Recently released video shows the terrifying moment an airport van drove across a runway just as a plane was taking off.
According to an incident report obtained by What You Haven't Seen, the near-miss happened around 12:50 p.m. on June 27.
The driver of the van, whose name is redacted from the report, was ferrying two other General Aviation coworkers to an airport barbecue employee party, which ended in 10 minutes.
In years past, General Aviation employees "would send a couple of people to pick up food and bring it back to the GA due to our continuous operations," the driver wrote in the report.
But this year, supervisors said GA employees could attend the party, so the department decided to send small groups of people over to the event in a staggered fashion.
"At approx. 12:50pm myself, [redacted] were the last 3 people who had not been over yet," the driver recalled in the report. "We all got into the red van 7 which is equipped with a ground tower radio and a yellow beacon."
"I decided that due to the time limitations we could cross the runway in order to make it in time," the driver added.
The driver said that before crossing the runways, he called ground control and spoke to an operator who cleared him to cross both runway 20 and runway 14.
While the driver said they usually look both ways when crossing any runway, he or she can't "honestly say for sure that I looked both ways or how far down the runway I might have looked."
The driver said only the ground control radio was on in the van and no one was talking as they crossed the runways.
"About halfway across runway 14 the right front seat passenger said 'Oh S---.' I looked out the right passenger window to see the landing lights of an E145 coming down the runway. The nose gear had already rotated, I did not know if the mains had left the ground or not. I accelerated across the runway and heard the aircraft overhead just as we were leaving the runway surface," the driver wrote.
The video shows the van reaching the other side of the runway just as the plane lifts off the ground. The plane that nearly collided with the van was a Embraer 145 operated by Envoy Air — American Airlines' regional carrier — which had 57 passengers on board.
"I asked if any of the other passengers heard that we were cleared to cross runway 14 and both stated that he did clear us to cross runway 14," the driver wrote.
They proceeded onto the party where the driver immediately reported the incident to the airport operations supervisor.
It's unclear if the driver or the ground control operator were punished over the incident.
Business Insider reached out to the airport for comment, but did not receive a response.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: