The routine turned harrowing Wednesday morning for the crew and passengers, among them Georgia coach Mark Fox, on Delta Flight 873 from Atlanta to Miami.
Just as the flight made its way down the runway and prepared for liftoff, the captain had to engage the plane’s brakes as another Delta flight taxied across the same runway after landing, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The two aircraft were 1.25 miles when Delta Flight 873 aborted takeoff.
Fox was on the plane to visit friend and Miami Heat assistant Keith Smart, according to ESPN. The Heat play Charlotte tonight in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first round playoff matchup.
“We were running full throttle, getting reading to take off,” Fox told ESPN, “and the pilot slammed on the brakes.”
The pilot informed passengers that it was an “administrative mistake” by air traffic control at the airport, wrote Charlotte Observer reporter Scott Fowler, who was also on the flight on his way to the Heat/Hornets matchup.
plane returned to the gate for inspection and refueling before taking off without incident at noon, about 90 minutes after its scheduled departure. The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.