Wing clearance in frame after A380 jolts CRJ

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This week's taxiing collision between an Air France Airbus A380 and a Comair Bombardier CRJ700 is likely to spark debate over pilot awareness of the type's near-80m (260ft) wing span.

The left wing of the eight-month-old aircraft (F-HPJD) suffered leading-edge and wing-fence damage after striking the CRJ's fin and horizontal stabiliser in the 11 April collision at New York's Kennedy airport. Both have been grounded.

 air france prang damage
 © NTSB

Ground communications indicate the A380, taxiing for Runway 22R at night, was on a straight section of taxiway A - near the intersection of taxiway M - when it hit the stationary CRJ (N641CA), spinning it some 40° to the left. No-one on either jet was injured.

tail damage on bombardier after a380 strike 
 © NTSB

While the A380 has a fin-mounted camera, the feed from which is transmitted to the pilots' centre console in the cockpit to aid manoeuvring, its field of view does not include the wing tips.

Airbus has not indicated whether it might consider modifying the camera capabilities, simply stating that it is supporting Air France with damage assessment and repairs. "We are also ready to support the investigation launched by the NTSB at any time requested."

tail damage following a380 strike 
 © NTSB

The Air France A380 involved in the collision had itself been grounded last autumn after being clipped by another aircraft.

One of four A380s in the Air France fleet, the jet was damaged at Paris Charles de Gaulle on 30 October last year when, while parked, its tail cone was struck and damaged by an Airbus A330's wing, forcing the double-deck aircraft to be taken out of service for repairs.