Oops: Two Delta Boeing Aircraft Clip Wings In Altanta

In an incident this week, two Delta aircraft clipped their wings in a low-speed collision in Atlanta. The…

Oops: Two Delta Boeing Aircraft Clip Wings In Altanta

In an incident this week, two Delta aircraft clipped their wings in a low-speed collision in Atlanta. The Boeing 737 and 757 were pushing back and taxiing respectively at the time of the incident. Both planes have been grounded until repairs are conducted and passengers on the Pensacola and Los Angeles-bound flights were delayed.

The two flights were preparing for departure when their wings came into contact, clipping them. Photo: Getty Images


According to Travel Pulse, the incident occurred on Tuesday night at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta’s headquarters and hub. The two aircraft were both preparing for their departure when they came into contact.

Delta flight DL1231, a Boeing 737-900ER, to Pensacola was pushing back from the gate and preparing for takeoff. Meanwhile, flight DL823 to Los Angeles, a 757-300, was taxiing towards the runway. However, both these flights were stopped in their tracks when the two planes’ wings collided.

The image above shows that one of the aircraft’s wingtips seems to have been clipped in the incident, while the impact on the other is currently unknown. In a statement, Delta described the incident as “low-speed minor contact,” meaning that the other plane is not likely to have seen substantial damage either.

However, as safety protocol requires, both planes were grounded, and passengers offloaded. The aircraft will now undergo repairs and checks to ensure that no systems have been affected, with even the smallest of problems turning catastrophic while in the air. We can also expect an investigation into the factors that led to the incident.


Passengers from both flights were delayed. While the Pensacola flight had roughly 100 travelers onboard, the LAX service had nearly 200. With the two planes out of service temporarily, Delta moved passengers onto alternate aircraft.

Data from RadarBox.com shows that flight DL1231 reached Pensacola with a delay of nearly three hours. However, the flight to LAX had to be delayed overnight due to the lack of an available replacement crew.

Delta Boeing 737
Delta deployed an alternate 737-900 to carry passengers for their one-hour flight to Florida. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

There were no injuries among passengers, crew, and ground operators, Delta has confirmed. Moreover, only travelers from the two flights faced delays, with other flights departing and arriving on time.

Incidents of aircraft collisions on the ground are rare, with air traffic control ensuring that all planes move safely. However, occasionally, slip-ups can occur due to weather situations and communication issues. Thankfully, these incidents tend to be minor and only inconvenience passengers onboard and the airlines, who have to undertake costly repairs.

Lucky for Delta, the 737 and 757 will only have to take a short trip over to the airline’s TechOps center for their repairs.

Busy flights

As COVID-19 comes under control in the US and vaccine rates pick up impressively, airlines are seeing a resurgent domestic market. The sudden rise in travelers has even resulted in staff shortages at the airline, including in its lounges. With daily passenger figures reaching over 1.5 million every day for the last fortnight, a recovery is well underway.

Have you begun flying again since the pandemic hit? Let us know in the comments!

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Breaking: American Airlines & Virgin Atlantic Buy Up To 400 Flying Taxis

Today, both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic signed deals with Vertical Aerospace to acquire up to 250 and…

Breaking: American Airlines & Virgin Atlantic Buy Up To 400 Flying Taxis

Today, both American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic signed deals with Vertical Aerospace to acquire up to 250 and 150 electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, respectively. Let’s investigate further.

American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic will buy up to 400 flying taxis. Photo: American Airlines

American and Virgin bet on flying taxis

American Airlines announced today it will invest US$25 million in Vertical Aerospace, a leading UK-headquarter business, developing eVTOL aircraft. The US carrier aims to help the development of emerging technologies that allow reducing carbon emissions.

Similarly, Virgin Atlantic announced today the purchase of between 50 to 150 eVTOL aircraft; the company will also explore the possibility of a Joint Venture with Vertical Aerospace.

These two announcements are huge and show the promise that eVTOL technology has as the future of urban transportation.

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, also signed a ground-breaking order for up to 500 eVTOL aircraft. The order has a price of approximately US$2 billion, said the company in a statement.

In just one day, Vertical Aerospace became the single most important player in the eVTOL market.

American Airlines eVTOL
Avolon also signed a massive deal for 500 electric aircraft. Photo: American Airlines.

What are the companies saying?

We’re entering a fascinating period in the history of aviation. Last week, we saw United Airlines signing a massive deal to possibly bring back the supersonic jet era. Recently, Embraer also announced an order for 200 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft. Now, American, Virgin, and Avolon sign massive deals to acquire Vertical Aerospace’s new flying taxis.

Derek Kerr, Chief Financial Officer at American, said,

“Emerging technologies are critical in the race to reduce carbon emissions, and we are excited to partner with Vertical to develop the next generation of electric aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO, said the possible Joint Venture with Vertical would bring short-haul, electric vehicle connectivity to cities and UK airport hubs. He pointed out some places like London Heathrow, Manchester, and London Gatwick.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon CEO, commented,

“Avolon is proud to be a launch customer for the VA-X4 aircraft, demonstrating our commitment to a net-zero carbon economy.”

He added this order would accelerate the inevitable commercial roll-out of zero-emission aircraft. Before the end of this decade, zero-emission urban air mobility will be possible, he foretold.

American Airlines eVTOL
Electrification will transform the history of flying. Photo: American Airlines.

Learning about the new VA-X4

Electrification will transform flying in the 21st century as the jet engine did 70 years ago, said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Vertical chief executive and founder.

Vertical Aerospace has created the VA-X4. This eVTOL is fully electric and promises zero emissions. It will be a near-silent aircraft with a range of over 100 miles. According to the company, it will be able to carry four passengers and a pilot.

The VA-X4 has four tilting advance rotors at the front and stowable rotors at the rear. It is capable of speeds over 200 mph (321 km/h).

Virgin Atlantic has said that this aircraft will enable sustainable, price competitive, regional connectivity. For instance, it will reduce the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow to just 22 minutes. Nowadays it is one hour 30 minutes drive by road.

Vertical Aerospace plans to have its first test flight of the VA-X4 later this year. The aircraft certification could come as early as 2024, and deliveries would start that year, said Avolon and American.

Are you excited about this latest development? Let us know in the comments. 

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