Two jets that were taxiing down the runway for take off collided at Newark International Airport on Wednesday night, May 1, 2013 at approximately 7:30 p.m. Scandinavian Airlines Flight 908 clipped its left wing against the tail of the second jet, United Express Jet Flight 4226. There were no reported injuries among the passengers of either jet. According to a preliminary report of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the Scandinavian Airlines jet was behind the United Express jet and was in the process of turning right to enter a different runway when its left wing clipped the tail of the United Express jet. There were 31 passengers on the United Express jet who were de-planed and put on another flight. It is unknown at this time whether there were any passengers on the Scandinavian Airlines jet. All other departing flights were delayed for at least 45 minutes, while the accident was being investigated and the jets removed to nearby hangers for inspection.
According to New York aviation accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, who has handled many aviation accident cases, including jet crashes, and the recent Jet Blue “pilot meltdown” cases, this incident could have several causes, which are being investigated thoroughly by the FAA, as in every aviation accident. Mr. Reiter stated as follows: “Aviation accidents that occur in the United States or its territories are investigated by the FAA. It is the federal government that is responsible for regulating the aviation industry in the US. For an accident of this kind, wherein the collision could have been far worse, one of the causes could be pilot error, in that the pilot could have simply misjudged the distance between the two jets. Another possible cause of an accident of this type could have been a failure of safety equipment that is in an aircraft to avoid this type of collision, similar to a car that has a warning system to avoid collisions. One thing is certain, the FAA will do an investigation of every possible cause, and issue a report that will hopefully answer the question of what caused this near disaster”.
It is incumbent upon the FAA to investigate and make a determination of the cause of this accident. It is with the knowledge gained through a thorough investigation that safety guidelines and recommendations can be refined and strengthened, and therefore, future accidents can be avoided or, at least, minimized, adds aviation accident lawyer Mr. Reiter.