NTSB investigates Delta ‘go-around’ over Hartsfield-Jackson taxiway

A Delta Air Lines flight that had to execute a ‘go-around’ over a taxiway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport sparked an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Nov. 29 incident involved Delta flight 2196 on a Boeing 737-900ER from Indianapolis that was landing in Atlanta.

The flight was cleared to land on one of the runways at the Atlanta airport, and lined up with the runway. But within about a mile of the runway, radar data show the plane “began to deviate left of the approach course,” according to NTSB’s report on information gathered to date from its investigation.

Pilots told the NTSB there was a cloud layer. The first officer said he saw the plane “was slightly right of course, so he corrected to the left but overcorrected, and the airplane deviated left of course.”

The pilots initiated a go-around after crossing the start of the taxiway, the NTSB said. The captain said he called for a go-around because the airport and approach lights were not in sight. A controller also called for a go-around.

There was a plane on the taxiway, but the Delta flight did not overfly that plane during the go-around, according to the NTSB. Delta said its flight “overflew a vacant portion of an adjacent taxiway” during the go-around.

The NTSB said in its report that the flight aligned with the taxiway, but Delta said “at no point was the crew attempting to align with the taxiway.”

Delta, the Federal Aviation Administration and unions representing Delta pilots and air traffic controllers were parties to the investigation.

The NTSB said additional investigative work will determine a timeline of events.

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