Report: ITA A330 Takes Off After Colliding With Air France 777 At JFK

Report: ITA A330 Takes Off After Colliding With Air France 777 At JFK

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An incident between an Air France Boeing 777 and ITA Airways Airbus A330 at JFK is raising some eyebrows, as reported by The Aviation Herald.

Air France & ITA JFK ground incident basics

This incident took place at New York’s JFK Airport on Friday, June 17, 2022. Specifically, it involves:

  • A 21-year-old Air France Boeing 777-200 with the registration code F-GSPQ; this plane had just arrived from Paris, performing flight AF8
  • A 10-year-old ITA Airways Airbus A330-200 with the registration code EI-EJL; this plane was departing for Rome, performing flight AZ611

The incident was first reported when an Air France pilot contacted JFK ground controllers, and informed them that “there was an Alitalia passing behind us that hit our aircraft,” and they were passing this on “so you can tell them not to take off.”

There was some confusion between the Air France pilot and controllers, both because the plane was being described as “Alitalia” (ITA uses a different call sign, as Alitalia doesn’t technically exist anymore), and there seemed to be confusion over where the Air France plane was parked.

Eventually the Air France pilot is told to contact JFK tower, where he’s heard saying “we’re on ground and inform you to stop the takeoff from Alitalia because they may have damaged the aircraft.” At this point JFK tower contacts the ITA pilots, saying that “another aircraft on the ground currently, Air France, said that you hit them or something of that nature while you were taxiing, did you experience any damage to the aircraft?” The ITA pilot simply responded with “negative, sir,” and continued on its flight.

You can listen to the entire ATC communication for yourself below.

For reference, the Air France plane is still sitting on the ground at JFK six days later. The ITA plane continued its flights to Rome as scheduled. The ITA plane, meanwhile, spent around two days on the ground in Rome, and then reentered service.

What makes this incident interesting

There’s a lot that makes this incident confusing:

  • It’s of course possible that one plane sustained more serious damage than the other, and I know some pilots even report that it’s possible to have an incident on the ground without noticing it, especially at low speeds
  • Looking at flight tracking software, the ITA A330 was waiting for takeoff for over 30 minutes before it was time for takeoff, yet the ITA pilots were only made aware of this incident after the plane was airborne
  • While it’s in theory possible that ITA pilots performed an inspection of the incident and were available, the timeline just doesn’t make sense, based on the arrival time of the Air France jet and the departure time of the ITA jet
  • If the ITA pilots weren’t aware of the incident and were only informed after takeoff, it seems reckless to continue a transatlantic flight, rather than to return to New York for the plane to be inspected
  • It’s odd how authoritatively the ITA pilot claims there was no damage to the aircraft; it’s not clear if that’s simply because they had no clue there was an incident, or if it’s because they are suggesting an inspection was performed to assess damage

Bottom line

An Air France 777 and ITA A330 had some sort of a ground collision at JFK. The ITA pilots were allegedly only made aware of this after takeoff, but decided to continue their flight anyway. It’s hard to know what exactly to make of this.

This isn’t the first drama for Air France and ITA on JFK routes in recent months, between ITA pilots both falling asleep on a New York to Rome flight, and Air France pilots losing control of the aircraft on a New York to Paris flight.

What do you make of this incident?

(Tip of the hat to Benedict)

Conversations (40)
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  1. Ben Flyin Guest

    ITA -- TOTAL AND BLATANT DISREGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE. I WILL NEVER TRAVEL WITH THEM. NOPE! Not an option! No safety what-so-ever! Blatant DISREGARD to Air France. And why in the hell would ATC allow them to continue!?! That's horseshit right there. ATC should've mandated cancelation and full inspection of that aircraft-PERIOD! Air Traffic Control was horrible at handling this situation. 100% unsafe. Had the ITA AIRWAYS PLANE CRASHED -- ATC should of been to blame.

  2. Giorgio Guest

    Not much confusion on the name of the Italian company? In the YouTube video they added "Air Italy" too.

  3. Peter Guest

    ...the Ita pilot probably had a hot date waiting in Rome...(You know these italien girls..!!!.)

  4. Michael Thebner Guest

    How come the Air Traffic Controllers in JFK did not order that plane to turn around???? .

  5. Steve Guest

    "It’s odd how authoritatively the ITA pilot claims there was no damage to the aircraft"

    You've surely spent time in Italy before yet that surprises you?

