Lufthansa passengers recalled yesterday the terrifying moments when their jumbo jet had to slam on the brakes a moment before takeoff to avoid a horrific collision with an EgyptAir flight headed straight into their path.
NY POST – A Lufthansa jumbo jet speeding toward takeoff was forced to a screeching halt on a Kennedy Airport runway to avoid a catastrophic collision with an EgyptAir plane that made a wrong turn into its path, sources told The Post.
“Cancel take off! Cancel take off plans!” yelled a frightened air controller who saw that the Munich-bound Lufthansa Airbus A340 was headed toward a collision with an Egypt Air Boeing 777 at around 6:50 p.m. Monday. “Lufthansa 411 heavy is rejecting takeoff,” the pilot radioed back.
“Those two were coming together,” radioed an unidentified pilot who witnessed the near-disaster. A few minutes later, a pilot aboard a Virgin America flight arriving from Los Angeles piped in: “That was quite a show.”
The Lufthansa plane was cleared for takeoff seconds before the incident. Its pilots had to slam the brakes so hard, they worried they had become dangerously hot. “It was close,” said an air-control source who believes the EgyptAir flight ended up in the path of the Lufthansa jet after its crew took a wrong turn.
A collision would have been an epic tragedy. The Lufthansa jet had 286 passengers, plus crew, the airline said. EgyptAir declined comment, but its Boeing 777s can carry up to 346 passenger, plus crew.
For 2 years, the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 on Oct. 31, 1999 off Long Island, was blamed on mechanical failure. But the final NTSB report blamed Arab copilot Gameel el Batouti for INTENTIONALLY crashing the plane into the sea. His final words on the cockpit recorder, “I put my faith in God,” (tawakalt a’ala Allah), were heard repeatedly as the plane went down.
CNN – EgyptAir Flight 990 took off early on October 31 from New York’s Kennedy International Airport. The Boeing 767 climbed to 33,000 feet before plunging into the sea south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, about 40 minutes after takeoff. All 217 people aboard were killed.
The NTSB concludes the crash was intentionally caused by Batouti, who was believed to be at the controls when the aircraft went down. CBS said the report will not address Batouti’s motives. The New York-Cairo flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 people aboard.
Egyptian officials have resisted NTSB theories that Batouti may have committed both suicide and mass murder. In Islamic culture, suicide is considered a highly shameful act. (HAH!) They have said the crash was most likely caused by a mechanical problem, citing recent discoveries of tail failures in other Boeing 767s.