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JS41, Birmingham UK, 2007

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Summary
On 26 June 2007, at Birmingham Airport UK, a BAe Jetstream 41 started an engine running pushback without using intercom between ground crew and flight crew. The pushback could not be completed as the towbar could not be disconnected and confusion over a decision to return the aircraft to the gate resulted in an attempt to do so with the aircraft brakes selected which caused the aircraft nose landing gear to collapse.
Event Details
When June 2007
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Ground Operations, Human Factors
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions On Ground - Normal Visibility
Flight Details
Aircraft BRITISH AEROSPACE Jetstream 41
Operator Not Recorded
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Birmingham International Airport
Take off Commenced No
Flight Airborne No
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Pushback/towing
PBT
Location - Airport
Airport Birmingham International Airport
HF
Tag(s) Flight Crew / Ground Crew Co-operation,
Procedural non compliance
GND
Tag(s) Towed aircraft involved,
Aircraft Push Back
Outcome
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Minor
Injuries None"None" is not in the list (Few occupants, Many occupants, Most or all occupants) of allowed values for the "Injuries" property.
Fatalities None"None" is not in the list (Few occupants, Many occupants, Most or all occupants) of allowed values for the "Fatalities" property. ()
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Airport Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) None Made
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Synopsis

On 26 June 2007, at Birmingham Airport UK, a BAe Jetstream 41 started an engine running pushback without using intercom between ground crew and flight crew. The pushback could not be completed as the towbar could not be disconnected and confusion over a decision to return the aircraft to the gate resulted in an attempt to do so with the aircraft brakes selected which caused the aircraft nose landing gear to collapse.

Description

The Report into the Accident produced by UK AAIB states:

"The aircraft was pushed back from Stand 2 at Birmingham Airport onto the centerline of Taxiway W, the parking brake was applied and the nose wheel was chocked. After the pushback the ground crew were unable to disconnect the towbar. The aircraft commander decided to return the aircraft to the stand. Headsets had not been used during the pushback and communication was via hand signals. The tug attempted to pull the aircraft back onto stand whilst the aircraft parking brake was still applied, and the nose gear collapsed."

Conclusions

The Report includes the following conclusions:

"Pushbacks are a routine manoeuvre, normally performed with headset communications between the flight deck and the pushback crew. The airport instructions and the operator’s towing procedures make no allowance for aircraft pushbacks without headsets. Nevertheless, it was not unusual for them to be conducted using hand signals only. Ground handling staff have now been instructed to use a headset at all times. A routine pushback became unusual when it was necessary to return the aircraft to stand. There’s no hand signal for ‘I would like to return to stand’ and the commander had difficulty in conveying his wishes to the pushback crew. The resulting breakdown in communication led to the aircraft being damaged."

The Report produces no Safety Recommendations.

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Further Reading