A Qatar Airways flight from from New York’s JFK International Airport was forced to abandon its take-off after the aircraft applied the brakes of its own accord.
The entire incident was captured on video on board by Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of travel website The Points Guy. Honig was one of a number of invited journalists on the charter flight to celebrate the DOha carrier's new Airbus 350 service between the Qatari capital and New York.
Writing on his blog, Honig said “… about 18 seconds after we began rolling down JFK’s runway 22R, the aircraft self-aborted, bringing us from more than 100 mph to a loud, screeching halt in roughly 15 seconds. For a plane of this size and weight, stopping that quickly required a lot of force.
“To give you another idea of how abruptly we stopped, as you can see in the picture below, nearly all of the 200+ pillows and blankets landed on the floor, having previously been neatly arranged on each seat in economy.
“Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but some passengers (including myself) were quite shaken.”
Terrified, Honig and another journalist asked to get off the flight, before they were told that the length of the runway caused the widebody aircraft to come to a sudden halt.
“Qatar’s Chief Commercial Officer, the highest ranking executive on the flight, came over to reassure us, explaining that an 'indicator' was responsible for the abrupt abort.
“As I understand it, for some reason the A350 decided that our 11,000-foot runway was too short to support the take-off, and the plane applied the brakes at full force — all on its own.
“I was told that we would be taxiing to a different (less glitchy) runway, and would attempt another take-off there. If that failed, we would be allowed to disembark. In other words, we were going to be taking off again whether we wanted to or not,” he said.
Just under two hours later, the flight took off from JFK from a different runway and completed its journey to Doha.
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