Aer Lingus A330 Winglet Strikes Concrete Pole at SFO
Passengers on board an Aer Lingus Airbus A330 were forced to wait on the plane after landing at San Francisco (SFO) when the aircraft's winglet struck a concrete pole while being taxied to its gate.
Aer Lingus Flight 147 had just landed at SFO from Dublin (DUB) at 2:52pm local time on Wednesday, according to tracking site FlightRadar24. The A330-300 (registration EI-GAJ) was being towed to its gate when the winglet clipped a concrete column. According to ABC 7 News, the tow operator misjudged the distance between the winglet and the building.
According to an Aer Lingus spokesperson, some minor damage was caused to the winglet, but none of the passengers or crew on board the aircraft were injured.
"Aer Lingus can confirm that while EI147, arriving in San Francisco airport from Dublin, was being towed to its stand by the ground handling agent, the winglet of the aircraft touched the airport terminal building," the spokesperson told Independent.ie.
Passengers on board the aircraft were reportedly forced to wait on board for close to an hour while ground crew assessed the situation. Eventually, the aircraft was towed the rest of the way to the gate and passengers were able to deplane.
The aircraft, EI-GAJ, was supposed to operate the following flight back to Dublin (DUB) — Flight 146. However, that flight was eventually canceled. An Aer Lingus spokesperson said that a full investigation is underway, and passengers supposed to be traveling on Flight 146 will be accommodated on an alternative flight.
According to PlaneSpotters.net, EI-GAJ is a rather new aircraft — just more than one year old. The A333 was only delivered to Aer Lingus in May 2017, and the Irish carrier has been its only operator. According to FlightRadar24, EI-GAJ is still at SFO.