By Ivan Pereira
The federal government has started a probe to investigate what caused the largest airline plane in the world to collide with a much smaller jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport last week.
No one was hurt when the left wing of an Airbus A380 struck the left horizontal stabilizer of a Bombardier CRJ-700 while both jets were taxiing to their gates around 8:25 p.m. April 11, according to the National Safety Transportation Board.ï»¿
The Airbus A380, which was transporting passengers on Air France Flight 7, suffered serious damage to its left wing while the Bombardier jet, which flew as Comair Flight 293, spun as it was struck by the Airbus and reported damage to its rudder, vertical fin and horizontal tail, the NTSB said.
“We’re assessing the damage of both aircraft and we’re reviewing that information,” NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said Monday.
There were a total of 485 passengers and 25 crew members onboard the Airbus and 52 passengers and four crew members onboard the Bombardier, the NTSB said. The Airbus is the largest passenger airliner in the world and has been pushed by airport administrators, including the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, around the world to help alleviate congestion at various airports.
JFK is one of the nation’s most congested airspaces and a study released in February by the Regional Plan Association indicated the number of passengers who come into the airport is expected to increase by 50 million over the next 20 years.
The PA declined to comment about last week’s accident and the NTSB investigation.
Holloway said the board was also reviewing the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from both aircraft, the air traffic control tapes and ground movement radar data as part of its probe.
Representatives from both airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association were assisting in the investigation, according to Holloway.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.