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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tragedy narrowly averted on JFK runway by quick-thinking Swiss Air pilot

By Brian Niemietz New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The Federal Aviation Association wants to know why a Swiss International Airlines flight had to “heavy” reject being cleared for takeoff on a John F. Kennedy International Airport runway several other planes were given the OK to use.

“Swiss Airlines Flight 17K aborted its takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport because four aircraft were crossing the same runway downfield,” FAA officials said in a statement. “The FAA will continue to investigate.”

The close call happened Wednesday, April 17, around 4:45 p.m., the FAA said in a statement. An agency representative told the Daily News Tuesday that there have been no further developments.

Air traffic control audio confirmed the Swiss flight was cleared for departure, according to ABC News. The competence of Swiss Airlines’ Flight 17K crew may have saved lives by quickly identifying the dangerous unfolding.

“Swiss 17k heavy rejecting takeoff,” the plane’s pilot radioed. “Traffic on the runway.”

The Swiss airline reportedly told ABC News its flight team’s “high level of situational awareness and quick reaction” helped to avert disaster.

Aviation site Aero Inside identified the aircraft involved in the JFK runway fiasco as a Swiss International Airlines Airbus A330-300, two planes operated by Delta Airlines and a Boeing 737-8 Max owned by American Airlines.