NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


October 21, 2009

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the landing of a Delta B-767 on an active taxiway at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (ATL).

According to preliminary information received from several sources, on Monday, October 19, 2009, at 6:05 a.m. EDT, a Boeing B767-332ER (N185DN) operating as Delta Air Lines flight 60 from Rio de Janeiro to Atlanta landed on taxiway M at ATL after being cleared to land on runway 27R. No injuries to any of the 182 passengers or 11 crewmembers were reported.

A check airman was on the flight deck along with the captain and first officer. During cruise flight, the check airman became ill and was relocated to the cabin for the remainder of the flight. A medical emergency was declared and the company was notified by the crew. A determination was made to land at the scheduled destination of ATL. 

The flight was cleared to land on runway 27R but instead landed on taxiway M, which is situated immediately to the north and parallel to runway 27R. The runway lights for 27R were illuminated; the localizer and approach lights for 27R were not turned on. Taxiway M was active but was clear of aircraft and ground vehicles at the time the aircraft landed. The wind was calm with 10 miles visibility. Night/dark conditions prevailed; twilight conditions began at about 7:20 a.m. EDT and the official sunrise was at 7:46 a.m. EDT.

A team of four from the NTSB, led by David Helson, is investigating the incident.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.