NTSB Identification: ANC97IA011.
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Incident occurred Thursday, December 05, 1996 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-80, registration: N954AS
Injuries: 112 Uninjured.

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

The airplane was pushed back from the gate, the tug was disconnected, and the engines were started. The push back tug drove away to the gate. Another tug towing a baggage cart with 3 pieces of late cargo drove up to the mid cargo compartment on the right side of the airplane. The baggage tug driver and the right side wing walker began to load the cargo in the mid section cargo compartment. One piece of cargo would not fit. They began to carry the cargo to the forward cargo compartment. The left side wing walker, who had been standing in front of the airplane and was considered to be the marshaller, walked to the forward cargo bin and opened the door and began to assist in the loading. The airplane began taxiing and the right wing struck the tug which had parked in front of the right wing. The ground mashaller did not give a wave off to the flight crew, nor did he alert the flight crew that additional cargo was to be loaded as required by the flight operations manual and the customer services manual. The flight crew did not receive nor did they give a salute to anyone. They did not use their nose wheel taxi light to signal anyone as stated in their flight operations manual.

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

The ground crew's failure to maintain communication with the flight crew while loading cargo after pushback and engine start, and the ground and flightcrew's failure to follow the procedure outlined in their manuals concerning use of marshallers during pushback and waveoff signals by the groundcrew and flightcrew.

Full narrative available

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