The Washington Post

As Air France a380 clips smaller plane, air traffic controller remains amazingly calm

An Air France Airbus 380 jetliner is seen at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport April 11. The plane clipped the tail of a smaller regional jet on the ground at New York's John F. Kennedy airport on Monday night, but no injuries were reported, the Federal Aviation Administration said. (JESSICA RINALDI/REUTERS)

In the audio provided by the Associated Press courtesy of, you can hear the Air France pilot communicating routinely with a John F. Kennedy Airport controller, followed by the pilot of the smaller plane stating matter-of-factly that they’ve been hit.

The controller quickly calls for emergency assistance and tells the small plane’s pilot with a great New York accent, “Let me know if you need anything.” While my response would have been, “I need to get me off this plane before I have a total meltdown!” all parties involved kept their cool. These pilots and controllers have slightly restored my faith in air travel, especially after news that two planes landed at Reagan National Airport without the assistance of an air traffic controller, who was asleep.


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