Scandinavian Airlines probes jets' clip in US

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Associated Press

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Updated Thursday, May 2 at 2:00 PM

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) — Scandinavian Airlines said Thursday it is investigating how its plane clipped another plane on a taxiway at one of the busiest U.S. airports and lost part of a wing.

The plane's left wing clipped the tail of a United Airlines plane on Wednesday night as they were preparing for takeoff at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The airport serves many flying to and from New York City.

No one was injured, the Federal Aviation Administration said. U.S. authorities were investigating.

Scandinavian Airlines, which is known as SAS and has hubs in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, said it wouldn't speculate on the cause of the accident.

Scandinavian Airlines Flight 908, bound for Oslo, Norway, was behind ExpressJet Flight 4226, destined for Nashville, Tennessee, and was turning to enter another taxiway when it touched the ExpressJet plane, officials said.

Photos and video showed a significant portion of the left wing jaggedly torn off.

Scandinavian Airlines said its plane's left winglet, an upturned part at the end of the wing that helps minimize drag and reduce fuel consumption, was damaged and was being removed. It said the aircraft can fly without winglets.

The ExpressJet plane was towed back to the gate, and the Scandinavian Airlines plane taxied back to the gate, where passengers disembarked, New York's WNBC-TV reported. Other flight accommodations were made so the passengers, 31 on the ExpressJet and more than 70 on the Scandinavian Airlines jet, could get to their destinations.

ExpressJet Airlines said it was "working in coordination with officials to determine a cause."

ExpressJet, which bills itself as the world's largest regional airline, operates as a United Express partner from United's Newark hub. United, which has headquarters in Chicago, is part of United Continental Holdings Inc.

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