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Part of wing ripped as airliners clip each other on ground at Newark

May 02, 2013|By Michael Muskal

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into why two airplanes clipped each other on a taxiway as they readied for takeoff at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday.

The probe, announced Thursday in a Twitter message from the agency, was expected after the planes came in contact, leaving one with a portion of its left wing ripped away. No injuries were reported in the incident.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Scandinavian Airlines plane's left wing clipped the tail of an ExpressJet flight while the craft were on a taxiway at about 7:24 p.m. Wednesday. Images from the scene showed portions of the left wing of the Scandinavian Airlines plane torn off.

Scandinavian Airlines Flight 908, bound for Oslo, Norway, was directly behind ExpressJet Flight 4226, destined for Nashville, Tenn., on the taxiway and was turning right to get on to another taxiway when its wing clipped the ExpressJet plane's tail, officials said.

“Scandinavian Airlines 908, an Airbus A330 aircraft, and ExpressJet 4226, an Embraer E145 aircraft made contact while both aircraft were taxiing for departure at Newark International Airport,” the FAA said in a statement emailed to reporters. “ExpressJet 4226 was on Taxiway Romeo, taxiing toward Runway 22 Right for departure. The SAS Airbus was directly behind ExpressJet 4226, and was turning right onto Taxiway Mike when its wing clipped the tail of the E145.”

The ExpressJet plane was towed back to the gate, and the Scandinavian Airlines plane taxied back to the gate, where passengers disembarked.

ExpressJet Airlines released a statement Wednesday night saying it is “working in coordination with officials to determine a cause.” All 31 passengers on the plane were booked on other flights, the airline said.

ExpressJet, which bills itself as the world's largest regional airline, operates as a United Express partner from United's Newark hub.


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