NTSB Identification: ANC99LA107B
Nonscheduled 14 CFR operation of SEABORNE AVIATION INC.
Accident occurred Saturday, August 07, 1999 in KETCHIKAN, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2000
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6-300, registration: N224SA
Injuries: 34 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.

A pair of float equipped, twin engine airplanes were each parked parallel to a dock. The airplanes were separated by about eight feet, one in front of the other. Both airplanes, operated by the same company, were preparing to depart on sightseeing flights. The crew of first airplane, N288SA, was beginning a passenger briefing. The passengers were on board the airplane, but the engines had not been started. The crew of the second airplane, N224SA, had completed a briefing to their passengers, and had started the engines. N224SA was tethered to the dock by ropes attached to the floats at the forward and aft end of the airplane. Each rope was tended by a company dock handler. Due to a slight change in the manner the passengers arrived from a cruise ship, the passengers had not received a briefing booklet before boarding the airplane. A company representative approached the forward dock handler to hand the briefing booklets to the airplane crew. The aft dock handler observed this activity and mistook its meaning as a 'thumbs up' signal. He released the docking rope, allowing N224SA to begin moving forward under idle power. The nose of N224SA collided with the tail of N288SA. N288SA received damage to the rudder and trim tab assembly. N224SA received minor damage to the left pitot tube, and the left side of the nose.

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

A failure of ground handling personnel to verify a release procedure/directive, and removal of the airplane's tiedown, and subsequent collision with a parked airplane.

Full narrative available

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