- A United Airlines wing clipped the tail of another aircraft during pushback at Boston airport on Monday.
- Both aircraft were taken out of service and passengers were accommodated on later flights.
- The event is one of several near-accidents and airport collisions in recent months.
Two United Airlines Boeing 737 planes scheduled to depart from Boston Logan International Airport on Monday collided on the ramp, the carrier confirmed to Insider.
United flight 515 heading to Newark, New Jersey, was being pushed back from the gate at around 8:30 a.m. local time when its wing clipped the tail of United flight 267 parked at an adjacent gate and heading to Denver.
The airline told Insider that both aircraft were taken out of service and passengers were rebooked on different planes to their destinations. No injuries were reported, but the Federal Aviation Administration told Insider it is investigating the event.
The news comes after a series of near-misses and airport incidents over the past few months. In early February, two other United planes — a Boeing 787 and a Boeing 757 — collided at Newark, with the latter nearly losing its entire winglet.
About a week later, an American Airlines aircraft crashed into a shuttle bus at Los Angeles International Airport, sending four to the hospital.
Some even closer calls have occurred since the beginning of the year, including a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 nearly colliding with an American Boeing 777 on the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in January. Then, in February, a FedEx Boeing 767 cargo plane nearly landed on top of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 passenger jet in Austin.
And, most recently, a JetBlue Airways plane had to take “evasive action” to avoid crashing into a private jet in Boston.
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board said they are investigating the near-accidents.
While these back-to-back events may sound alarming, runway incursions — meaning a plane is incorrectly situated on a runway — are rare, with the FAA reporting 1,732 total in the US last year. That is out of an average of 16 million flights handled by the agency per year.
And, the FAA said over 75% of these incursions involve general aviation pilots — not those who fly commercial airliners.
“The fact that these events are so high profile and garnered so much attention means that eyes are really on it and that exposure is a good thing,” Anthony Brickhouse, an air safety investigator and associate professor at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, told Insider.