Loaded airliner clips wings with plane being towed in 2nd incident in a week at Newark airport
NEWARK, N.J. – Federal aviation officials on Wednesday investigated two recent mishaps at one of the nation’s busiest airports after two airliners clipped wings on a taxiway and another jet landed in the wrong place.The two incidents happened in the span of a week at Newark Liberty International Airport.On Tuesday evening, the left wing of a Lufthansa Boeing 747 bumped the right wing of an empty Continental Airlines Boeing 757, said Alan Hicks, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.The Continental plane was being towed to a parking spot, but it was stationary at the time, said Continental spokeswoman Mary Clark.There was no immediate report on the extent of damage to either aircraft.Three days earlier, a Continental flight from Florida carrying 152 passengers landed on a narrow taxiway close to airport buildings rather than the runway where it was expected to land. No one was injured. Continental said both pilots were grounded.The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating both incidents. The Federal Aviation Administration also was investigating the collision, according to FAA spokesman Jim Peters.None of the Lufthansa flight’s 312 passengers or 17 crew members was injured, said Lufthansa spokeswoman Jennifer Urbaniak.The plane had been bound for Frankfurt, Germany, but was towed back to the gate and passengers rebooked on other flights, Urbaniak said.There have been at least two other ground collisions in the last 20 months at Newark, according to NTSB records.In March 2005, a Boeing 737 struck a parked Gulfstream as it taxied out of a ramp area, causing significant damage to the smaller aircraft. Five months later, a taxiing Continental Boeing 737 struck two parked Embraer 145 planes as they waited to take off, causing significant damage to one of the smaller planes.—Associated Press writer Jeffrey Gold in Newark contributed to this report.