WARWICK, R.I. — A US Airways plane carrying 36 people struck an empty one on the ground at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, slightly damaging both aircraft but injuring no one, officials said Tuesday.
US Airways Express Flight 3315, an Embraer 175 regional jet bound for Philadelphia and operated by Republic Airlines, was being pushed away from a gate by an airline employee when it hit the empty, stationary US Airways Flight 815, an Airbus A321 jet bound for Charlotte, N.C., airport spokeswoman Patti Goldstein said.
“The employee that was pushing the aircraft pushed it too closely to an aircraft that was parked at the next gate,” she said. “It was a mishap.”
Neither plane was powered at the time, Goldstein said. That suggests it was a “very low-speed incident,” said Morgan Durrant, a spokesman for US Airways.
The airplanes were in the gate area, not the runway area, and the pilot was not talking to air traffic control at the time, said Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The wing of the Philadelphia-bound plane was damaged. The tail of the other plane was damaged, Durrant said; it was an exhaust unit, according to Salac. Goldstein described the damage as minor.
Both flights were canceled, and passengers were put on other flights.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, as is the airline, Durrant said. Republic Airlines is also investigating, spokesman Carlo Bertolini said.
The FAA will decide whether it needs to investigate further, Salac said.