NTSB Identification: MIA95LA135.
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Scheduled 14 CFR DELTA AIR LINES INC
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 24, 1995 in WEST PALM BEACH, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/1995
Aircraft: BOEING 727-232, registration: N489DA
Injuries: 136 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 AIRCRAFT WAS PUSHED BACK FROM THE GATE WITH TWO ENGINES OPERATING DUE TO AN INOPERATIVE APU. THE TUG DRIVER WAS ASSISTED BY TWO WING WALKERS. THERE WAS NO SIGNALMAN IN FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT AS REQUIRED BY DELTA AIRLINES PUSHBACK PROCEDURES. AFTER PUSHING THE AIRCRAFT STRAIGHT BACK AND TURNING THE TAIL TO THE LEFT THE TUG WAS POSITIONED TO THE RIGHT FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT. AS THE TUG MOVED FORWARD TO STRAIGHTEN THE NOSE GEAR THE SAFETY PIN ON THE TUG END OF THE TOW BAR SHEERED. THE AIRCRAFT BECAME DISCONNECTED FROM THE TUG AND ROLLED FORWARD STRIKING THE TUG WITH THE RIGHT FRONT AREA OF THE AIRCRAFT. AS THE AIRCRAFT ROLLED FORWARD THE TUG DRIVER'S HEADSET BECAME DISCONNECT FROM THE AIRCRAFT AND COMMUNICATION WITH THE COCKPIT CREW WAS LOST.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE GROUND PUSHBACK CREW TO FOLLOW DELTA AIRLINES PUSHBACK PROCEDURES AND PLACE A SIGNALMAN FORWARD OF THE AIRCRAFT IN VIEW OF THE CAPTAIN DURING PUSHBACK. THIS RESULTED IN THE CAPTAIN NOT BEING AWARE THAT THE TUG TOW BAR HAD DISCONNECTED AND THE NEED FOR HIM TO APPLY BRAKES TO STOP THE AIRCRAFT.

Full narrative available

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