Delta flight aborts takeoff as another aircraft crosses runway

Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 12:00 PM EDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - A Delta flight out of New Orleans was canceled after it had to abort takeoff when another flight crossed the runway, WVUE reports.

Passengers were forced to rebook their flights after the incident.

Dallas Richins called the experience the “scariest incident” of his life on a plane.

Richins had finished a business trip in Gulfport, Mississippi, and planned to fly non-stop out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International to his home in Salt Lake City on Friday night.

“It was the first time I’ve really been scared on an airplane, and I’ve landed in Tucson with a fire truck spraying foam and it didn’t bother me as bad as last night,” Richins said.

Just as Delta flight 1482 was speeding down the runway to take off Friday night, it screeched to an emergency stop.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a private Learjet rolling on the tarmac got too close for comfort.

According to the FAA, the Learjet never crossed the “hold short line,” and the air traffic controller canceled the takeoff clearance for the Delta Airbus A321 out of an abundance of caution.

Richins said his plane remained on the tarmac for nearly 45 minutes before returning to the gate to allow the jet’s brakes to cool down. He said passengers could hear and feel the thump of shredded rubber from the plane’s tires that were damaged during the emergency stop.

Richins says the chaos continued with passengers trying to rebook their flights.

“It was a disaster,” he said. “I was on hold with Delta forever. Poor people, they didn’t have any staff there so the flight attendants were rebooking people.”

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay of their travels,” Delta said in a statement.