A minor crash involving a taxiing United Air Lines DC10 and a mobile lounge at Dulles International Airport yesterday damaged the plane's wingtip, the lounge and possibly a parked airliner, but there were no injuries, airport and aviation officials said.
The incident occurred at 4 p.m., as United Flight 52 from Los Angeles taxied to Gate 15, officials said. One of the plane's wingtips struck the side of a mobile lounge attached to Northwest Flight 78. That plane, a Boeing 757 that had just arrived from Seattle, was parked at the adjoining Gate 17, officials said.
Fred Farrar, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said he believed there were passengers in the mobile unit at the time, but did not know how many. Nor did he know how many persons were aboard either plane at the time. Farrar could not describe the extent of damage. The incident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
John Davies, a 31-year-old systems coordinator from Alexandria, was on the United flight when the accident occurred. "It was a pretty good jolt," he said, but "nobody was really thrown about." He described the incident as "the large scale of a simple fender bender."