Delta Jet Nearly Landed on Occupied Atlanta Taxiway, Officials Say

Cloudy conditions were blamed for a risky landing attempt by a Boeing 737-900 plane in late November.

byKate Gibson|
Delta Jet Nearly Landed on Occupied Atlanta Taxiway, Officials Say

Federal authorities are investigating an incident in Atlanta last month that had a Delta Airlines plane nearly touching down on a taxiway with another plane on it.

Initially cleared and lined up to land at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Boeing 737-900 aircraft deviated to the left about a mile from its runway, aligning instead with a taxiway, radar showed. 

When Delta flight 2196 was at 200 feet and its crew could not see the runway, the pilot aborted the landing, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a news release Wednesday, but the plane apparently got as close as 60 feet from the ground. 

After crossing the start of the taxiway the crew started a go-around, but the aircraft did not overfly the other plane occupying the taxiway, according to the NTSB.

Members of the crew on the airplane occupying the runway told investigators they saw the Delta plane briefly, in and out of the clouds. The Delta plane, a passenger flight en route from Indiana's Indianapolis International Airport, did not overfly them, the crew said, and they did not recall hearing any engine noise from the plane.