This Plane Lost Part of Its Wing a Terrifying Runway Collision
Was about to fly to London on Virgin Flight VS0004 out of JFK - during taxi to the runway we collided with an aircraft taxiing next to us clipping our left wing - that’s the ground crew taking photos of the debris from the other aircraft pic.twitter.com/s4wxpErbJc— Diana S. Fleischman (@sentientist) November 28, 2017
When it comes to terrifying things that can happen on an airplane -- like a scorpion finding its way onto your flight, or hitting an unlucky bird before landing -- runway accidents are an underestimated reality of traversing the skies. Passengers onboard a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight learned this the hard way on Monday night at New York's JFK airport, when their plane suffered a broken wing after colliding with another aircraft while taxiing.
As is standard practice with experiencing airline slip-ups, a woman onboard the Virgin Airbus A330 flight documented the scene on Twitter. She pointed out that the aircraft had its right wingtip completely hacked off when it clipped an EgyptAir 777 jetliner's wing as it prepared for takeoff.
In a statement obtained by the London Evening Standard, Virgin Atlantic apologized for the incident.
"Our VS4 flight from New York to London Heathrow sustained damage to the wingtip whilst taxiing to the runway at JFK airport yesterday (27 November)," the company said. "Safety is always our priority, and all passengers and crew disembarked the aircraft as normal. We’re arranging alternate travel for affected customers to enable them to continue their journeys as soon as possible, and we would like to thank them for their understanding during the delay."
Our VS4 flight sustained minor damage whilst taxing at JFK earlier today. The safety of customers and crew is our priority and the flight has been delayed overnight to enable a full check to take place. We’d like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this ^BM— Virgin Atlantic (@VirginAtlantic) November 28, 2017
Virgin Atlantic's apology was bolstered by photos of the aircraft's debris:
No one was hurt during the incident, which likely caused more annoyance than actual feelings of danger. Both planes were returned to the terminal, as authorities quickly responded to drive the wayward wingtip off the tarmac.
While certainly a dilemma, the damaged wing pales in comparison to some other recent commercial airline hell-rides. Just ask the passengers of this Air Berlin flight, which quickly morphed into a scene from Top Gun that no one asked for.