Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gulfstream Aerospace GV-SP (G550), N557H and Beech C90A, N928TT: Accident occurred August 14, 2012 at Nashville International Airport (KBNA), Tennessee



A police officer talks on his radio at the scene where two airplanes collided on a ramp Tuesday afternoon at Nashville International Airport. No one was injured.




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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two planes collided at Nashville International Airport Tuesday afternoon, causing a pile-up on a ramp at a private aviation facility.

The crash happened on the ground just before 3 p.m. Officials said the planes were a Gulfstream G550 and a Beechcraft King Air. No injuries were reported. No passengers were on board the planes when the collision occurred.

The Gulfstream Aircraft was corporate jet registered to the H.J. Heinz Company and owned by Bank of America. Heinz released a statement late Tuesday afternoon explaining that the incident occurred while the plane was being towed by Atlantic Aviation.

Officials made clear that there was no flight crew, or Heinz executives aboard the jet at the time of the towing incident. The plane had recently flown members of Heinz senior management team to Nashville.

“Heinz is launching a thorough investigation into the incident and we are cooperating fully with the FAA and officials. Safety is paramount at Heinz and we are taking this matter seriously,” the company said in an official release.

PHOTOS: Planes Collide At Nashville Airport 

The King Air plane was a private plane registered to West Air Holdings out of Memphis. The plane was in scheduled to depart Nashville Airport at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday headed to Memphis. West Air Holdings is a real estate investment firm.

This is the second such incident of planes colliding at an International Airport in less than a week. On Friday, a Lufthansa Airbus A330 and a United Express Bombardier Q40 clipped wings while taxing on a runway.  No injuries were reported in the crash, but there was some damage to the planes’ exteriors.
A Gulfstream G550 jet and a Beech 90 twin engine collided into each other at Nashville International Airport, while on a taxi way before 3 p.m. CT, according to Nashville's NBC-affiliate WSMV. 

Airport spokesperson Kim Richard told NBC News that the Gulfstream was being towed in the general aviation side of the airport when the accident happened. No passengers were aboard the two private planes. Both commercial and general aviation operations at the airport are unaffected, Richard said.  The FAA is investigating the incident,. WSMV reported that the Gulfsteam jet is registered to H J Heinz Co., while the twin engine plane is registered to West Air Holdings, LLC of Memphis, Tenn. 

The private planes - a Gulfstream G550 jet registered to H. J. Heinz Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, and a Beech 90 twin engine registered to West Air Holdings, LLC of Memphis - collided in the general aviation area before 3 p.m. 

A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said the Gulfstream jet was being towed on the Atlantic Aviation ramp when it apparently broke loose from the tug and collided into the parked Beech plane.  The nose of the Gulfstream jet wedged beneath the Beech plane, lifting the rear of the smaller Beech plane off the ground. 

Michael Mullen, Heinz vice president of corporate affairs, said the plane had flown Heinz employees to a customer meeting in Nashville, and no flight crew or Heinz executives were aboard the jet at the time of the incident.  An airport spokesperson said airport operations were not affected.  The FAA is investigating. Mullen said "safety is paramount at Heinz," and the company is "cooperating fully with the FAA."