Incident: Ryanair B738 and American B763 at Barcelona on May 27th, 2011, Both Aircraft Departed Despite Ground Collision and Passenger Complaints
By Simon Hradecky, The Aviation Herald | Jul. 28, 2012
An American Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration N366AA performing flight AA-67 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to New York JFK,NY (USA), had taxied to the holding point runway 25L and was holding short of the runway.
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, registration EI-EKB performing flight FR-8136 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Ibiza,SP (Spain) with 169 passengers and 6 crew, was taxiing along Barcelona's taxiway K for departure from runway 25L and was maneouvering to pass behind the Boeing 767-300.
A number of passengers on board of the Boeing 737-800 observed the right hand wing of the aircraft contact the tailplane of the Boeing 767-300 and rose out of their seats attracting the attention of a flight attendant. A passenger told the flight attendant, that their aircraft had hit the aircraft besides them. The flight attendant contacted the purser, who instructed her to contact the flight deck, she contacted the flight deck and informed the captain that passengers had seen their aircraft had hit another aircraft. The captain responded however everything was fine and she continued with the takeoff about 2 minutes after the Boeing 767.
Immediately after departure the passengers insisted the flight was not safe and they had collided with another aircraft, one of the passengers identified himself as an engineer. The flight attendant told the engineer that the captain had been informed and had told everything was fine. No further information was forwarded to the flight deck.
After landing in Ibiza, while disembarking, the passengers again spoke up claiming the flight had been unsafe.
During the turnaround the flight attendant informed the purser that one of the passengers observing the collision was an engineer. Neither approached the flight crew however.
Following the return flight FR-8137 the purser talked to the captain and informed her that one of the passengers observing the collision was an engineer.
In the following it was identified that the right hand winglet of the Boeing 737-800 had received damage, the Boeing 767-300 was found with damage to the left hand stabilizer following landing in New York.
Spain's CIAIAC is investigating the occurrence confirming the Boeing 737-800 had contacted a Boeing 767-300 holding short of runway 25L, the Boeing 737-800 had received damage to the right hand winglet and the Boeing 767-300 damage to the left hand stabilizer.
An internal Ryanair document forwarded to The Aviation Herald states, that none of the Ryanair crew members observed anything unusual as the taxiway was rather bumpy, it was only flight attendant #2 who became aware of the collision through the observed passenger reactions.
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