Skip to main content

Jumbo Air France jet clips smaller plane at New York's JFK airport

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Air France jet clips plane on runway
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: NTSB will review voice recorders, ground radar in accident investigation
  • An Air France jet clipped a Delta Connection plane, a Delta official says
  • A CNN reporter on the Air France plane says it stopped after a slight rumble
  • A Port Authority spokeswoman says there were no injuries on either plane

New York (CNN) -- The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that it will investigate what happened Monday night when a massive Air France jet clipped a smaller aircraft at John F. Kennedy Airport.

The incident, caught on amateur video, shows the Air France Airbus 380 clipping the smaller plane,a Comair Bombardier CRJ-700, while taxiing to the runway for takeoff.

CNN Correspondent Jim Bittermann, who was on the Air France flight headed to Paris, said that he felt a slight rumble -- akin to hitting a patch of rough pavement -- as his plane was moving on the ground Monday at about 8:15 p.m.

The pilot then stopped the aircraft, which is regarded as the world's biggest passenger jet, and eventually fire department crews surrounded it and the other plane.

The Airbus had 485 passengers and 25 crew members aboard when the incident happened. The Bombardier had 62 passengers and four crew members. No one was injured, the NTSB reported.

The tail of Comair Flight 6293, a Delta Connection flight that had recently arrived from Boston, was struck by the Air France aircraft while waiting to park at the New York airport, said Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton.

Passengers describe plane collision

When the Airbus abruptly flicked the smaller plane, it appeared to turn at roughly a 45-degree angle, according to amateur video of the incident.

"Send a truck. They just hit us," the pilot of the smaller jet calmly called out to controllers over the radio, according to a recording of airport radio traffic on the website liveatc.com.

Looking out the window, Bittermann could see that the last foot or so of the Airbus 380's left wing had been damaged. The other plane also suffered some damage.

"You could see the part of the 380's wing hanging down from the horizontal stabilizer of the Delta jet," he said, having seen the damage firsthand from a seat on the larger plane's left side.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified about the incident, and Port Authority police detectives interviewed the pilots of both aircraft, the Port Authority spokeswoman said.

Those on the Comair flight were later able to get off the plane normally, according to Talton.

The Air France Flight 007 originally had been scheduled to take off at 7:15 p.m. for Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, according to that airline's website. But, after the incident, it turned around and all its passengers deplaned and picked up their baggage at the New York airport.

Bittermann described passengers' mood aboard that flight as relatively light-hearted and calm after the pilot alerted them of what happened.

The NTSB said it has asked for flight recorders from both airplanes and will also review air traffic control tapes and ground movement radar.

CNN's Rob Frehse and Kate Bolduan contributed to this report

 
Quick Job Search