Event Details

Title:Ground collision between two Boeing 757s, Fairbanks, February 20, 1996
Micro summary:This boeing 757-232 collided with another Boeing 757 while taxiing.
Event Time:1996-02-20 at 0002 AST
File Name:1996-02-20-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:ANC96LA026A
Site of event:Fairbanks, AK
First AirplaneSecond Airplane
Departure:Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska, USAFairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
Destination:Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USAUnknown
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 757-232Boeing 757-222
Flight Phase:TaxiParked
Operator(s):Delta Air LinesUnited Airlines
Type of flight:RevenueRevenue
Serious Injuries:00
Other Injuries:00
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

inadequate visual lookout by the flightcrew of the Delta Boeing 757, N622DL, and their failure to follow procedures and directives by not closely following the ramp marshals' signals.

NTSB synopsis:

The Delta Boeing 757, N622DL, was departing the ramp area in a right turn to begin the taxi for takeoff. The United Boeing 757, N524UA, was parked at an adjoining gate pending an imminent departure. As the Delta 757 came closer to the parked United 757, ground marshals for the Delta airplane believed that the left wing of the Delta airplane was likely to strike the left wing of the United airplane. The marshals gave the emergency 'STOP' signal, but the Delta airplane continued moving and struck the wing of the United airplane. The Delta airplane kept moving and continued towards the active runway. The Delta crew was advised via radio to return to the ramp area, where they were advised of the collision.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On February 20, 1996, about 0002 Alaska standard time, a Delta Airlines Boeing 757-232 airplane, N622DL, operating under 14 CFR Part 121 as Flight 367, collided with a United Airlines Boeing 757-222 airplane, N524UA, on the ramp at the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska. The United Airlines airplane was also operating under 14 CFR Part 121, as Flight 404. Both flights were en route to Anchorage, Alaska. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and both flights had filed IFR flight plans.

There was no emergency evacuation from either airplane, and there were no reported injuries among the 39 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the Delta Flight, or the 38 passengers and 7 crew members aboard the United airplane.

According to Delta Airlines personnel and other witnesses, the Delta airplane was leaving Gate 8, and had initiated a turn to its right to taxi to the departure runway. During the course of the turn, the left wingtip of the Delta 757 collided with the left wingtip of the United 757, which was loaded with passengers, but still parked at an adjoining gate, Gate 7.

The Delta 757 sustained minor damage to the left wingtip navigation light and housing; the United 757 received substantial damage to the left outboard aileron.

Written statements (attached) from the two Delta Airlines ramp marshals, disclosed essentially the same information. Both ramp marshals were "unplugged" from the airplane, i.e., they were not communicating to the flight crew through any electronic means. They observed the airplane moving away from the ramp in what appeared to be a wide right turn. The marshal nearest the left wing signalled the emergency "STOP" signal with his flashlight wands when it became clear to him that the left wing was coming too close to the United airplane's wing tip. The wing marshal stated that he thinks the accident could have been prevented if the crew had observed his signals and stopped in a timely manner. The marshal closest to the nose of the Delta airplane also gave an emergency "STOP" signal with his wands, mimicking the signal he saw the wing marshal give. The forward marshal is unsure if the flight crew would have been in a position to see his stop signal because of his position (near mid-galley) in relation to the flight deck. The forward marshal noted in his statement that he never gave the crew the release from ramp salute, signalling that the airplane was clear of all obstacles.

After the collision, the flight crew continued towards the active runway. The Captain wrote in his statement that he received a signal from the dispatching agent (ramp marshal) signalling him forward to the taxiway. The Captain later received information that the airplane needed to return to the gate area. Once he returned to the gate, he was informed of the collision.

The United Airlines airplane was removed from service. Temporary repairs were made to the debonded composite aileron, and a ferry permit was issued by the FAA which allowed the airplane to be flown to United's repair facility in San Francisco, California, where a new aileron was installed.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Ground Collision
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
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