A United Airlines Boeing 787 collided with a Boeing 757 at Newark Liberty International Airport, causing what appears to be significant wing damage. No passengers or crewmembers were injured.
United Airlines 787 and 757 Collide At Newark Liberty International Airport
The incident occurred earlier this morning at 8:45 am ET on February 3, 2023 as a Boeing 787-9 (registration number N29981) was being moved via tug to a gate at Newark (EWR). The aircraft had landed from Johannesburg (JNB), operating as UA187, earlier in the morning. Somehow, the Dreamliner clipped the wing of a Boeing 757-200 (registration number N17133), which was parked at the gate.
The collision of the right wing of the 787 with the left wing of 757 caused extensive visual damage to the 757 and may have impacted the 787 as well. No passengers or crew members were injured by the incident and the 787 was empty when hit.
N17133 was headed for Orlando (MCO) on UA2135. A replacement aircraft had to be found, leading to a delay of nearly four hours.
United Airlines has confirmed the incident:
“This morning, the wing of a United plane parked at one door was hit by another United plane, with no passengers on board, while parking at the next door. The passengers of the first plane disembarked normally. We book our customers on rescheduled flights on different planes.”
Pictures posted to Twitter detail the extensive damage:
Two United planes got involved in an avoidable ground incident, one Boeing 757-224 aircraft (N17133) clipped the winglet of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (N29981) during the push back at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR/KEWR) on 3rd February.
📸 kennykng & Bala.#aircraft pic.twitter.com/fMCogEuqBC
— FL360aero (@fl360aero) February 3, 2023
United Airlines Newark Liberty International Airport New Jersey EWR Flight UA187 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N29981 Hits Another United Boeing 757 pic.twitter.com/Rof375JzGb
— FSX Aviation (@FSXAviation3) February 3, 2023
Currently, there are more questions than answers. What caused this impact? Was the tug driver asleep at the wheel? How significant is the damage? Live And Let’s Fly will be following this incident closely.
This is a breaking news story. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
image: @FSXAviation3 / Twitter
Unless I’m remembering incorrectly, I’m pretty sure this happened a few months back, again with 2 United planes and again at Newark.
I don’t recall. I do remember the Qatar incident in Chicago.
Jared, yes, last June: https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/newark-airport-planes-collide
Losing wheelchairs, too last week: ‘..United worker then said the police could come and transport her to a hospital until they figured out what to do” https://6abc.com/2-travelers-say-their-wheelchairs-were-lost-on-same-united-airlines/12756070/
You are absolutely correct Jared, it happened sometime towards the end of last year. Again!! One of them I believe was a 737-800 NG. They better shape up their operations and fast!
‘Tis but a scratch.
The tug driver should have gotten clearance from his wing walkers they have the responsibility for adequate clearance
Do US airlines have a ban on employees possessing cell phones while working on the tarmac? If they do, it would surprise me if it’s widely enforced since I get loads of AirTag updates from areas within UA hub airports where there would be no passengers within Bluetooth range of the trackers.
Situational awareness levels are not what they used to be, in large part because of the impact of smartphones being ubiquitous and connected as much as they are.
Newark Airport is a challenging place for operations, even on the sunniest of days. The physical space around the terminals is constrained, with taxiways and runway access points that can quickly get backed up. United has to park planes in different places across the airfield during downtime, notably wide bodies between flights, and then move them to the terminal later in the day for departures. It gets complicated during peak operating hours and in peak travel season, and contributes to delays and operational issues at EWR for UA all the time.
Time to start looking for a secondary hub in the area I guess, with all the new wide bodie deliveries coming in…and whatever happened with the “ leaving JFK is just a temporary move, we’ll be back stronger and larger…blah blah blah” stance?? Any news?
The options are few and far between. LGA isn’t an option. UA doesn’t have the slots (and they don’t really exist right now anyway, though if the DOT ok’s the B6/NK merger, that would only come with some substantial slot divestitures at LGA, and even with, not enough for UA to build up anything significant to compete with DL and AA and B6 there. JFK isn’t an option either. Slots aren’t currently available, and the terminal options for UA aren’t great either. UA needs frequency and its own premium lounge at JFK to be relevant and competitive.
EWR is a profit machine for UA. Its just a cumbersome, difficult airport to operate at. UA will have no problem maintaining an EWR hub but will optimize some flying between EWR and IAD where it makes sense to, specifically on regional flying, which it has already done.
Basically yes, you’re right. Although it seems to me at least that whenever something goes wrong at EWR, United really doesn’t have a plan B option to rely on, which IMO just messes things up. IAD is the not so hidden gem of this story, I hope the expansion and new terminal there picks up some steam!
Looking at the pictures it is clear the wing of the 787 is clearly outside of its gate envelope and in inside the envelope of the gate area where the 757 was parked. Clearly the tug driver lost situational awareness and pulled the 787 into the gate on the wrong lead in line. You are correct United Terminal C at EWR can be challenging with multiple lead in lines for a single gate lining up on the wrong lead in line results in wing tips clipping each other. Another thing is with the brutally cold temperatures in New York this morning there may or may not have been wing walkers out there. If there were wing walkers out there the entire crew should be fired because no one was paying attention. If there were no wing walkers present then the tug driver should still be fired because they NEVER should have pulled that 787 into the gate without wing walkers present. I don’t care how cold it is this situation was 100% avoidable if employees would have followed standard operating procedures, instead someone somewhere cut corners in an attempt to get out of the cold which has led to this situation happening again to United at EWR.
Time for United to make examples out of employees if they continue to make excuses for employees not following SOP incidents like this will continue to happen at EWR where you are working in tight spaces.
When googling “United planes crash Newark” I couldn’t believe the number of issues at EWR in the past six months alone. So many different issues.
When the sinilar incident happened with Jetblue at JFK, nobody was blaming Jetblue. So why are we blaming United for this kind of incident?
I don’t know what you mean. Doesn’t the tug driver work for United?