Plane Clips Another While Taxiing at JFK Airport

By Kim Smiley

Around 8:30 pm on April 11, 2011, a large passenger airplane taxiing at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York clipped the wing of a smaller plane.  The larger plane involved in the incident was an Airbus A380 carrying 485 passengers and 25 crew members.  The smaller plane was a Bombardier CRJ and carrying 52 passengers and 4 crew members at the time it was clipped.

At the time of the accident, the Airbus was taxiing to take off and the CRJ had recently landed and was waiting to park.  The incident was caught on amateur video and it appears that the left wing tip of the Airbus struck the left horizontal stabilizer of the CRJ. No injuries were reported, but both planes sustained some damage.

After the planes made contact, the fire department responded as a precautionary measure.  Passengers were deplaned from the Airbus so that the planes could be inspected and information could be gathered to support the investigation.

At this time there is limited information available about what caused this incident, but the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) has begun an investigation.  The NTSB has requested fight recorders from both airplanes and also plans to review the air traffic control tapes and the ground movement radar data to determine how this happened.

Even through the investigation is just getting started, it is still possible to create a Cause Map based on what is known.  The first step is to create an Outline of the event by determining the impact to the organization goals.  In this example, the Safety Goal was impacted because there was the potential for injuries, the Customer Service goal was impacted because the passengers were unable to reach their destination, the Production Schedule Goal was impacted because the flight was unable to depart and the Material and Labor goal was impacted because there was damage to both planes.

From this point, Causes can be added to the cause map by asking “why” question. Missing information can be noted by adding a Cause box with a “?”.  Any additional information can be added later.  To see an initial Cause Map of this incident and the Outline, click on the “Download PDF” above.