Ambulance clips wing of Delta flight at Atlanta airport, FAA says

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — More than 100 passengers had to be moved from one Delta flight to another after an Atlanta Fire and Rescue ambulance clipped the wing of the plane at the world's busiest airport.

Channel 2's Tom Jones spent Monday working to figure out what happened.

Passengers wanted to know what happened when they learned of the incident. “How can that happen,” a passenger wondered out loud.

The plane had about 144 passengers on it, authorities said.

The plane was about to push off when the incident stunned a passenger, “If the airplane was on the concourse and then the airplane hit it ... Yeah somebody really messed up,” Felecia Hollowell said.

It happened Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. when Delta released a statement saying Flight-2244 was stationary at the gate prior to push back when the ambulance came into contact with the wingtip.

Delta said it put the passengers on an alternate flight, putting them about an hour and a half behind schedule.


The Federal Aviation Administration said it is now investigating.

“Somebody wasn't paying attention, that's what that sounds like to me,” Hollowell told Jones.

Jones went to the fire department looking for answers and asked officials how the emergency vehicle got so close to the plane?

“Well at the gate where we respond, they were responding to an emergency call,” Sgt. Cortez Stafford with the fire department told Jones.

Stafford says the driver of the medical unit was trying to get close to the gate to help someone in distress.

“There were some ground clearance issues as far as looking up to see where he could back out at and he just misjudged,” Stafford said, adding that there was minor damage to the plane and the passengers were moved as a precaution.

Authorities told Jones that the driver could be disciplined.

“This person will take additional training to understand what exactly happened just so we don't have this happen again,” Stafford said.

Stafford said the driver reported what happened and said, there are guidelines paramedics have to follow when traveling near airplanes, adding that an investigation will determine if those guidelines were followed.