An alarming viral video has captured the startling moment a jetliner taking off from a US airport nearly crashed into a van crossing the runway.
Surveillance footage at Springfield-Branson National Airport in Missouri captured the shocking moment.
The black van can be seen driving across the runway just moments before the plane roars along the asphalt and lifts off the ground metres from where the vehicle just passed.
The plane was carrying 50 passengers and three crew members and the van had three people inside – fortunately no one was harmed in the incident.
I decided that due to the time limitations we would cross the runway in order to make it [to the barbecue] in time
The driver, Jim Brown, has since revealed that the reason he took the extreme route across the airport was because he was late for an airport employee barbecue.
He also added that he had been given permission by Ground Controller to make the crossing at that time.
“I decided that due to the time limitations we would cross the runway in order to make it in time,” Brown wrote in a report obtained by local news site Springfield News-Leader.
“Just as I had cleared runway 20, the Ground Controller cleared me to cross runway 14.
“I repeated back ‘cleared to cross runway 14’ and proceeded at a high rate of speed (to minimize time on the taxiway and runway) down taxiway Uniform.”
Brown said that normally he would look both ways down a runway when crossing, but he’s not sure if he did in this instance.
Plane nearly crashes into van on runway – because the driver was late for a BBQ
“I honestly cannot say for sure that I looked both ways or how far down the runway I might have looked,” he wrote in the report.
It was only when his colleague in the passenger seat yelled that Brown was aware of the plane approaching to the right.
“I accelerated across the runway and heard the aircraft overhead just as we were leaving the runway surface,” he said.
The other passengers in the car with Brown all confirmed that the van had been cleared to cross the runway.
Brown immediately reported the incident to the airport operations supervisor, he said.
Viral video: The van can be seen driving across the runway just moments before the plane roars past
Viral video: Luckily the plane does not crash and fortunately no one was harmed in the incident
The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating, the airport said in a statement yesterday, and an internal review is underway.
“The airport takes safety very seriously. As such, we are reviewing internal operating procedures that may have contributed to this incident,” airport spokesman Kent Boyd said in a statement, reported Fox News.
“The driver of the van is an airport employee. We cannot comment further because the incident is under investigation and in addition, we do not comment about personnel matters.”
On Sunday, a US plane had to divert after an emergency land after an awful stench filled the cabin. The Alaska Airlines flight from San Francisco to New Orleans had to divert to Los Angeles.
The airline is now saying that the pong was unrelated to the actual plane but instead came from “someone or something in the cabin.”