NTSB Identification: NYC99LA127.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES
Accident occurred Friday, May 28, 1999 in STERLING, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Boeing 727, registration: N282SC
Injuries: 90 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 Boeing 727 was being pushed back by one person, who operated the pushback tug. The tug operator waited for an Airbus to approach the gate next to the pushback airplane and then began the pushback procedure. A catering truck was stopped behind the left wing of the 727, while the truck's driver waited for the Airbus to shut down it's engines. The catering truck driver stated, 'My partner yelled, 'He's moving or something' and instantly I tried to accelerate, but at the same time we were struck on the side and we were turning over...' Ramp personnel in the area observed the airplane heading towards the parked catering truck, and attempted to alert the tug operator. The Boeing 727's left wing struck the aft section of the catering truck. The airplane's left aileron and left wing tip were damaged. The distance from the airplane's left wingtip when parked at the gate, to the north edge of the service road where the catering truck was stopped, was about 75 feet.

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

Inadequate visual lookout by the tug operator. A factor in this accident was inadequate pushback procedures by the airline which failed to provide proper assistance (wing walkers) to the tug operator.

Full narrative available

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