April 12, 2011

Air France Jumbo Jet

The world's largest commercial passenger aircraft, the Airbus 380, had a fender bender last night in New York with a smaller aircraft. It's the second time in six months that this model of jumbo jet has clipped another aircraft while on the ground.

No one was injured on Monday night when the massive Air France A380 clipped the tail of a smaller Delta jet at John F. Kennedy airport in New York. The Paris bound Air France jet was taxiing toward the runway when it spun Comair Flight 6293, a Delta Connection flight that had arrived minutes early from Boston. Both aircraft suffered minor damage.

An amateur video (below) caught the incident, which shows the smaller jet being pushed about 45 degrees by the A380.

IN PICTURES: Flight school

Pilots have started blogging about the fender bender.

"It does makes me take the 'please keep your seatbelts on until the plane has arrived at the gate' warnings a little more seriously," wrote Sulako, a private pilot and air operations manager in Toronto.

Given the size of the Airbus 380, with a wing span of 261 feet, Sulako suggests that "they might want to revise the procedures for handling the A380 when other aircraft are in the neighborhood. I'm making a mental note to give it at least 131 feet of lateral separation on the ramp if I ever come across one."

An Air France 380 also brushed the wing of an Airbus A330 that was parked at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Oct. 30, reports Bloomberg, suggesting that Air France pilots and air traffic controllers are still getting used to the wingspan of this jumbo jet. Air France got its first A380 in late 2009. It has four A380s in service now.

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