Oops – it looks like two Cathay Pacific aircraft were damaged when they scraped by one another on the tarmac of Hong Kong’s International Airport. It appears that the sharklet of an Airbus A350 “high-fived” the horizontal stabilizer of a Boeing 777-300ER. Photos surfaced on Twitter yesterday, showing the damage to the two aircraft.
Initially reported by Danny Lee of The South China Morning Post, the incident appears to have taken place somewhat recently. In the Twitter post, we can see two photos: the close-up shot of a slightly damaged right-sharklet of an A350 and a distant view of a Boeing 777-300ER with its left horizontal stabilizer banged up.
Sent by sources 🥴 pic.twitter.com/O57V5JawyF
— G-DLEE (@JournoDannyAero) April 16, 2020
Looking closer at the image of the 777, we can see crews at the scene, either investigating or cleaning up the debris of the accident. We can also see that the aircraft had registration B-KPD. According to Airfleets, B-KPD is a 12.5-year-old Boeing 777-300ER – one of its more unique characteristics is that it sports a special oneworld livery on its side. Data taken from FlightRadar24.com shows that the aircraft flew as recently as April 13th, making a trip from Hong Kong to Sydney, then back to Hong Kong.
With the image being posted on April 16th and the most recent flight logged on April 13th, we can surmise that the collision took place sometime between those two dates.
These things happen
Unfortunately, these things happen from time to time. But when it comes to aircraft-to-aircraft collisions, these incidents on the ground take place far more frequently than air-to-air incidents.
Tarmacs can be busy sites of activity with many things happening at once. Not paying attention to one’s surroundings- or just having poor spatial awareness often leads to these types of incidents.
In fact, we’ve reported on these incidents in abundance. Here are just a few examples:
- In November, a Turkish Airlines A330 freighter collided with an Ethiopian Airlines A350 in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
- Also last November, a LATAM A319 collided with a stair truck in Rio de Janeiro.
- Last July, an easyJet A320 struck a KLM 737 in Amsterdam. This accident occurred because the 737 was pushing back from its stand at the same time the A320 was taxiing past.
Strangely, fuel trucks also seem to be a common collision factor for tarmac incidents.
Given the fact that Cathay Pacific has had to deal with so much in the past year, the last thing it needed was damage to two of its aircraft. This comes at a time when much of the airline’s fleet is grounded and the company’s revenue has dropped significantly.
The one silver lining to this situation is that the airline has a large fleet of unused aircraft to draw from for a replacement for its current operations.
What do you think happened here? Can you guess how it took place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.