New York’s JFK International Airport is known to be an extremely congested airport, and sometimes stark reminders of how dangerous airport taxiways can be interrupt the perfectly choreographed movements of airplanes that appear to be effortless along the taxiways and ramps.
Yesterday evening as Comair’s Delta Connection Flight 6293, a Bombardier CRJ-700 (CR7), taxied proceeded on JFK’s Taxiway Mike towards its gate at Terminal 2, following a short flight from Boston; the routine flight took an unexpected nearly 90º turn to the right.
With the Comair CRJ-700 on Taxiway Mike, Air France Flight 7, an Airbus A380-800 (388) was taxing on Taxiway Alpha towards its departure runway when its wingtip clipped the top of the Comair CRJ-700’s tail … literally sending the plane spinning like a child’s toy.
For those of you wondering how one commercial jet airliner can spin another commercial jet airliner around like a toy, here is how these two aircraft aircraft compare to one another strictly by the numbers:
Length: 388 – 238.6 feet — CR7 – 106.8 feet
Height: 388 – 80.2 feet — CR7 – 24 feet 10 inches
Width: 388 – 23.4 feet — CR7 – 8 feet 10 inches
Wingspan: 388 – 261.6 feet — CR7 – 76 feet 3 inches
Wing Area: 388 – 9,100 sq feet — CR7 – 760 feet
ZFW Weight: 388 – 810,000lbs — CR7 – 43,500lbs
Like all incidents involving aircraft colliding for any reason, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will fully investigate the collision … but at the moment one question seems to stand out … where exactly was the Comair CRJ-700’s tail?
With the Airbus A380 on Taxiway Alpha, taxing on the centerline, its wingspan of 261.6 feet should not have extended beyond the 284 foot width of Taxiway Alpha.
Watching the video and listening to Tower audio of the incident of the incident, it appears that the controller in the tower did not properly space the aircraft to ensure that the Comair CRJ-700 was full onto Taxiway Mike before allowing the Air France A380 to cross the intersection.
Accidents happen … and luckily this accident happened without any injuries.
You can view video of the collision between the A380 and CRJ-700 below.