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N909FJ accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 36.080000°N, 115.152222°W
Nearest city Las Vegas, NV
36.174971°N, 115.137223°W
6.6 miles away
Tail number N909FJ
Accident date 30 Apr 2006
Aircraft type Bombardier, Inc. CL-600-2D24
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 30, 2006, at 2301 Pacific daylight time, a Bombardier CL-600-2D24, N909FJ, operated by Mesa Airlines, Inc., as Air Shuttle flight 6903, was stuck by a baggage cart while taxiing for takeoff at Mc Carran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. The airline transport pilot and first officer, 2 flight attendants, and 85 passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight that was operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight was originating from Las Vegas, with a planned destination of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, Texas.

According to a representative from Mesa Airlines, Inc., the airplane was traveling east down taxiway "C" toward the beginning of runway 25R. Upon reaching intersection C2, the captain noticed a string of baggage carts moving rapidly toward the airplane in an angled path from left to right. He swerved the airplane about 50 feet to the right of the centerline in an effort to circumvent the collision. The lead cart of the rolling baggage cart string struck the airplane's left wing, and the airplane traveled about 150 feet further down the taxiway before coming to a complete stop. The baggage cart came to rest wedged between the wing and taxiway surface. The airplane incurred damage to the left wing, encompassing the following areas: the slat, leading edge, undercarriage below the aft cargo door, and left wing tip edge.

The baggage cart was equipped with a manual towbar actuated front two-wheel brake system. The parking brake is designed to activate by the operator raising the towbar to the vertical position. When the bar is manipulated to this upward position, the brake/towbar-latch is hooked to a separate bar containing the brake tension-adjusting bolt. To release the parking brake, the brake/towbar-latch is designed to be pushed down by foot while the top of the tow bar is pushed inward toward the cart until the brake/towbar-latch is unhooked.

The string of carts came from the direction of the concourse D, gates 10 through 14. Northwest Airlines, the owner of runaway carts, issued an employee memorandum after the accident reiterating the importance of ensuring that the braking system is engaged when leaving carts unattended.

The closest weather observation station was located on site at Mc Carran International Airport. A routine aviation weather report (METAR) for the airport was issued about 5 minutes prior to the accident. It stated: skies clear; visibility 10 statute miles; winds 290 degrees at 4 knots; temperature 27 degrees Celsius; dew point 05 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.86 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The failure of ground service personnel to properly set the parking brake on the lead baggage cart.

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