  6. Rufus Guest

    So something did or did not happen, with or without any collaboration, photos or other information. Speculation is involved and perhaps there were or were not damage to a plane from ITA.

    Insightful .... not.

  7. iamhere Guest

    AF was still sitting there at JFK six days later? That's not what the video says.

  8. JeffinMass Guest

    How can a pilot not know they hit another aircraft? Why were they so close anyway? We're they texting? I just don't get it.

  9. Jordan Member

    ATC should have ordered the ITA plane to return to JFK for an inspection, period.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Is that even constitutional?

    2. jetjock64 Guest

      ATC can't order. The PIC is always in command - BUT will have to answer for every decision. (INFO: Notice of a gound collision is always grounding until an inspection.)

  10. J R Guest

    This occurance is a regulatory matter. The company ITA should be charged with causing damage to a federally regulated aircraft and as well leaving the scene of an accident.
    FAA through air traffic control should have demanded the ITA aircraft return.
    There is also the matter of the endangerment of the passengers of the ITA aircraft and public endangerment of all.

    1. SNO Guest

      You act as if you know exactly what happened, but you don’t. Because the Air France crew had communication difficulties, it’s uncertain what happened. There are no photos, there is no damage description, and der is no incident report. How can you condemn the ITA captain BEFORE you know the facts?

  11. Donna Diamond

    Very strange that no one on the ground nor apparently any passengers on the ITA plane saw the collision. I didn’t see anything in the Italian papers or news about it.

  12. Eric Guest

    Your blog states "For reference, the Air France plane is still sitting on the ground at JFK six days later." However, at the end of the video, it says the AF plane left 3 hours later.

    Which is it? If the AF Plane did indeed leave 3 hours later, then this sounds like another one of your click bait articles.

    1. Felix Guest

      Flightradar24 shows no activity for F-GSPQ since their outbound flight to Paris was cancelled on June 17th.

    2. Jordan Member

      We've seen plenty of clickbait articles on here, to turn off long-time readers, but this one is real. Although, Ben always chooses the more sensational headline, when it was clearly a hit, rather than a collision.

      Another article called it a "hit and run" Which would actually be more appropriate, while still offering up the sensationalism that is craved on here haha.

    3. polarbear Member

      It did not leave: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/FGSPQ

  13. stogieguy7 Diamond

    To be honest, I'm not reading anything about damage to the AF aircraft (despite it being grounded for an extended time) - nor anything about evidence of damage to the ITA A-330. Given that AF pilots have a pretty crappy record as far as flight skills are concerned, I am not sure that other commenters here should be so quick to bash ITA. After all, they haven't managed to plow a perfectly good aircraft into...

    To be honest, I'm not reading anything about damage to the AF aircraft (despite it being grounded for an extended time) - nor anything about evidence of damage to the ITA A-330. Given that AF pilots have a pretty crappy record as far as flight skills are concerned, I am not sure that other commenters here should be so quick to bash ITA. After all, they haven't managed to plow a perfectly good aircraft into the Atlantic from 37,000 feet for no reason aside from incompetence.

    1. Jordan Member

      Crappy or deadly?

      AF crashes:

      A320 - Test flight in France
      A330 - Crashed in the middle of the Atlantic on a GIG-CDG flight
      A340 - Crashed and burned at YYZ
      A380 - Engine exploded over Greenland on a CDG-LAX flight
      747-400 Overshot the runway, somewhere in the South Pacific
      777 (1) Seconds from crashing into a mountain in Africa - TWICE
      (2) Another 777 has the wrong weight...

      Crappy or deadly?

      AF crashes:

      A320 - Test flight in France
      A330 - Crashed in the middle of the Atlantic on a GIG-CDG flight
      A340 - Crashed and burned at YYZ
      A380 - Engine exploded over Greenland on a CDG-LAX flight
      747-400 Overshot the runway, somewhere in the South Pacific
      777 (1) Seconds from crashing into a mountain in Africa - TWICE
      (2) Another 777 has the wrong weight and balance departing CDG-MEX, and the plane struggled to get off the runway. Weight was input 100 tons under actual weight.
      Concorde - Crashed on take off at CDG

      All within the last 20 years or so... Am I missing any from AF?

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Crappy or deadly?

      BALTIA crashes:
      NONE

      All within the last 30 years or so... Am I missing any?

