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'Joke' from air traffic control delays plane landing

A Delta Airlines pilot started circling the airport when an air traffic controller jokingly told him not to land.
By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   June 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM
| License Photo

ATLANTA, June 16 (UPI) -- An air traffic controller is under fire for what he or she must have thought was a harmless, mid-air joke.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Saturday that it's investigating an incident at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, when an air traffic controller reportedly told a pilot to delay his landing.

According to WXIA, the unidentified controller told the pilot of Delta Flight 630 to circle the airport, only to tell him shortly afterward: "I'm kidding, Delta 630. After you land, I've got no one behind you. Expect to exit right."

The pilot had already aborted the initial landing, but was able to land safely on a second approach.

The FAA is still investigating the incident, so it's unclear if or how the controller would be punished.

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