747 clips commuter plane at O’Hare, no injuries reported

No injuries were reported Wednesday after a 747 cargo jet clipped an American Eagle commuter plane at O’Hare International Airport.

The minor collision occurred just after 1 p.m. An EVA cargo plane was on a taxiway when it came in contact with American Eagle Flight 4265, which was arriving at a gate after traveling from Springfield, Mo., said Karen Pride, spokeswoman for Chicago Department of Aviation.

The American Eagle plane had 21 people on board; the cargo plane had three, officials said. Passengers and crews on both aircraft refused medical treatment after being evaluated by the Chicago Fire Department, department spokesman Larry Langford said.

Both planes have been moved from the gate at Terminal 3 where the collision took place. One plane reportedly had a minor fuel leak. Pride said the collision is under investigation.

Aviation experts said although taxiing around a terminal may seem a slow, easy process to passengers, there’s a lot of intricate coordination that goes on between pilots and air traffic controllers. There’s also a lot of airport activity that can affect a plane’s progress as it maneuvers to the gate.

“One of the most challenging times that requires a pilot’s full attention is on the ground ... it can be as challenging as in the air,” commercial airline pilot Dennis Tajer said.

Often pilots are working in very compact areas given the wingspan of the aircraft they operate.

“Although it’s often assumed there’s a lot of space by passengers, in reality, it’s a very tight margin,” said Tajer, an Arlington Heights resident.

Daily Herald Staff Writer Marni Pyke contributed to this report

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