Created on: March 12, 2013 Last Updated: March 13, 2013
Fender-benders are common on the road, much less so (thankfully) at the airport. However, one such airline fender-bender did occur on Saturday, March 9, 2013, when two planes collided while taxiing on the tarmac at JFK Airport in New York, according to the “New York Post.” According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, the two planes were not under air traffic control when the accident took place.
Incident at JFK Airport
It was just after 6:00 in the morning, and Air India flight 102 had just landed. It was making its way to the gate when it hit a Jet Blue plane near Terminal 4. Jet Blue flight 145 was about to take off for a trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, when the Air India jet struck its rudder. The A320 Airbus had about 150 passengers for its flight southward when it was struck by the Air India plane’s left wing.
According to a passenger aboard the taxiing Air India jet, “There was a noise. You could feel the vibration but…[the passengers] didn’t know what happened.”
Those aboard the Jet Blue flight were forced to de-plane due to minor damage to the jet’s rudder, once they had returned to their gate. There, they boarded another plane and were able to complete the scheduled flight to West Palm Beach. In sum, it was a minor event, with no injuries and only a slight delay to the scheduled Jet Blue flight.
Danger from airline incidents
Any airline accident, however minor, increases the anxiety level for the flying public. While the accident at JFK Airport is one of the most harmless (more nuisance than actual threat), that does little to relieve passenger fears, based on their lack of control over the plane. Yet statistics show that a passenger is in far more danger driving to the airport than once aboard an aircraft.
Chances of dying from a plane crash are 1 in 11 million, while only 1 in 5,000 for driving a car. And, drilling down even deeper into the stats, it becomes apparent that being a passenger on a large scheduled flight is even safer than the flights of those who fly privately or on smaller, commuter planes.
What stage of the flight is occurring can also make a difference to the likelihood of real danger. Sitting aboard a plane ready to take off or being in a plane that has already landed and is taxiing to the gate are the two safest possible moments for passengers, with a mortality rate of 0 (although the rate is higher for those working at the airport on the tarmac).
All told, while plane accidents such as the ones at JFK Airport are an inconvenience, they are far from a real danger to the passengers aboard.
Learn more about this author, Christine Zibas.
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