A taxiing Air India Boeing 777 jet clipped the tail of a JetBlue Airbus A320 over the weekend at New York’s JFK Airport, an incident The Wall Street Journal says “could renew calls for steps to prevent such tarmac hazards.”.
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The Air India-JetBlue collision occurred early Saturday morning. It’s the second high-profile clipping incident in two years at JFK. In April of 2011, the wing of an Air France Airbus A380 superjumbo jet clipped the tail of a regional jet flying for Delta affiliate Comair. That incident – captured on video – caused the much-smaller regional jet to spin around, almost looking like a toy in the video.
As for the most-recent incident, Federal Aviation Administration officials say the Air India 777 had just arrived and was taxiing to a gate when it clipped the departing JetBlue A320. The tow-bar being used on that JetBlue flight broke while the plane was being pushed back from its gate, and the plane was reportedly clipped while it “sat stationary on the tarmac awaiting a replacement tow bar,” Reuters reports.
WABC TV of New York says both planes sustained minor damage.
Fox’s New York affiliate shows images of the damaged aircraft. The station also obtained from LiveATC.Net a transcript of the conversation between the cockpit crew of the JetBlue flight and air traffic control.
“The plane got jerked around pretty good and I don’t know what happened if someone just hit us or what,” one of the pilots on JetBlue Flight 145 is quoted as saying to the tower shortly after getting hit.
The JetBlue pilots then press air traffic controllers to get them more information, according to the audio transcript quoted by Fox.
No injuries were reported in either of the two JFK clipping episodes, but the latest could put the issue into the spotlight at a time regulators are calling for more measures to avoid such collisions.
Late last year, the National Transportation Safety Board asked U.S. And European regulators to call for the installation of ground-collision prevention devices, the Journal reports. Proponents say devices like wing-tip cameras could help reduce on-the-ground collisions, but – so far – “there hasn’t yet been regulatory action or positive industry response,” the Journal writes.