NTSB Identification: FTW98LA351.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR operation of PRIME AIR, INC. (D.B.A. TRANSMERIDAN AIRLINES )
Accident occurred Saturday, August 08, 1998 in DENVER, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/11/2000
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A-320-231, registration: N302ML
Injuries: 1 Serious,180 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 and the crew set the parking brake. They notified the ground crew that they were cleared to disconnect the tug from the aircraft. The flight crew received a clearance by Ramp Control and began to taxi. The nose wheel of the aircraft then ran over one of the ground crewman's legs. According to the injured crewman, the tow bar connection to the aircraft was jammed. He disconnected the tow bar from the tug, and went to release the tow bar from the airplane's nose. He noticed the aircraft start to move, then roll over his legs. According to him, at no time following his braking instructions to the flight crew did he give them a clearance signal to initiate taxi. According to cockpit voice transcripts, a crew member replied, 'I apologize, I thought we were clear' after being told of the accident. The tow bar was still attached to the aircraft and the tug was still directly in front of the aircraft immediately following the accident. Neither the airline nor the ramp contractor's pushback procedures provide instructions for communications should there be a problem with the tow bar disconnect process. This was a contract operation with a weekly frequency.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of the flight crew to comply with braking instructions after being instructed by ground personnel. Full narrative available
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