The Moment Two Planes Collide — Totally Taking Out the Tail of an Airbus A321

An Airbus A330-300 belonging to South Korean Star Alliance member Asiana struck the tail of Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 while taxiing in Istanbul.

The Asiana aircraft had just arrived from Seoul after performing flight OZ551. It was taken out of service with return flight OZ552 cancelled. The Turkish plane’s tail was seriously damaged. The airport fire department responded however no injuries were reported.

I’ve seen planes clip each other on the runway, and trucks run into stationary aircraft plenty of times.

However something like this is rare, it’s incredible to watch, and incredible that there happens to be video at the very moment this happened.

Of course it’s a bit less dramatic than the time an Air France Airbus A380 struck a Delta regional jet at New York JFK. That big whale just spun the little CRJ around.

Here are more photos of the Asiana – Turkish incident.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hi Gary- nice to meet a fellow travel-nut/Austinite. Wondered your thoughts on rapid expansion of small airports like Austin’s- how do airlines decide to fight to make it ‘their’ airport (I’m a United person but Delta’s nice new terminal is tempting), how do the airport operations manage to stay safe in all the chaos, etc. Istanbul is over-crowded, so is Mexico City, and many others, but you can also see issues in smaller airports like AUS. Thanks, Lara

  2. Actually, it was not incredible that happened to be video at the very moment it happened. Those are cameras used to monitor ground traffic at the aprons, and they operate 24/7. All major airports have several of these. They serve many purposes, e.g they allow air traffic controllers to see areas obstructed by buildings or away from the tower. And they also provide documentation in case of occurrences like this.

  3. As if we need another reason not to fly Asiana after what happened at SFO…

  4. The Asiana jet lopped off the A321’s vertical stabilizer. It did not “totally take out the tail” (empannage) of the A321.

    The Korea Times reports that, according to Asiana, the flight was going to ICN not IST. The collision cancelled the remainder of the flight to Korea and Asiana got hotel rooms for the passengers. On Monday, Asiana sent another jet to transport the passengers to Korea.

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