      You need to be more creative with misleading statistics, can't rig an election with something this simple.

    3. Jordan Member

      I said AF. The A320 was probably about 30 years ago (I cant be bothered to look up the crash date)...but there is footage of the plane crashing into the forest, the rest are all within a 20-year or so period for sure. You can google them.

      My point was, AF has an awful awful track record.

      I'm not sure what else you are referring to...nor is it relevant.

    4. Tom R Guest

      https://www.aerotime.aero/articles/30863-air-france-boeing-777-incident-bea-update

      Very recent incident of approach into CDG from JFK with confusion in the cockpit

    5. ConcernedFlyer Guest

      If there was any chance that one or both of the two planes hit the other, the ITA flight clearly should've been carefully inspected for damage before taking off for (or continuing) a transatlantic flight. Allowing the ITA flight to continue as scheduled was clearly reckless on the part of air traffic control as well as the ITA pilot. It also sounds as if the protocols for dealing with collisions or potential collisions on the...

      If there was any chance that one or both of the two planes hit the other, the ITA flight clearly should've been carefully inspected for damage before taking off for (or continuing) a transatlantic flight. Allowing the ITA flight to continue as scheduled was clearly reckless on the part of air traffic control as well as the ITA pilot. It also sounds as if the protocols for dealing with collisions or potential collisions on the runways need significant improvement. Unacceptable

  14. Ben Guest

    So in conclusion this whole article is about something happened, no one knows if it means anything but Lucky wants to ponder about what would be appropriate based on his "expert insight"?

  15. Courtney Guest

    @Aney, I'm very weary of flying any foreign registered airline.

    1. Jordan Member

      Well depending which country you live in. I'm going to guess the USA lol. IF it is indeed. Some pretty terrible crashes have happened to AA, UA, DL and other American carriers.

      All countries have had their fair share over the decades.

      SE Asian airliners and Air France seem to have issues.

  16. Fabio Guest

    ITA is off to a typical Italian airline start, poor

  17. Santos Guest

    Just your run-of-the-mill NYC fender bender. Don't block the box.

  18. KK13 Guest

    Was AF covered by State Farm or Geico?

  19. DaninMCI Guest

    I'd guess either the pilots are unaware that they made contact with the other plane OR they knew they did and didn't want to wait around to face the consequences of their actions. Either way, the damage must have been minimal I'd guess.

  20. Bruce Guest

    See I dont understand why they had to go and rename Alitalia. ITA doesn’t roll off the tongue and there is already a Brazilian airline with that name. Not only that, but they have to repaint a bunch of planes in a new livery which costs money. And its confusing for all of us who are used to Alitalia and still see ITA planes with the Alitalia livery on them. Was this name change for...

    See I dont understand why they had to go and rename Alitalia. ITA doesn’t roll off the tongue and there is already a Brazilian airline with that name. Not only that, but they have to repaint a bunch of planes in a new livery which costs money. And its confusing for all of us who are used to Alitalia and still see ITA planes with the Alitalia livery on them. Was this name change for legal reasons to strike off debts associated with the Alitalia name? I don’t know. Another thing. This isn’t the first incident we’ve heard about ITA pilots recently. What’s going on?

    1. shoeguy Guest

      That Brazilian airline is defunct. The Alitalia name and brand has a lot of equity but also a lot of negative sentiment associated with it. The carrier was last profitable in 1997 and barely, before it went bankrupt in 2021 and EU laws generally do not allow a company to use the same trademark and name when they reorganize. ITA is very much Alitalia, that's true, but for a variety of reasons, including credibility, the Alitalia name had to be retired for now.

    2. tipsyinmadras Gold

      Really hard to top "Alitalia" as far good naming goes - it's a great portmanteau in Italian and has resonance in English even if you don't know "ali" means "wings".

      ITA owns the Alitalia brand so probably no technical reason they couldn't use it in the same "doing-business-as" way the previous two holding companies running the airline did following original 1947-origin company's demise in 2007, so it likely boils down to wanting to make a clean start.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Hossein hosseini Guest

Alitalia lives on.....

2
jetjock64 Guest

ATC can't order. The PIC is always in command - BUT will have to answer for every decision. (INFO: Notice of a gound collision is always grounding until an inspection.)

2
Jordan Member

ATC should have ordered the ITA plane to return to JFK for an inspection, period.

2
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