Ryanair planes clip wings at airport in second incident within six months
Two Ryanair planes clipped each other at Dublin Airport yesterday in an incident almost identical to another crash six months ago.
Several flights were delayed by the accident which occurred as the aircraft prepared for take-off.
Ryanair last night refused to explain how two of its planes were travelling so close as to clip each other and whether sufficient time and space had been given.
The planes involved were the 7.10am service to Edinburgh and the 7.15am flight to Zadar in Croatia. No injuries were reported on either of the jets after the incident but it caused delays to morning departures at the airport yesterday.
In a statement, Ryanair said:
"Two of our aircraft were taxiing slowly to the runway at Dublin Airport... The winglet of one aircraft appears to have scraped the tail fin of the other. Both aircraft were under the instruction of Dublin Airport Air Traffic Control at the time."
Passengers from both flights were bussed away from the scene and boarded two replacement aircraft which later flew to Edinburgh and Zadar.
"Ryanair apologised sincerely to customers for any inconvenience caused," the company's statement concluded.
However, when asked further questions by the Irish Independent about how the crash occurred, Ryanair declined to elaborate.
It is the second such incident at Dublin Airport involving the same airline in the past six months. Last October, the winglet of one Ryanair plane clipped the tail of another while taxiing.
The two incidents also happened in the same vicinity - a taxi-way leading to a runway.
It is understood that in both incidents one plane was following the other on the taxi-way. One aircraft turned off while the other proceeded straight ahead and it was at this point they clipped. In yesterday's incident, the wing-tip of the Edinburgh-bound plane was damaged by the tail fin of the Zadar-bound aircraft.
It is understood one plane was heading for the main runway and the other for the cross-wind runway when they clipped each other. The previous incident occurred on October 7, last year, and is being investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport.
The report on that incident has not yet been finalised. A spokesman for the department said it will be published in due course. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said the latest wing-clip incident has been reported to the AAIU and a second investigation will now be launched.
"It would be inappropriate to provide any further comment at this time," a spokesman for the IAA said.
Meanwhile, the Dublin Airport Authority said there were delays to some departures as a result of the incident. It does not operate air traffic control at the airport which is under the control of the IAA.
Recent Safety Incidents
April 1, 2015: Two Ryanair planes clip each other as they taxi at Dublin Airport. The wing-tip of one plane is damaged by the tail fin of the other (above).
October 7, 2014: The wing-tip of one Ryanair jet clips the tail fin of another as they taxi (right).
May 21, 2011: A Ryanair crew is forced to abort take-off at Dublin Airport after a Monarch flight to Tenerife with 158 passengers and crew mistakenly taxies on to the same runway. When the Ryanair aircraft comes to a stop it is 360 metres from the other plane.
October 16, 2010: The pilots of a Germanwings flight from Cologne to Dublin aborts their landing after they spot a Turkish Airlines aircraft about to encroach on their landing space. At their closest the two planes are just 44 metres apart vertically.