Wed. Apr 17th, 2024
alert-–-two-private-planes-clip-wings-at-hobby-airport-in-houston-prompting-ground-stop-after-one-‘departed-without-permission,’-officials-sayAlert – Two private planes clip wings at Hobby Airport in Houston prompting ground stop after one ‘departed without permission,’ officials say

A Texas airport was closed for several hours after two private jets clipped wings as they were moving on the airfield – with the FAA revealing that one of the crafts departed without permission.

The incident occurred at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport at about 4pm Tuesday, and forced an immediate flight stoppage that lasted until just after 7pm.

Local reports indicate that the preliminary investigation by federal partners has been completed and the airport maintenance team has been cleared to begin removing debris, which could take a couple hours. 

Earlier, officials cited debris on the airfield and said the airport will remain shut ‘until further notice’ – with federal flight officials later revealing around 6:15pm tentative circumstances surrounding the crash.

The agency said it occurred when a twin-engine Hawker H25B with the tail number N269AA departed without permission from one of the port’s runways, causing it to collide with a twin-engine Cessna C510 that was landing on an adjacent tarmac. 

No injuries have been reported, the agency said, and the occupants of both crafts, as of 6:35pm, remain unidentified.

The incident occurred around 3:30 pm Tuesday, airport officials said, and forced an immediate flight stoppage that remains ongoing. The FAA has since revealed that one of the crafts, seen here, departed without permission. Flights have since resumed as normal

No injuries were reported, and the occupants of the crafts currently remain unknown. Footage from the scene filmed about an hour after the crash shows one of the jets’ wings visibly bent

William P. Hobby Airport has closed after two private jets clipped wings as they were moving on the airfield Tuesday afternoon

Footage from the scene filmed about an hour after the crash shows one of the jets’ wings visibly bent as flight officials surveyed the area.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, delays of over an hour were expected as a result of the incident, which is currently under investigation.

A statement issued to the airports social media revealed how the apparent accident took place. 

‘Two private jets clipped their wings as they were moving on the airfield at approximately 3:30pm,’ airport officials wrote. ‘No injuries were reported.’

Issued about 40 minutes after the crash, it added how both of the aircraft have since been declared fire-safe by the Houston Fire Department, who were filmed on the scene along with flight officials.

‘Due to the debris caused by the accident, the airfield is shut down until further notice,’ the statement added.

‘Houston Airports is working to safely remove the debris to restore operations as soon as possible.’

A few hours later, the FAA elaborated, ‘A twin-engine Hawker H25B departed without permission from Runway 22 @HobbyAirport at 4 PM today when it collided with a twin-engine Cessna C510 that was landing on Runway 13 Right. 

‘No injuries have been reported. This info is preliminary & subject to change.’

In subsequent statements, flight officials revealed that one of the jets had been arriving on the airfield when the collision occurred, while the other had been departing.

The airport ordered a complete ground stop while the FAA did its necessary checks, with officials clearing the airport’s runways for normal operations around 7:10pm.

‘Due to the debris caused by the accident, the airfield is shut down until further notice,’ airport officials said in a statement about 40 minutes after the incident

The airport ordered a complete ground stop while the FAA did its necessary checks, with officials clearing the airport’s runways for normal operations around 7:10pm. 

ABC 13 was also on the scene, with both outlets deploying news helicopters to capture flight officials work on the tarmac.

As flight officials worked, footage showed several other private planes parked just a few hundred yards from the crash scene.

Both helicopters captured glimpses of debris left on the airfield, most of which appeared cleared about an hour after the incident.

Photojournalists aboard Air 11 recorded a shot of one of the crafts’ clipped wings still on the runway.

The helicopters were also able to film both planes involved in the crash, whose flight numbers were N510HM and N269AA.

N510HM looked to have a piece of its tailplane missing, while N269AA looked to have sustained damage to its left wing.

As of 7pm local time, nearly two hours after the crash, all runways at the airport remained closed.

At that time, airport officials said 11 flights had been diverted, and that American Airlines had canceled four flights.  

It remains unclear how many people were on board the planes. 

The incident comes weeks a FedEx cargo plane crash landed at an airport in Tennessee – following a landing gear failure that nearly stole the lives of all three on board. 

The incident comes less than two months after the FAA released a report revealing dozens of near-misses between aircraft in the US this summer – one that also highlighted the abnormal number of incidents that have taken place this year, including this one in New Orleans in July

On July 11 in San Francisco, two planes that were taking off nearly crashed into a Frontier Airlines plane which had just landed. The Frontier jet was waiting to cross a runway with its nose perilously close to the path of the two jets

A third incident two-and-a-half weeks later involved a near-miss between an American flight and a United Airlines aircraft near Minden, Louisiana

Moreover, it comes two months after the FAA released a report revealing  dozens of near-misses between aircraft in the US this summer – one that also highlighted the abnormal number of incidents that have taken place this year.

There were 46 ‘close calls’ in July, reports shared by the aviation authority showed, leading many airline workers at the time to air fears that it’s only a matter of time before a devastating incident in the US.

Recent examples include several cases of aircraft almost colliding during take-off or landing at major US airports. Others include a mid-air near miss between two planes traveling in excess of 500mph.

More recently, major airlines including American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines have pulled jets from their fleets as investigations into the potentially catastrophic faults are ongoing. 

Industry workers have blamed a shortage of air traffic controllers which has forced many in the profession to work mandatory overtime. 

The demands of the job have left some burned out and even using alcohol and sleeping pills to relieve stress.

In a safety reported filed last year, one said: ‘Controllers are making mistakes left and right. Fatigue is extreme. 

The margin for safety has eroded tenfold. Morale is rock bottom. I catch myself taking risks and shortcuts I normally would never take.’ 

‘It is only a matter of time before something catastrophic happens,’ the controller said.