Planes Collide at Airport, One Loses Wingtip

No passengers injured in LaGuardia incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2014 3:40 PM CST
Planes Collide at Airport, One Loses Wingtip
In this photo taken through a window and provided by Jenny Kao, a Southwest Airlines plane, rear, and an American Airlines plane sit on the tarmac after the aircrafts collided at La Guardia Airport.   (AP Photo/Jenny Kao)

Some Christmas fliers got their wings clipped—literally. Two jets at New York's LaGuardia Airport got a little too close for comfort this morning, with one ripping the wingtip off the other. No passengers on either plane were injured. American Airlines Flight 1104 from Dallas was taxiing to its gate just before 11am as Southwest Airlines Flight 449 to Denver was departing. The left winglet—a vertical fin at the tip of a wing designed to improve airflow and fuel efficiency—was ripped off the Southwest plane after it made contact with the American jet's left horizontal stabilizer, part of the tail. Both planes were Boeing 737s.

The 143 Southwest passengers and five crew members exited the jet via stairs and were then taken by bus off the tarmac. The aircraft was taken out of service for inspection and repairs. Southwest is finding alternative ways to get the passengers to their destination, according to spokesman Brad Hawkins. The American plane, with 143 passengers and six crew members, made it to gate D7 and passengers left the aircraft via the jet bridge. The return flight to Dallas has been delayed at least 3 hours. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. (Read more Southwest Airlines stories.)

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