The US FAA says pilots of an Alitalia Boeing 767-300 (AZA60M) taking off from New York John F Kennedy International airport on 15 January damaged a plastic bumper covering on the aircraft's tail skid, but did not over-rotate to the point of causing a tail strike.
Pilots of Delta Air Lines Flight 82, a Boeing 737 that had just landed after a flight from Denver, had radioed JFK tower controllers that they believed the Alitalia 767 had "struck its tail on the runway when rotating". The 737 was on an adjacent taxiway.
After being informed of the concern by controllers, the 767 crew opted to burn fuel while holding in the vicinity of JFK for approximately one hour before returning to the airport to land, says the FAA. In the meantime, runway inspections revealed no indication of a tail strike.
After an inspection at the airport, the flight departed for Rome. The FAA continues to investigate the incident.