Swiss A330 Rejects Takeoff at New York JFK Amid Runway Incursions

Peter Bakema (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

A serious incident was narrowly avoided at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York on April 17,2024.

A Swiss International Airlines Airbus A330-300, operating flight LX17 from JFK to Zurich, Switzerland, was cleared for takeoff from runway 4L.

Three Aircraft Enter Active Runway

However, during its initial takeoff run, three other aircraft operated past the ‘hold short’ markings and entered the active runway for crossing.

Flight crew of the Swiss Airbus recognized the imminent danger and rejected the takeoff at a low speed of approximately 40 knots.

They subsequently informed Air Traffic Control (ATC) of the situation, citing traffic on the runway as the reason for aborting the takeoff.

ATC acknowledged the incident and offered the crew the option to return to the departure point.

The Swiss aircraft safely vacated the runway and taxied to a holding position. After a brief delay of approximately 15 minutes, the flight then departed without further incident.

The three aircraft that caused the near miss had all landed on New York JFK RWY 04R, parallel to the runway the Swiss Airbus was taking off from.

Approximately 40 seconds before granting takeoff clearance to LX17, the tower controller on runway 4R inexplicably authorized these aircraft to cross runway 4L.

Peter Bakema (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

Aircraft Incursions at Time of RTO New York

Flight data revealed that at the time of the rejected takeoff in New York:

  • Delta Airlines flight DL420, a Bombardier C-Series CS-300 arriving from Dallas Ft. Worth, was still on the eastern taxiway paralleling runway 4L.
  • Delta Airlines flight DL29, a Boeing 767-400 arriving from Nice, France, was just reaching the western edge of runway 4L.
  • American Airlines flight AA2246, a Boeing 737-8 MAX arriving from Dallas Ft. Worth, was halfway across the runway centerline.

The aircraft conducting the Swiss LX17 flight service was an Airbus A330-300, registered HB-JHD.

This is a 14.9 year old wide-body aircraft belonging to the Swiss national carrier. It has been in service since August 2009.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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