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Hair-rising moment American Airlines is in near miss during take-off as pilot is forced to slam on the brakes at 110mph when private King aircraft lands in its path at Reagan National Airport

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  • The incident occurred around 10:30am on Wednesday morning 
  • There were 100 passengers on board the Boston bound American Airlines flight 
  • Audio shows the pilot of the small plane telling the tower he already landed

An American Airlines plane came close to smashing into a private aircraft on the runway of Reagan National Airport on Wednesday morning, according to reports. 

Audio shows an air traffic controller canceling the take off clearance for the AA flight 2134 as the private King Air plane was set to land on an intersecting runway at 10:21am local time. 

As the cancelation goes through, the pilot in the private aircraft, a Hawker Beechcraft, reveals he’s already on the ground in Arlington, Virginia. Regan National Airport is also known as DCA. 

The American plane involved was an Airbus A319. There were more than 100 passengers on board. 

The flight was bound for Boston and was cleared to land on Runway 1 and reached speeds of 80 knots, around 110 miles per hour, before being told to abandon takeoff.

The King plane was cleared to land at Runway 33. 

The controller says: ‘American 2134 cancel takeoff clearance… zero alpha  alpha go around, go around.’

The American Airlines pilot responds: ‘Rejecting the takeoff 2134.’ The King pilot chimes in at that point to say: ‘Zero alpha alpha, cannot go around, we are already on the ground.’

Then, the controller says: ‘American 2134, do you want to go back to the gate?’ The American pilot confirms that they have to talk to maintenance.

‘I think we were above 80 knots so we’re going to have to get an inspection.’

Aviation expert Tom Kinton said that the pilot in the American flight was ‘almost at the point of no return,’ according to WCVB. 

He added that the two planes were 1,300 feet apart at their closest point. ‘That closes real quick if that American was continuing down the runway at that speed,’ Kinton added. 

The incident involved an American Airlines A319 similar to this one here showing departing Reagan National in January 2023

The incident involved an American Airlines A319 similar to this one here showing departing Reagan National in January 2023

The A319 had 100 passengers on board at the time of the near-miss. The flight eventually took off four hours behind schedule

The A319 had 100 passengers on board at the time of the near-miss. The flight eventually took off four hours behind schedule 

Following the incident, the American Airlines plane returned to the gate where maintenance crews conducted a routine inspection. It finally departed around 2:30pm and landed safely at Boston’s Logan Airport.  

Just a month ago, a similar incident occurred involving a JetBlue and Southwest plane as they nearly collided. The JetBlue plane in that event was also bound for Boston. 

In response to this recent near-collision, American Airlines stressed that safety is always their number one priority. 

‘The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority, and we’re grateful to our crew for their professionalism. We will support the FAA in its investigation,’ the airline said. 

The FAA confirmed that the incident took place and said that an investigation is underway.  

Democratic Senator and former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine used the incident to highlight a recent bill passed by Congress that would allow more flights to land at Reagan National. 

‘I’m relieved no one was hurt. But this incident underscores again that DCA is at capacity. This shows why Senate action to jam even more flights into DCA was so dangerous. The FAA must resist any new flights that compromise safety,’ Kaine said. 

Southwest Airlines recently applied to fly non-stops journeys between DCA and Las Vegas. American made a similar application for a flight between DCA and San Antonio, Alaska did the same for a San Diego route, reports Aviation Week.  



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