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Garbage Truck Collides With American Airlines Boeing 737 And Leaves Piece of Bodywork Embedded in Wing

Garbage Truck Collides With American Airlines Boeing 737 And Leaves Piece of Bodywork Embedded in Wing

a group of people standing next to a plane

A garbage truck collided with an American Airlines Boeing 737 at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro on Friday morning as the plane was preparing for departure to Dallas Fort Worth.

At the time of the incident, the aircraft was stationary and parked at the gate while passengers were still boarding, according to the airline, who confirmed that the plane had been taken out of service to fix the damage.

The accident occurred at around 6:45 am as American Airlines Flight 1716 to DFW was still boarding passengers. Somehow, the garbage truck got a little too close to the left-hand wing of the aircraft and ended up leaving a chunk of its bodywork embedded in the trailing edge of the wing.

Passengers had to be deplaned, and were then made to wait in the terminal while American Airlines scrambled to find a new aircraft to take the passengers to Dallas. In the end, a replacement aircraft departed six and a half hours later than scheduled.

The FAA confirmed it was investigating.

In a statement, a spokesperson for American Airlines said: “During boarding of American Airlines flight 1716 from Greensboro, NC (GSO) to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), a vehicle made contact with the wing of the aircraft.”

“All customers and crew members onboard deplaned and returned to the terminal, and the aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance. We thank our team members for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

Matt’s take

Aircraft ground vehicles are meant to follow safe driving routes, which shouldn’t take them too close to an aircraft – especially something like a garbage truck, which really doesn’t have any business getting up close to the wing of an aircraft.

It’s too early to apportion blame, but it sure looks like the driver of the garbage truck was taking a shortcut when it collided with the wing of the aircraft.

This was a very avoidable accident which will have inconvenienced passengers in the lead-up to the height of the busy summer travel season when airlines really need as many aircraft as possible in their fleet at their disposal.

Thankfully, in this case, it doesn’t look like the jet sustained significant damage so it shouldn’t be out of service for too long.

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