• A Spirit Airlines aircraft got too close to the runway hold line, requiring Air Traffic Control to abort the American Airlines takeoff.
  • After the incident, the American Airlines 737 returned to the gate.
  • It's not the first time the FAA has had to investigate at the airport, with JetBlue nearly missing an un-cleared Learjet earlier in the year.

Once again, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be called upon to investigate another close call between two aircraft. This time, a Spirit Airlines flight got a little too close for comfort, according to the airport's air traffic control, and in return, required an American Airlines flight to Chicago to abort its takeoff.

AA457Q, an American Airlines Boeing 737 flight between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), was expected to take off on Monday 14th, at around 12:50. However the take-off clearance was abruptly canceled out of an abundance of caution when air traffic control noted Spirit Airlines flight NK 1444 coming quite close to the runway hold the line.

Boston Logan International Airport
Photo: Leena Robinson/Shutterstock

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Too close for comfort

After the incident, the American Airlines flight returned to the gate, awaiting further instruction. The carrier advised that the safety of passengers and the team is the main priority and then apologized for the delays in customers' travel plans. Spirit also has responded to the incident noting that they will provide all necessary assistance to the FAA to investigate how and why it happened.

However, passengers onboard the AA flight remained frightened, as reiterated by passenger Cosmo Roswell, who was onboard, noting to Fox News that the experience was 'terrifying,' stating:

"As soon as you start to take off, you get these G-forces where you pitted in the back of your seat, and you start to get used to that, and then they just hit the brakes."

A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo flying in the sky.
Photo: Airbus

This isn't the first incident this year the FAA has been called in to investigate in Boston, with the feds already having looked into a close call where a Learjet took off from the airport without necessary clearance, in wh resulted in a near collision with a JetBlue flight. Passengers onboard the JetBlue flight experienced an abrupt go-around to narrowly avoid the crash, with the aircraft passing just 400ft above the cheeky Learjet.

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Aborted take-off

Not uncommon, an aborted take-off is required when the aircraft is already speeding down the runway. However, before it reaches the runway's end, the plane will slam on its brakes and come to a halt. There are several reasons why a pilot may choose to abort a takeoff; these can range from engine problems, instruction from air traffic control as in this instance above, or even just from the pilot feeling that something is operating as it should.

A Delta Air Lines aircraft on a taxiway at Boston Logan Airport with the Boston skyline in the background.
Photo: Fletcher via Wikimedia Commons

Usually, after a rejected takeoff, the aircraft will return to the gate for checks depending on why the launch was aborted. However, if an aircraft has had to brake particularly hard, the brakes can get hot. This can result in the brake needing to cool down before a second attempt.

Source: Fox News

  • Southwest 737
    WINTHROP, MA - MARCH 13: A Southwest Airlines flight takes off from Boston Logan International Airport as seen from Winthrop, MA on March 13, 2019. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
    Boston Logan International Airport
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    United States
    Lisa Wieland
    Passenger Count :
    12,635,325 (2020)
    Runways :
    4L/22R - 2,397m (7,864ft) |4R/22L - 3,050m (10,006ft) |9/27 - 2,134m (7,001ft) |14/32 - 1,524m (5,000ft) |15L/33R - 779m (2,555ft) |15R/33L - 3,073m (10,082ft)
    Terminal A |Terminal B |Terminal C |Terminal E
  • American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner From Above
    American Airlines has not had the slam dunk it was hoping for as Bangalore's first connection to the US in 2020. Photo: Vincenzo Pace - Simple Flying
    American Airlines
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
    Year Founded:
    Robert Isom
    United States
  • Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-232 N602NK.
    Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
    Spirit Airlines
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier
    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Harry Reid International Airport, Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Atlantic City International Airport
    Year Founded:
    Test Christie
    United States
    Loyalty Program:
    Free Spirit