NTSB Identification: LAX94LA333.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AMERICA WEST AIRLINES, INC.
Accident occurred Friday, August 19, 1994 in PHOENIX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: BOEING 757-200, registration: N901AW
Injuries: 1 Serious,167 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE HEADSET OPERATOR WAS DISTRACTED FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS DURING PUSHBACK AND WAS RUN OVER BY THE NOSE WHEEL. GROUND WITNESSES SAID HE FAILED TO MAINTAIN A POSITION AT LEAST 10 FEET FROM THE AIRPLANE'S NOSE WHEEL AS HIS EMPLOYER REQUIRED. THE HEADSET OPERATOR WAS IN CHARGE OF THE PUSHBACK, AND IN THE PREVIOUS MONTH WAS HIRED AND COMPLETED THE OPERATOR'S COURSE OF RAMP SAFETY/PUSHBACK INSTRUCTION. THIS WAS HIS FIRST UNSUPERVISED EXPERIENCE. THE AIRLINE HAS A PROCEDURE WHICH REQUIRED THE HEADSET OPERATOR TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE FLIGHT DECK VIA A COMMUNICATIONS CORD WHICH WAS PLUGGED INTO THE AIRPLANE'S NOSE GEAR STRUT. THE AIRLINE HAD A SIMILAR GROUND ACCIDENT IN 1989 WHEN THE AIRLINE'S B-757 ALSO OVERRAN A HEADSET OPERATOR. IN APRIL 1994, THE FAA ALERTED THE OPERATOR OF HEADSET PUSHBACK ACCIDENTS FOLLOWING THE ISSUANCE OF THE SAFETY BOARD RECOMMENDATION A-93-55. AFTER THIS ACCIDENT, THE AIRLINE CHANGED ITS GROUND HANDLING EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES TO ELIMINATE THE NECESSITY OF A HEADSET OPERATOR WALKING IN THE PROXIMITY OF ANY AIRCRAFT NOSE WHEEL.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the failure of the headset operator to adhere to established company safety procedures when he diverted his attention during pushback. A factor in the accident was the airline's failure to modify its ground handling procedures and equipment to eliminate the need for ground personnel to be in close proximity to the aircraft landing gear during pushback operations.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug1994 | Index of months