A JetBlue aircraft unexpectedly tipped backward onto the tarmac while passengers were getting off a flight from Barbados at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday night.
The plane had just landed from Bridgetown, Barbados, at around 8:30 p.m., and the incident happened while crews were unloading the plane.
The airline stated that the JetBlue flight 662 incident was due to “a shift in weight and balance.” The aircraft has been taken out of service for inspection.
Images shared online show the Airbus in a tilted-back position, with its tail near the ground and its front pointing upward.
“Once at the gate, due to a shift in weight and balance during deplaning, the tail of the aircraft tipped backward, causing the nose of the aircraft to lift up and eventually return back down,” JetBlue spokesman Derek Dombrowski said in a statement.
“No injuries were reported. Safety is JetBlue’s first priority; we are reviewing this incident, and the aircraft has been taken out of service for inspection,” Mr. Dombrowski added.
Passenger Recounts ‘Scary’ Incident
One of the passengers who was onboard at the time of the incident said passengers screamed and grabbed for their seats. She described her experience in a video she posted on TikTok.
“I was seated maybe three-quarters the way back into the plane, and when just over half the plane exited, or maybe a little bit more, the plane abruptly tipped backward so quickly and intensely that the tail of the plane hit the pavement,” said Sinead Bovell.
“Part of the jetbridge and part of the plane door broke,” she added, showing photos of the damage to her followers.
“Airport crew said they heard on their walkie-talkies [that] the nose of the plane is 10 feet in the air,” she added.
Ms. Bovell showed photos that she took from inside the plane while it was tipped backward. She noted that she moved to sit in a seat nearer the forward exit as passengers sought to “strategically rebalance the plane.”
“Which is why I’m now at the front,” she noted. The rebalancing of the plane forced the front of the aircraft to tip back down, which Ms. Bovell described as a “scary” moment.
Pointing to a damaged section of the plane’s forward door, Ms. Bovell said the crew “tried to start fixing” it and told passengers to move back.
“But we all just panicked and had enough and said, ‘Wait til we get off,'” she added.
The JetBlue passenger said the remaining passengers then began to “strategically exit” two rows at a time, pausing before the next two rows could exit.
Ms. Bovell noted that it was fortunate that no passengers were exiting the aircraft at the time that it first tipped backward, pointing to the damage to the plane’s door and the jet bridge.
The plane, which arrived at JFK at 8:30 p.m., tipped backward as passengers were standing to get their luggage, she told CBS News in further comments.
How were the passengers safely transported to the terminal after the incident?
Id, “It was a really scary moment. I felt the plane tip backward suddenly, and everyone started screaming and grabbing onto their seats for support. We were all so relieved when the plane eventually leveled out again. The crew handled the situation well and kept us informed throughout.”
Passengers were then escorted off the aircraft and transported to the terminal by buses. Despite the frightening experience, no injuries were reported.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining proper weight and balance on aircraft. Any unforeseen changes in weight distribution can have significant consequences, as demonstrated by the JetBlue Flight 662 incident. Airlines must continue to prioritize safety and ensure that all necessary inspections and maintenance procedures are followed.
In recent years, there have been several instances of aircraft incidents during landing or takeoff. These incidents highlight the potential risks involved in aviation and the need for constant vigilance and adherence to safety protocols.
The aviation industry has made significant advancements in terms of safety measures and technology to mitigate such incidents. However, continuous review and improvement of safety protocols and practices are essential to prevent accidents and protect the lives of passengers and crew members.
JetBlue is not the only airline to have faced weight and balance-related incidents. In 2019, a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. The crash was attributed to a faulty sensor that caused the automated flight control system to mistakenly push the plane’s nose down.
Accidents like these underscore the importance of thorough inspections, rigorous pilot training, and robust safety procedures. Airlines must remain diligent in their commitment to safety to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
As investigations into the JetBlue Flight 662 incident continue, it is crucial for authorities and industry stakeholders to collaborate and address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the incident. Lessons learned can be used to enhance safety practices across the industry and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
In conclusion, the JetBlue Flight 662 incident serves as a reminder of the importance of weight and balance in aviation operations. Airlines must prioritize safety and ensure that all necessary inspections and maintenance procedures are followed to prevent accidents. By learning from incidents like these, the aviation industry can continue to improve safety protocols and practices, ultimately ensuring the well-being of passengers and crew members.
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