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Dramatic radio chatter of capture of NYC bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, seconds from takeoff

May 4, 2010 |  2:16 pm

Talk about a close call.

Suspected Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was on a jumbo jet at New York's Kennedy Airport late Monday night just seconds away from takeoff for the overnight flight to Dubai.

You'll hear several voices on this audiotape. Ground controllers and departure controllers directing the Emirates Air Flight 202 pilot which runway to use, informing him he is No. 1 for takeoff and giving him a new radio frequency to talk to the tower.

A woman controller comes on from the tower, starts to deliver further takeoff directions on Runway 22R. But then, suddenly, with the plane seconds from full throttle, she switches to another urgent instruction. She delivers a circumspect but no-nonsense message to the pilot.

The startled pilot immediately obeys. He seeks directions on which taxiway back to the departure gate.

The last voice is an Emirates Air ground officer, thinking ahead, seeking to keep the flight's departure window open for a delayed departure. "Heavy" at the end of a flight number is the designation for jumbo jets, guiding air controllers to allow extra distance from the next plane trailing behind to give the larger air turbulence more time to subside.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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H/T @EdMorrissey