INCIDENT: Southwest and Cargolux Touch Wings!

By Spyros Georgilidakis | June 21, 2021

A ground collision incident between a Southwest 737 and a Cargolux 747, took place in Chicago O’Hare Airport last Saturday. There were no injuries.

INCIDENT: Southwest and Cargolux Touch Wings!
Image: Boeing

This event involves Southwest flight WN2750 and Cargolux CV9796. The Southwest crew had landed at O’Hare Airport (KORD) after flying in from Fort Lauderdale (KFLL) in Florida. However, it seems that they landed about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. So, they couldn’t go straight to their gate in Chicago, because another aircraft was there. So instead they taxied to A Pad, on the east side of the airport.

Meanwhile, the Cargolux crew were about to start taxiing to the runway, for a flight to their home base, in Luxemburg (ELLX). Taxiing for take-off, the Cargolux 747 would go past the Southwest 737, in A Pad, setting up the incident. Unfortunately, it seems there wasn’t enough wing clearance between the two Boeings.

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Cargolux – Southwest Incident Aftermath

In the process, the leading edge of the Cargolux 747’s right wing, hit the top of the Southwest 737’s winglet. Both aircraft suffered damage as a result. The Cargolux 747’s flight was cancelled. Southwest, too, had to cancel this aircraft’s subsequent flight. But there were no injuries from the incident.

INCIDENT: Southwest and Cargolux Touch Wings!
Image by @JacdecNew via Twitter

These pandemic times have seen more than their fair share of ground incidents. Some were due to unusual ground handling requirements, relating to long-term parking for planes. Ramping up operations after a long time on the ground, could be another. But the Southwest – Cargolux incident in Chicago may relate to a different cause. The airport is undergoing development, which means that taxiway routings are changing, putting aircraft down unusual paths.

As of this writing, both the Southwest and Cargolux aircraft are still on the ground in Chicago after the incident. The Southwest plane is a 737-7H4(WL), that will have its 16th birthday tomorrow (Tuesday). Its tail number is N218WN. The Cargolux jet is a 747-8F (747-8R7F), with tail number LX-VCE. It is just over 9 years old. The airline calls it “City of Echternach”.

INCIDENT: Southwest and Cargolux Touch Wings!
Image: Boeing

After the incident, damage to both Cargolux and Southwest aircraft is described as “minor”. Hopefully, they will both return to service soon.


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