TODAY

TODAY   |  May 02, 2013

Airplanes collide, clip wings on Newark runway

An Expressjet flight was taxiing to the runway at Newark Liberty airport last night when the wing of a Scandinavian Airlines flight clipped its tail. No passengers were injured in the incident, which is just the latest in a string of collisions throughout the U.S. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> metime, investigators are trying to figure out what caused two passenger planes to clip each other last night as they prepared for takeoff at a new jersey airport . tom costello covers aviation for us. good morning.

>> hi, savannah. newark airport one of the nation's busiest. last night, one plane headed to nashville, another headed to norway, got a little too close on the runway.

>> reporter: according to the faa, at about 7:30 last night, 4226 was taxying to the runway. when the large airbus made a right turn headed to a different taxiway, the wings suddenly clipped the express jet's tail. it's the latest in a string of similar collisions to take place at airports across the country. in january, two boeing 777 clipped wings at the dulles airport . two years ago, an airfrance operated super jumbo jet, the biggest commercial airliner in the world clipped the tail of a regional jet at jfk airport spinning the smaller plane like a toy. no one was injured in either collision.

>> it's the inability of the pilot to accurately judge the distance all the way out to the wing tip . pilots taxi airplanes frequently, but it's hard to judge something that far away from you.

>> reporter: they released a statement saying the winglet, the very, very tip of the wing s damaged and is being removed. while the representative from express jet said, expressjet is working in coordination with officials to determine the cause. neither plane could take off, of course, both returned to the gate. passengers rebooked on to other planes. while the u.s. has not had a serious serial commercial plane crash in more than four years, these incidents on runways continue to be a real concern to both the faa and ntsb.

>> thanks very much.