Airports

Planes collide at Austin airport after United aircraft clips American

If two planes should ever collide, it’s usually better if it happens on the ground, like the aircrafts that clipped each other at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Wednesday night.

According to airport officials, the wingtip from United Flight 898 came into contact with the tail section of American Airlines Flight 2675 shortly after 8:20 p.m., just as the United flight was taxiing away from its gate.

A United passenger who spoke with KEYE added that United took immediate responsibility for the collision.

"The pilot took full responsibility,” explained Cody Strickland. “He said 'This is your captain, we just clipped the wing of this other aircraft. It was my fault, we're going to do the best we can to get you back to the gate.”

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Airport officials were then forced to wait for an OK from the FAA before they could give the pilots clearance to taxi back to the gate. Strickland says it took two hours before his flight was allowed to deplane, at which point passengers were left to wait for another flight to Houston.

No one was hurt during the collision, but audio recordings from air traffic control suggest that the American Airlines flight, which had just arrived in Austin from JFK International Airport in New York City, suffered minor damage.

“There’s a chunk of something laying off your tail but the APU is running just fine,” an air traffic official can be heard remarking in an audio recording obtained by KXAN. “There’s no leaks or smoke.”

Photos shared by one of AA’s passengers also show slight damage to the wingtip of United’s aircraft.

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Both United Airlines and American Airlines have released statements to Fox News regarding the collision, each of which describes the same pattern of events.

“The wingtip of another aircraft came in contact with American Airlines flight 2675, which had just arrived from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport,” states American. “The American Airlines plane was stationary at the time, as it was waiting to taxi to the gate. No passengers or crew members were injured.”

United’s statement to Fox News further confirmed that all United customers were re-booked on a later flight to Houston, which departed at approximately 11:30 p.m., or roughly four hours after its scheduled departure.

The FAA says they are currently assessing any damage.