On September 8, 2006, about 1923 eastern daylight time, an Embraer EMB-170-100 SE, N864RW, operating as Shuttle America flight 6461, sustained substantial damage when it was struck by another airplane, while stopped on a taxiway at La Guardia International Airport (LGA), Flushing, New York. The other airplane, an Airbus A319-112, C-GJTA, operating as Air Canada flight 723, sustained minor damage. None of the 4 crewmembers and 66 passengers aboard the Embraer were injured, nor were any of the 6 crewmembers and 103 passengers onboard the Airbus. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The Embraer had an instrument rules flight plan on file to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois, and the Airbus had an instrument rules flight plan on file to Lester B. Pearson International Airport (CYYZ), Toronto, Canada. The passenger flights were to be conducted under 14 CFR Part 121 and 14 CFR Part 129, respectively. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The accident occurred where taxiway Foxtrot (F) and taxiway Alpha Alpha (AA) intersected.
According to the flight crews, the Airbus which was on taxiway F was cleared to "expedite across runway 22" as an airplane was on short final. The Embraer was stopped 16th in line for takeoff with the parking brake engaged, facing north on AA between taxiways F and Echo (E).
The captain of the Airbus realized that the Embraer, which was stopped on taxiway AA, would be in close proximity to his right side. After crossing runway 22 he slowed his airplane to "approximately 2 knots," and taxied "well to the left" of the centerline. Both the captain and first officer were unsure if the tail of their airplane had actually passed inside the "hold short" line separating taxiway F and runway 22.
The captain of the Airbus then lost sight of the Embraer 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 a third time, the right wingtip of their airplane made contact with the Embraer's right elevator.
According to recorded voice and airport movement area safety system (AMASS) data, the ground controller instructed Air Canada 723 to; "Keep the speed up, traffic two mile final. I want you to cross runway 4, correction, cross runway 22 at taxiway foxtrot, head straight ahead on fox, straight ahead on fox, right turn double bravo, hold short of echo."
This was acknowledged by the Air Canada flight crew, and at 19:23:14 the Airbus entered runway 22 while traveling southwest on taxiway F. At 19:23:25, AMASS depicted the Airbus clearing the opposite side of the runway and re-entering taxiway F. The ground controller then asked Shuttle America 6461, if they could "pull up just a little bit" and at 19:23:37, the target representing the Airbus merged with the target representing the Embraer. The first officer of the Embraer then asked over the radio "did someone just hit us?" At 19:23:56 a target representing an arriving American Airlines airplane (the traffic) crossed the depicted approach end of runway 22 and then passed abeam taxiway F at 19:24:19.
The elapsed time between the Airbus clearing runway 22 to both targets merging was 12 seconds. The elapsed time between the Airbus clearing the runway to the arriving airplane crossing the threshold was 31 seconds.
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 runway 22. The distance from the hold short line to the point of impact was approximately 145 feet. The width of taxiway F was 75 feet.
According to the manufacturer, the A319-112 was 111 feet long, with a wingspan of 111 feet, 3 inches.
According to the FAA, the captain of the Airbus held a Canadian issued airline transport pilot certificate with multiple ratings including airplane multi-engine land, and a type rating for the Airbus. According to records provided by Air Canada, he had a total flight time of 7,839 hours, with 4,207 hours in the Airbus.
According to the FAA, the first officer held a Canadian issued airline transport pilot certificate with multiple ratings including airplane multi-engine land, and a type rating for the Airbus. According to records provided by Air Canada, he had a total flight time of 4,499 hours, with 1,100 hours in the Airbus.
Damage reported by the operators included damage to the right wing fence and a filler panel to the Airbus, and right elevator damage to the Embraer.
A weather observation taken about 34 minutes prior to the accident, included, visibility of 10 miles. Review of sun and moon data obtained from the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Application Department for New York, New York, revealed that sunset was at 1917 and the end of civil twilight was at 1944. There was no lunar illumination at the time of the accident.