Cathay A350 Wing Tip Damaged In Minor Hong Kong Collision

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.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350
Photo: turkhavakancolle via Flickr

The photos

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.

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.

Cathay Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 has unique sharklets, which are a defining feature of the aircraft. Photo: Cathay Pacific

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:

Strangely, fuel trucks also seem to be a common collision factor for tarmac incidents.

Cathay Pacific 777 aircraft view from below
The Cathay Pacific 777 involved is twelve and a half years old. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Conclusion

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.

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