights immediately instructed Delta 873 to abort its takeoff," according to a statement from the FAA. 

The controller was relieved from duty after the fact, and another controller took charge, according to the Aviation Herald.  

Flight 873, a MD-90, from Atlanta to Miami, had to make a "high-speed slowdown," according to the airline, at about 120 knots over ground.    

"The close call caused a mild panic among the passengers and required our plane to return to the gate at the Atlanta airport to allow the brakes to “cool off” and for a maintenance check and refueling, the pilot said over the loudspeaker, "Observer columnist and passenger of Flight 873 Scott Fowler wrote. "The screeching those brakes made will haunt me for awhile. I have flown hundreds of times and have never heard anything quite like that." 

There was a 95 minute delay to allow brakes to be examined. There was no damage to the aircraft or harm to passengers.