Various agencies are investigating the Monday's night collision between an Air France Airbus A380 and a Comair Bombardier CRJ-700 on a JFK Airport runway. The superjumbo A380 jet's left wing hit the tail of the tiny commuter plane, sending the Bombardier spinning almost 90 degrees. And it looks like the A380 shouldn't have even been on that runway: WABC 7 reports, "The Port Authority took a series of measurements and has compiled for pilots and JFK controllers a long list of places the A380 can and cannot go on the airfield. This route was on the list."
The A380 is the world's largest passenger jet, holding anywhere from over 500 to 800 passengers (depending on seating arrangement). CBS News says its wingspan is "262 feet - nearly the length of a football field. JFK Airport has a standard 75-foot-wide taxiway, which means the wings of the A-380 easily extend over the roadway." A retired pilot said on The Early Show, "If that jumbo jet was cleared to the runway or whatever, he was just doing what he was told. As long as he keeps his nose wheel on the yellow line, there's not supposed to be any obstructions," but another aviation expert said, "Forget everything else, this pilot ran into another airplane - he should know how big his airplane is. But that doesn't change the fact we have radar systems and other backup that should have told the pilot he was moving along into another airplane. So we have a systemic breakdown here." Just great!
Another commercial pilot said on CNN that changes should have been made, "They started taking a look at this in 2003, years before the A-380 even hit the market, even entered the air. The FAA started to move forward to that. But when you take a look at a design group five airport, which has 75-foot taxiways, this is where this happened. It didn't happen on a 200-foot runway at JFK. That's where it became an issue. I think that if we were looking at this in 2003 and then again in 2007, it's also already 2011, why aren't changes been made to JFK?"