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JetBlue planes hit each other on ground at Boston's Logan Airport

JetBlue planes hit each other on ground at Logan Airport while de-icing
JetBlue planes hit each other on ground at Logan Airport while de-icing 02:11

BOSTON - Two JetBlue planes hit each other on the ground at Logan Airport in Boston early Thursday morning.

A spokesperson for Massport, which runs the airport, told WBZ-TV the two jets "made contact" while in the de-icing area.

"One wingtip touched another plane's tail. No injuries, but both flights cancelled," the spokesperson said, calling the incident "very minor."

One of the two JetBlue planes damaged in the collision at Logan Airport on February 8, 2024. Ryan Bates

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the left winglet - the little wing at the end of the plane's wing used to reduce drag - of one plane hit the horizontal stabilizer at the back of another jet around 6:40 a.m.

One flight, JetBlue Flight 777, was heading to Las Vegas at 6 a.m. The other, JetBlue Flight 551, was leaving for Orlando, Florida at the same time. 

Damage from one of the two JetBlue planes after a collision at Logan Airport on February 8, 2024. Ryan Bates

"The event happened in an area of the tarmac that is controlled by the airline," FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Isham Cory said in a statement.

"No injuries were reported by customers or crewmembers on either aircraft," JetBlue said in a statement to WBZ. "Both aircraft will be taken out of service for repairs, and JetBlue flight 777 to Las Vegas and JetBlue flight 551 to Orlando will operate on other aircraft. Safety is JetBlue's priority, and we will work to determine how and why this incident occurred."

CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said the de-icing pad at Logan and many other airports is not big enough for all the planes. He said some airports in other countries have de-icing stations at the end of each runway, instead of sharing one small space, and that could prevent incidents like what happened Thursday.

"You're dealing with tight quarters, restricted movement and sometimes limited visibility," said Greenberg. "And, of course, everybody wants to get de-iced fast as possible and get out of town and maybe somebody wasn't paying attention."

JetBlue passengers describe what happened

Mary Menna was on the Las Vegas flight, heading to the Super Bowl.

"We had a little collision," she told WBZ NewsRadio in Boston. "It was a bump. Like it wasn't a huge crash. You felt it, you felt the jolt, but it wasn't extreme and then everybody was just like (gasp) and we looked out the window and saw that we had come very close to that other plane and, in fact, tore off part of its wing."

"The plane we were in had some structural damage in our wing, but our wing was still intact, but there was definitely, it wouldn't have been able to fly," Menna said. 

"It's definitely a jarring experience," passenger Ryan Bates told WBZ-TV. He was also heading to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. "A significant jolt, to the point where I thought we had actually gone off the runway."

"They're de-icing planes all the time in Boston. So, for it to happen in Boston, a place where they're so familiar with this process is a little bit, a little bit frustrating," Bates said.

"Obviously, somebody didn't negotiate the width of the plane," said passenger Tami Dristiliaris. "We heard really a bunch of loud crashing sounds. To me, it was really loud. It sounded like it was coming from under the plane and the plane shook...almost scraping the side of the plane."

Recent Logan Airport incidents

A similar incident happened nearly a year ago at Logan Airport.

In March 2023, a United Airlines jet departing for Newark Airport clipped the wing of another United plane waiting to head to Denver.

A week before that, a JetBlue flight and a Learjet had a close call at Logan. No one was hurt in either incident.

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