United takeoff from Dulles aborted after other plane on runway

WASHINGTON — The pilot of a United Airlines passenger flight from Dulles International Airport to Seattle, Washington, aborted his takeoff, after seeing a smaller passenger jet on the same runway, the Federal Aviation Administration told WTOP. Nobody was injured.

Last Monday, Sept. 17, at 6:20 p.m., United Airlines flight 326 — a Boeing 737 — was cleared for takeoff on Runway 19 Center at Dulles, when SkyWest Airlines Flight 3721 was granted permission to cross the runway on a taxiway.

According to air traffic control audio posted on YouTube, the pilot of the United flight informed the controller he had aborted the takeoff because he saw another plane on the runway.

The controller asked: “Did I clear you for takeoff there?”

The pilot answered, “You did clear us for takeoff, sir.”

A spokesperson with the FAA confirmed the incident took place, and said the risk of collision was very low because the pilot of the United flight rejected the takeoff when his plane was still a mile and a half away from the SkyWest flight, on the long Dulles runway which is more than two miles long.

United Airlines spokesperson Charles Hobart told WTOP: “At United, safety is our top priority. We are reviewing this matter and working with the FAA in their review.”

Hear edited Air Traffic Control audio of the incident:

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