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Southwest, American planes make contact on taxiway at LaGuardia Airport, FAA says

Two jets at LaGuardia Airport got a little

Two jets at LaGuardia Airport got a little too close for comfort Tuesday morning, Dec. 23, 2014, with one ripping the wingtip off the other. No passengers on either plane were injured. Photo Credit: @StormieEtta

Two Boeing 737 jets got a little too close for comfort Tuesday morning at LaGuardia Airport, with the wingtip of one airplane clipping the tail of the other on a taxiway, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

No one was injured, the FAA said.

The FAA said that just before 11 a.m. the wingtip of Southwest Airlines Flight 449, which was preparing to depart LaGuardia for Denver, "made contact" with the tail of American Airlines Flight 1104, which had landed from Dallas and was taxiing to its gate.

In a statement, Southwest said its plane "came in contact" with another that was awaiting a gate.

The 143 Southwest passengers were bused to the terminal, where arrangements were made to get them to Denver, the airline said. Its jet was taken out of service for inspection and repairs. There were five crew members onboard, the airline said.

In a statement, American Airlines said the left horizontal stabilizer on its jet and the winglet of a "moving" Southwest aircraft "made contact." None of the 143 passengers and six crew members were hurt, spokeswoman Brianna Jackson said. Passengers were accommodated on a different jet, she said. The aircraft was being examined for damage, she said.

The Associated Press said the left winglet was ripped off the Southwest plane, though the FAA did not confirm the report.

An FAA spokesman said the agency will investigate the incident. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are also reviewing what happened, agency spokesman Terry Williams said.

With John Valenti


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