Plane crashes in parking bay

Aviation authorities are investigating after a United Airlines plane overshot a parking bay and collided with an aerobridge at Melbourne Airport.

The incident on Monday morning has put the aerobridge, used to connect aircraft to terminals, out of action.

One of the plane’s passengers, Luke, who did not want to give his last name, said he heard the crunching of fibreglass and aluminium when it hit.

‘‘The plane had almost stopped. I was sitting on the wing and saw it getting a bit too close for comfort to the aerobridge,’’ Luke said.

He said that you would have needed to be sitting on that side of the plane to hear it and he was not sure the pilots realised.

The light brush from the wing put a dent up between 40 centimetres and one metre into the aerobridge, Luke said adding that the flight staff remained professional while arranging for a stairway to brought to the plane.

He said it took about 20 to 25 minutes to push the plane back and another 20 minutes for the stairway to be connected and passengers allowed onto the tarmac.

Luke said a fire truck was near the plane as a precaution, given that the aircraft’s fuel is carried in its wings.

‘‘But I didn’t see anything leaking.’’

A Melbourne Airport spokeswoman there were no injuries to passengers. Stairs were used in place of the aerobridge.

She said the airport was investigating and would also work with authorities to assist their investigations.

United Airlines issued a statement saying that United flight 839 from Sydney to Melbourne made contact with the loading bridge when pulling into the gate.

"There were no injuries reported. The passengers and crew deplaned via stairs and our maintenance team is inspecting the Boeing 747 aircraft," the statement said.