Event Details

Title:Ground collision between a Boeing 767-300ER and a Boeing 737-924, Houston, December 15, 2005
Micro summary:This Boeing 767-300ER struck a holding Boeing 737-924 while taxiing to its loading area.
Event Time:2005-12-15 at 1805 CST
File Name:2005-12-15-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:DFW06IA025A
Site of event:Houston, TX
First AirplaneSecond Airplane
Departure:Louisville International Standiford Field, Louisville, Kentucky, USAUnknown
Destination:George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas, USAGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 767-300ERBoeing 737-924
Flight Phase:TaxiParked
Operator(s):United Parcel Service (UPS)Continental Airlines
Type of flight:CargoRevenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:00
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The captain's failure to maintain clearance from a parked airplane awaiting for a gate. A contributing factor was that taxi procedures were not issued by ground control to advise the captain that the ramp area where he was taxing was designated as a non-movement area and not under the tower's control. Another factor was that company notices to airmen (NOTAMS) were not issued to advise their pilots that tarmac markings in that particular ramp area were not accurate, and that the area was a non-movement area not under the control of the tower.

NTSB synopsis:

A cargo freighter was taxiing after landing to its loading area when it struck a parked airline passenger airplane that was waiting to enter its gate area. The cargo airplane was on the airport ground control frequency when the captain observed the airliner parked inside the double yellow lines, but he felt that the airplane was clear of its path. The passenger airplane was reported to be holding short of the gate due to traffic congestion in the gate area, with one engine running and monitoring its company ramp control frequency. The mishap occurred in the early evening, during the hours of darkness. After the collision, the airline passengers were deplaned via an airstair on to the ramp and then transported to the terminal. According to a current letter of agreement between the tower and the airport, this area of the ramp was established as a "non-movement area, " which is not under the control of the tower, including line markings. Neither airline had issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) to its pilots regarding this area.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On December 15, 2005, at 1805 central standard time (CST), a Boeing 767-300ER cargo-configured airplane, N319UP, operated by United Parcel Service (UPS) as flight 2774 sustained minor left wing damage when it struck the tail cone of a Boeing 737-924 passenger-configured airplane, N32404, operated by Continental Airlines, Inc. (COA) as flight 1423, while taxing after landing at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), near Houston, Texas. N32404, which also sustained minor damage to its tail cone and left horizontal stabilizer, was holding short of its gate area. There were no reported injuries to the two pilots of N319UP or to the two pilots, five flight attendants, and 167 passengers of N32404. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the scheduled flights conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121. The last departure airport for N319UP was the Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (SDF), near Louisville, Kentucky. The last departure airport for N32404 was the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), near Sacramento, California.

The UPS Captain stated that Houston Intercontinental (IAH) Ground Control had cleared N319UP to the ramp via taxiway "SF," after it landed on runway 27. As N310UP was taxiing along "SF," with the flight crew monitoring IAH Ground Control frequency, both pilots noticed the Continental 737 ahead and to their left, well inside the double yellow lines. They "felt the 737 was clear of our path."

The COA Captain stated that N32404 had been holding short of their assigned gate for about five minutes, with the parking brake set and one engine running, waiting to enter gate E-23. The ramp was congested and two other COA 737s were trying to exit the area. N32404 was monitoring Continental's East Ramp Control frequency for clearance to proceed to the gate. After the collision, the passengers were deplaned through the forward left passenger entry door via an air stair to the ramp and then into the terminal.

A letter of agreement between the Bush Intercontinental Tower and the Bush Intercontinental Airport effective March 12, 2004, established "non-movement areas" as: all ramps, aircraft parking areas, Taxiway SF from the south ramp to Taxiway NB, Taxiway NR from WW to Taxiway WB, Taxiway SD, Taxiway SE, Taxiway SC north of Taxiway SD, and the North Ramp connector. The pilot/controller glossary from the FAA's Air Traffic Control Manual (7110.65J) defines a "non-movement area" as: taxiways and apron (ramp) areas not under the control of air traffic.

Representatives from both operators stated that neither had issued any special notice to airmen (NOTAM) about the non-movement area; and the Jeppesen Information Services, a subscription service purchased by both airlines and provided to its pilots, did not depict taxiway SF as being a non-movement area. Jeppesen chart 70-9 (IAH airport diagram dated June 17, 2005) states, "Twys SD, SE, & SE North of Twy SD are designated non-movement areas operated by COA ramp control."

At 1653, the automated surface observing system at IAH reported wind from 290 at 3 knots, visibility of 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 12 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 02 degrees, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of Mercury.

Learning Keywords:Operations - Airport Markings or Lighting
Operations - Ground Collision
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Close match:Collision with edge lights on takeoff, Serious incident on March 5, 2002 at Dresden Airport involving an Aerospatiale ATR-72-212i
Collision with runway edge lights, Serious incident occurring 18 December 2000 at Dresden Airport to a Saab 2000
Ground collision between Airbus A340-313, 6Y-JMP and Boeing 777-222, Heathrow, N781UA
Ground collision between a Boeing 777-200, N781AN and an Airbus A340-300, TC-JDK, at London Heathrow Airport, November 6, 2005


Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
 All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.