Event Details

Title:Ground collision between a Douglas DC-8 and DC-10, Indianapolis, December 17, 1999
Micro summary:This Douglas DC-8 collided with a parked McDonnell Douglas DC-10 while taxiing.
Event Time:1999-12-17 at 1604 CST
File Name:1999-12-17-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:CHI00LA047
Site of event:Indianapolis, IN
Departure:Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Destination:Minneapolis St Paul International, Minneapolis,Mn., Minnesota, USA
Airplane Type(s):Douglas DC-8-62
Flight Phase:Taxi
Operator(s):Emery Worldwide Airlines
Type of flight:Cargo
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

the flight crew misjudged the clearance between their right wing and the radome of the parked aircraft. A factor associated with the accident was the ground handling contractor failed to identify the unsafe/hazardous condition that existed on the congested ramp area.

NTSB synopsis:

The right wing of a DC-8, Flight #638, collided with the radome of a parked DC-10 while taxing on the United Stated Postal Service (USPS) Eagle Hub Ramp. The DC-8 crew stated that the marshaller signaled them to pull forward out of the spot, then he signaled them to make a left turn to follow the green taxi line. The marshaller released the airplane prior to it intercepting the taxi line. It was during the turn that the airplanes collided. The USPS was conducting C-Net operations at the time of the accident. C-Net operations are in affect for the two weeks prior to Christmas during which parking and taxi routes are modified to support an increased number of cargo flights in airplanes larger then those normally used. Temporary dashed green taxi lines are painted on the ramp for C-Net operations. The ground handling contractor changed their procedures after this accident. The new procedures state that one marshaller will signal the airplane out of the parking spot and onto the appropriate taxi line, at which time a second marshaller will take over and direct the crew through the ramp area.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On December 17, 1999, at 1604 central standard time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62, N995CF, operated by Emery Worldwide Airlines as Flight #638, collided with a parked, Gemini DC-10, while taxing on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Eagle Hub Ramp at the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, Indiana. The captain, first officer, and flight engineer were not injured. The airplane received substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 121 cargo flight was originating at the time of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed.

Prior to taxiing, N995CF was parked in spot B4C. The DC-10 was parked in spot C2C. The captain reported they received their taxi clearance from Evergreen and they began to taxi from the parking spot with the assistance of a marshaller. (Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises, Inc., is under contract with the United States Postal Service to provide ramp control and ground handling on the Eagle Hub Ramp.) He stated they were directed to taxi forward then turn left and follow the green taxi line. The captain stated that after making the left turn, they were lined up on the yellow and black taxi line. He stated he corrected toward the green line, but felt that being on the green line would bring them too close to other aircraft parked on their left side. It was during the turn to align with the green taxi line that the right wing struck the radome of the parked DC-10. The captain reported, "Since there were no 'follow me' truck or wing walkers we had to keep diligence on the a/c wing tips ourselves."

The first officer reported, "We were taxied forward past the green-dashed lines as well as the solid yellow taxi line. The marshaller then gave us a left turn and released us to taxi on our own." He stated the captain, "...found the green dashed line to the left of the yellow taxi line and was attempting to taxi to the line when our aircraft's right wing tip struck the parked DC- 10 at which point we stopped and shut down."

The right wingtip, outboard wing rib and spar cap, sheet metal, wingtip lights and static wicks were damaged on N995CF. The radome, pitot tube, and an antenna on the parked DC-10 were also damaged.

C-Net operations were in affect on the Eagle Hub Ramp at the time of the accident. Emery Worldwide Airlines offered the following description of C-Net operations.

"The majority of Eagle Hub operations occur during the night with mostly B-727 sized aircraft. During the Christmas season, the USPS conducts a two week long C-Net operation during the daylight hours involving up to 40 aircraft, including multiple DC-8s, B-747s, DC-10s, and MD-11s. Because of the large number and size of the aircraft, the normal Eagle Hub Ramp aircraft parking and taxi routes are modified to support C-Net aircraft operations."

"During normal Eagle Hub operations, the taxi lines used between the parking rows are solid black and yellow lines. For the C-Net operations, taxi lines between several of the parking rows are temporarily moved to accommodate the larger aircraft and were painted dashed green lines. Depending on the parking spot, the aircraft would be directed by the Eagle Hub Ramp controller to follow either the normal black/yellow line or the temporary dashed green lines."

Following this accident Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprises, Inc., changed their operating procedures during C- Net operations at the Indianapolis International Airport. The new procedures are as follows: "One marshaller will startup the aircraft, check the surrounding area for hazards and signal the aircraft out of the block spot to the correct taxi line. The marshaller will then hand off the flight to the second marshaller. The second marshaller will position himself well ahead of the aircraft on the taxi line, thus directing the aircraft through the aircraft that may be on either side. The aircraft will then be released to proceed under ground control."
Learning Keywords:Operations - Ground Collision
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
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