NTSB Identification: NYC06LA222A
Scheduled 14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial AIR CANADA
Accident occurred Friday, September 08, 2006 in New York, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A319-112, registration: C-GJTA
Injuries: 179 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Airbus A319 was cleared to cross an active runway by a ground controller while an airplane was on short final. An Embraer EMB-170 was stopped 16th in line for takeoff with the parking brake engaged, on a perpendicular taxiway with its tail in close proximity to the taxiway the A319 just entered. While taxiing, the captain of the Airbus realized that the Embraer, which was stopped on the perpendicular taxiway, would be in close proximity on his right side. After crossing the active runway, and while approaching the EMB-170, both the captain and first officer became concerned as to whether the tail of their A319 had actually passed inside the hold short line for the active runway they just crossed. As the A319 approached the EMB-170 the captain slowed his airplane to approximately 2 knots, and taxied well to the left of the centerline. The captain of the A319 then lost sight of the EMB-170 and asked the first officer to "confirm clear of the Embraer." The first officer gave a verbal response along with a "thumbs up." Approximately 2 seconds later the captain asked the first officer "confirm still clear?" and the first officer responded "clear but close." Moments later as the captain was getting ready to ask the first officer for confirmation for a third time, the right wingtip of their airplane made contact with the EMB-170 airplane's right elevator. Sunset had occurred approximately 6 minutes prior and there was no lunar illumination. According to recorded voice data, the ground controller had instructed the A319 to, "keep his speed up" while crossing the runway since he had an airplane on a two mile final and then to join a taxiway which was past the stationary EMB-170. This required the A319 to pass behind it, despite its 111-foot wingspan. At approximately the time that the collision occurred the controller asked the EMB-170 if they could "pull up just a little bit" but, the first officer of the EMB-170 moments later asked over the radio if they had just been struck. A review of the airport layout plan and satellite imagery revealed, that the hold short line was located approximately 245 feet from the shoulder of the runway and the width of the taxiway was 75 feet.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The Airbus first officer's misjudged clearance from the EMB-170. Also causal was the ground controller's decision to issue a taxi clearance for the Airbus to pass behind the EMB-170. A factor to the accident was the light condition.

Full narrative available

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