ITA A330 Keeps Going After Clipping Air France 777


An ITA Airways A330 apparently grazed an Air France Boeing 777 at JFK earlier this month and then carried on with its flight to Rome. According to Simpleflying, the ITA crew was warned the collision had taken place by ATC but dismissed it and kept climbing over the Atlantic. The Air France crew definitely felt the collision and got on the radio to ATC. “There was an Alitalia (the ITA plane was still in its old livery) passing behind us that hit our aircraft,” an Air France pilot said. “It’s so you can tell them not to take off.”

There was apparently some confusion in the cab and by the time controllers got hold of the ITA crew they were already climbing out. “Another aircraft on the ground currently, Air France said you hit them or something of that nature while you were taxiing,” the controller said. “Did you experience any damage to the aircraft? And ITA pilot replied “Negative, sir.” On arrival in Rome, the ground crew spotted damage to the wing but the A330 was back in service two days later. The Air France 777 is still at JFK.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. The ITA plane is back in the air after 2 days in the hangar in Rome and the Air France plane is still grounded at JFK.

    Wonder if the ITA crew decided to escape the mountain of FAA paper left behind for more favorable home country?

  2. Many cars now have parking sensors, and are required to have backup cameras. Can anyone tell me why airliners don’t have multiple cameras and proximity sensors to detect and avoid collisions?

    • None of the automotive sensors are certified to any standard. If these kind of sensors were to be put on airliners they would have to meet some kind of FAA standard, therefore exponentially increasing their cost.

      • And automotive sensors are variable, Musk/Tesla avoids lidar. The challenge is interpretation of raw data that sensors provide – Tesla has serious problems such as forks in roads and truck trailers the size of freeway signs.

      • That’s true, and the parking sensors, not to be confused with adaptive cruise or self driving sensors, may not work that well in the application. I wonder if it’s been tested with any seriousness.

        I think it would be worthwhile in the nose or tail though (I’ve watched airliners try to squeeze in to help ground or the tower).

        I know diesel exhaust sometimes sets mine off if I’m next to a bus at a light. So, that tech may just not work around kerosene burners.

  3. Not every slight bump is an impending mishap. Inasmuch as the Alitalia PIC didn’t even feel it, perhaps his learned judgement should be factored in. Just sayin.

  4. Jets keep getting larger, airports keep getting more traffic, especially those handling trans-ocean flights. But none of our major airports is getting any more real estate to handle the load. We can expect more of this type of “fender rash” incidents in the future.