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air scare

Air traffic controller's dumb joke forces plane to abort landing

An air traffic controller based at Atlanta International Airport is being investigated by the FAA for a joke that didn't land.

Last Wednesday, the pilot of Delta flight 630 from Detroit was preparing the Boeing 777 for landing when the controller asked him to circle the Atlanta airport instead. Seconds later, the controller chirped "I'm kidding, Delta 630. After you land, I've got no one behind you. Expect to exit right." The jet, which was loaded with passengers, was just over 1,000 feet off the ground.

The controller's clarification was too late, though, as the pilot had already aborted the landing. A retired FAA official told CBS 46 Atlanta that the FAA should examine the man "very carefully" since what he did was "completely wrong."

The controller has been suspended pending the outcome of an FAA investigation.