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N802US accident description

Massachusetts map... Massachusetts list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Boston, MA
42.358431°N, 71.059773°W
Tail number N802US
Accident date 03 Feb 2001
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas MD-81
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On February 3, 2001, about 1225 eastern standard time, a Boeing 737-832, N3735D, operated by Delta Airlines Inc., as flight 2276, was substantially damaged when it was struck by another airplane, while standing at the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts. The other airplane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-81, N802US, operated by US Airways as flight 1215, sustained minor damage. None of the 6 crewmembers and 25 passengers aboard the Boeing were injured, nor were any of the 6 crewmembers and 98 passengers onboard the McDonnell Douglas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The Boeing had arrived on an instrument rules flight plan from the La Guardia Airport, Flushing, New York, and the McDonnell Douglas had an instrument rules flight plan on file to Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The scheduled passenger flights were conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

According to the captain of the Boeing, he was taxiing the airplane to Shuttle Gate 4, and had turned the airplane towards the gate to line up with the jetway. The captain then stopped the airplane on the yellow lead-in taxi line about 150 feet short of the jetway to await wing-walkers. A wing-walker soon arrived and instructed the flightcrew to remain stationary. As the airplane remained stopped, the flightcrew felt a shudder and vibration throughout the airplane. After being advised that his airplane had been struck by another airplane, the captain taxied to the jetway uneventfully and parked.

A flight attendant who witnessed the accident from Shuttle Gate 5, stated she observed the Boeing being stopped by a marshalling agent as it approached Gate 4, to await wing walkers. The flight attendant then looked out the window and observed a US Airways MD-81 being pushed back. A wing-walker, who was located off the right side of the MD-81, began to run towards the tug pushing back the airplane, signaling an emergency stop. The tug operator did not appear to respond and the MD-81's tail struck the Boeing.

The tug operator for the MD-81 stated that he began to start the pushback once he observed the Boeing pass by. During the pushback the tug operator was "watching the nosewheel and tow bar," and was distracted by other vehicle movements. The tug operator also lost sight of the Boeing at that time.

Damage reported by the operators included vertical stabilizer and rudder damage to the Boeing 737, and right horizontal stabilizer damage to the MD-81.

NTSB Probable Cause

The inadequate visual lookout by the MD-81's tug driver during the pushback operation.

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