NTSB Identification: NYC94LA144.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of ATLANTIC COAST AIRLINES (D.B.A. UNITED EXPRESS )
Accident occurred Monday, August 01, 1994 in WASHINGTON, DC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-8-311, registration: N433AW
Injuries: 1 Minor,53 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 COMMUTER AIRPLANE WAS PARKED AT THE GATE WITH 50 SEATED PASSENGERS, AND A CREW OF THREE. THE ENGINES WERE STOPPED, THE CHOCKS WERE IN PLACE, THE PILOTS WERE SEATED IN THE COCKPIT COMPLETING PAPER WORK, AND THE AIRSTAIR DOOR WAS OPEN. A BAGGAGE TRACTOR (DH4) HAD BROKEN DOWN, AND THE OPERATOR ASKED ANOTHER BAGGAGE TRACTOR OPERATOR (DH65), TO PUSH HIM TO THE END OF THE RAMP TO AWAIT SERVICE. DH65 BEGAN PUSHING DH4, WHICH STEERED TO PASS 15 TO 20 FEET TO THE LEFT OF THE AIRPLANE. AS DH4 ENTERED THE SERVICE ROAD, IT BEGAN TO TURN RIGHT TO HEAD WEST. AT THIS POINT, DH65 HAD NOT YET ENTERED THE SERVICE ROAD AND CONTINUED SOUTHWESTERLY FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEW FEET. AT THIS TIME, THE LEFT SIDE OF DH65'S FRONT HITCH, CONTACTED THE RIGHT SIDE OF DH4'S REAR HITCH. THE HITCH CONTACT JERKED THE FRONT OF DH65 TO THE RIGHT WHICH CAUSED THE DRIVER TO BE PITCHED HALFWAY OFF THE LEFT SIDE OF DH65. AS THE DRIVER FELL, HIS HAND PULLED DOWN ON THE STEERING WHEEL AND HIS FOOT PRESSED DOWN ON THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL. DH65 THEN VEERED INTO THE NOSE OF THE AIRPLANE.

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

THE VEHICLE OPERATOR'S IMPROPER HANDLING OF THE BAGGAGE TRACTOR RESULTING IN LOSS OF CONTROL OF A SECOND BAGGAGE TRACTOR BEING PUSHED AND ITS SUBSEQUENT COLLISION WITH THE AIRPLANE.

Full narrative available

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