Today, passengers at New York City’s LaGuardia airport had a bit of a scare when two planes clipped one another’s wings while departing the terminal. One of the planes had the tip taken off when they hit one another, but luckily no passengers were hurt in the process. According to the Port Authority, the incident happened around 11 AM, Tuesday December 23rd.
The departing plane, Southwest Airlines Flight 449 to Denver collided with American Airlines Flight 1104, which was just arriving from Dallas and heading to its gate. The left winglet which is the vertical fin on top of the wing meant for airflow control and fuel efficiency was taken off the Southwest Airline’s plane right after it hit the left horizontal stabilizer, a part of the tail, of the American Airlines jet. Both the American Airlines plane and the Southwest Airlines plane are Boeing 737 models.
A spokesperson from American Airlines, Joshua Freed, mentioned in an email that the airline’s plane “was taxiing with the help of ground personnel walking near each wingtip.” There has been no communication from Southwest to say if there were any ground personnel on the tarmac assisting. The flight was 23 minutes late leaving the gate at LaGuardia Airport.
Following the accident, the 143 passengers and 5 crew members in the Southwest jet exited through the stairs, and then left the tarmac via bus. Afterwards, the Boeing was taken away to be serviced and fixed. To compensate for the incident, Southwest is looking for alternative ways to ensure that all the passengers arrive at their destination, as stated by Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins.
The only other factor in the incident was a light rain at the time of the accident, but no mention if that was directly involved. There have been no updates to determine the cause of the run-in, with more information expected to be released in the following days.
Photo Credit Aero Icarus