Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

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gmarshall
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Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby gmarshall » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:18 am

An Air France A380 clipped a stationary Comair CRJ 700's tail while taxiing at JFK last night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMKGv3KF ... re=related

Given the violence of the impact, it's amazing noone was hurt on the CRJ. Apparently people seated in the A380 felt a 'rumbling' but not much more.

Just for reference, max gross on a CRJ700 is apparently 77,000 pounds. A fully loaded A380 is 1.25 million. So about about a factor of 16.

Rumor has it that it might have to do with the Airbus taking up more room than ground controllers are used to? I'm sure we'll see more details on this.

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champguy
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby champguy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:09 pm

gmarshall wrote:Rumor has it that it might have to do with the Airbus taking up more room than ground controllers are used to? I'm sure we'll see more details on this.


How about more room than God intended. Or the architect who designed the airport.
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plutocrat03
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby plutocrat03 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:17 pm

Video shows that the RJs front wheel was lifted up and the rotation occurred on the mains. A photo from the front of the RJ after the collision makes it look like the fuselage is twisted behind the wing.

The PPRUNE thread had a discussion regarding whether the speed of the 380 was appropriate for its location.

gmarshall
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby gmarshall » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:38 am

The more I read at PPrune, the less I'm certain who's to blame.

So apparently, taxiways at JFK have no obvious centerline, especially at night in the wet.

The RJ was blocked from pulling completely clear of the taxiway by ground handling equipment and was holding until it was clear.

The 380 pilots have no obvious frame of reference at night for their wingspan. I can only imagine depth perception at night, with a much smaller aircraft where you can only see their anti collision lights is not going to be great.

The obvious fix (to me) on an aircraft like the 380 is infra red cameras looking forward at the wingtips. Display them split-screen style on an MFD while taxiing. Equip them with a little AI and have a proximity warning horn when travelling in a straight line above a certain speed.

So yeah, PIC is ultimately responsible. But I suspect procedures here are somewhat to blame as well.

gmarshall
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby gmarshall » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:41 am

This post has an awesome little diagram using some Google Earth imagery to show where the RJ was stopped, and just how big that pregnant bird is:

http://www.pprune.org/6368760-post173.html

plutocrat03
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby plutocrat03 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:36 am

Seems unreasonable to expect the airport to protect your airplane when the aircraft is so far beyond the size of the rest of the fleet. If the airline needs a spotter car on each wingtip to protect its investment as well as to protect the community at large, then so be it.

Perhaps it is trite to offer a solution like the rear facing camera available in so many modern cars today. It is not really an expensive add on in the scheme of things. Not only do the cameras show the image of what is behind the vehicle, but they draw a box to show where the vehicle is headed based on the position of the steering wheel.. The weight of these systems has to be in the ounce or two range plus the wiring.

Got to be less expensive than repairing 'da bus' and replacing or repairing the RJ

Appears that there is a 15kt speed limit on the taxiways at JFK. With the available video footage and flight data recorder info, we will learn if that was a factor.

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ATC_Ben
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby ATC_Ben » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:11 pm

The speed of the 380 indicates to me that they believed they were clear of the CRJ. If they thought it was going to be tight I don't believe they would have been travelling at that pace. At the end of the day the AF skipper is responsible as he is supposed to not hit anything on the ground! The controller is just trying to sequence the aircraft into a logical order, they can't really stop you from running into stuff. Don't forget that most of these folks haven't been on the type for very long and have transitioned from other aircraft types that may not have had such an expansive wingspan. I believe the 747-400 is the only aircraft that has a comparable wingspan, so if you've come off another type you may not be thinking that your wings are THAT wide as you are used to a different size profile.

There are ground movement cameras on the A380 one well up on the tail that over looks the aircraft (and the wing tips) and one in the lower fuselage that looks over the nose gear (so you don't steer it off the hard stuff). Both have outlines of where the main gear track is on them. The same feeds are actually pumped into the IFE on some carriers and this video system also features on the A340-500 and A340-600. Whilst it's designed to enable you to keep the wheels on the pavement, it would have helped them in looking at the CRJs position. However being dark I'm guessing that the wingtips would have been hard to see, as would have been the tail of the CRJ (which from that angle the elevators were probably blocking the vertical part of the tail (which was lit up by the logo lights) and the position and depth of the beacon on the tail would have been extremely hard to judge.

However if in doubt they should have stayed put. But given the speed they were travelling, for whatever reason I think they thought they were well clear of the CRJ.
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champguy
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Re: Ground collision at JFK between A380 and CRJ

Postby champguy » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:00 pm

The CRJ was unable to pull all the way in because a ground vehicle was parked in the way. Ground Control should have been aware that the CRJ was not fully in its place and the A380 should have been warned that a plane was not clear of the taxiway.
Lot of should of, but still no excuse.
Park half way off the freeway and see what happens.
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