Key Points:

  • American Airlines Flight 28, en route from Los Angeles to JFK, and a Tradewind Aviation Pilatus PC12 nearly collided due to a runway confusion at JFK Airport.

  • The Pilatus mistakenly lined up for the same runway as the American Airlines flight, leading to a critical moment where the two aircraft were in close proximity.

  • Air traffic controllers quickly intervened, directing the Pilatus to alter its course, ensuring both planes landed safely; the American Airlines crew sought to discuss the incident with ATC post-landing.

FK Airport's Close Call: Timely Intervention Prevents Runway Incident

NEW YORK — On November 10th, American Airlines Flight 28 experienced a potentially hazardous situation during its approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Avweb reports. The flight, arriving from Los Angeles on an Airbus A321, was simultaneously cleared to land on Runway 22 Left, as a Tradewind Aviation Pilatus PC12 was directed towards Runway 22 Right. However, the Pilatus aircraft mistakenly aligned itself with Runway 22 Left, posing a risk of collision as it flew directly above the American Airlines flight. Due to their low-wing design, the Pilatus crew had limited visibility of the American aircraft below.

Air traffic control (ATC) consistently reminded both aircraft that they were to make parallel approaches. The American Airlines crew, realizing the Pilatus's error, queried ATC about the plane's intended path. ATC reassured them of the parallel landing plan. However, the situation escalated when the American crew observed the Pilatus directly overhead, prompting immediate intervention from ATC.

Post-Landing Inquiry and Safe Outcomes for Both Flights

Recognizing the potential danger, ATC promptly instructed the Pilatus to abort its approach, maintain an altitude of 2,500 feet, and adopt a southeasterly course, acknowledging its mistaken alignment with Runway 22 Left. The Pilatus crew complied with these instructions, and after rejoining the landing queue, landed safely. Similarly, the American Airlines flight completed its landing without further incident.

Following the landing, the crew of American Airlines Flight 28 communicated with the ground control, seeking contact information for the ATC unit responsible for the Pilatus's directions. The crew expressed their desire to discuss the incident with the controllers, specifically addressing the clearance given to the Pilatus. The incident, captured in ATC recordings and shared on the You Can See ATC YouTube channel, highlights the critical role of air traffic controllers in ensuring the safety of aircraft during complex approach and landing procedures.