Close call on Hartsfield-Jackson runway under investigation by FAA

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A close call on a runway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Wednesday is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The incident at about 10:30 a.m. happened when a Delta plane was cleared for departure on Runway 27R, just as another Delta plane crossed the runway as it taxied after landing.

An air traffic controller immediately told Delta flight 873 cleared for departure to abort the takeoff, the FAA said.

The flight crew responded to the instruction with a “high-speed slowdown,” according to Delta.

One of the passengers on the flight was UGA basketball coach Mark Fox, according to AJC partners SEC Country and Dawg Nation.

“The pilot hit the brakes and it’s a good thing they worked. It really wasn’t a big deal. The pilot was great in how he handled it all,” Fox said in a text to Dawg Nation.

The plane returned to the gate for a maintenance check and refueling. Once all systems checked out, including brakes, the flight departed again for Miami at 11:59 a.m.

“These types of procedures are part of flight crews’ extensive training,” according to Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant.

The planes were about 1.25 miles apart when the Delta flight 749 on an MD-88 crossed the runway as the MD-90 aborted its takeoff, according to the FAA.

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