Planes Clip Wings at NYC-Area Airport

A plane leaving a terminal at a major New York-area airport clipped wings with another plane being towed to a hangar for service on a taxiway Tuesday evening, the head of the air traffic controller's union said.

The incident at Newark Liberty International Airport comes as federal officials examine how a jetliner carrying more than 160 people landed on a taxiway instead of an adjacent runway at the same airport Saturday night.

In the Tuesday accident, an outbound Lufthansa Boeing 747 clipped the right wing of a Continental Boeing 757, said Russ Halleran, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association local at the airport.

None of the Lufthansa flight's 291 passengers and 17 crew members were injured in the collision, according to Lufthansa spokeswoman Jennifer Urbaniak.

The flight was bound for Frankfurt, Germany. The Lufthansa plane returned to the gate and the airline was making arrangements for the passengers to take another flight, Urbaniak said.

There also were no injuries Saturday when the Continental Flight from Orlando, Fla., landed in the wrong place. Taxiways often have planes, vehicles or personnel on them.

The FAA had not interviewed the pilot and co-pilot as of Tuesday, but Continental Airlines Inc. said both pilots had been grounded.

"The pilots have been temporarily removed from flying duties and are assisting the company in analyzing the incident," Continental spokeswoman Mary Clark said.

All navigational equipment and lights at the airport were working, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Authorities in Washington also were investigating a runway mishap. Officials said a Juneau, Alaska-bound Alaska Airlines jet took off from the wrong runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Monday morning.

The takeoff occurred normally, so there were no injuries, officials said.

"We are currently reviewing the situation in conjunction with the FAA," airline spokeswoman Amanda Tobin Bielawski said.


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