NTSB Identification: CHI90FA075.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42230.
Nonscheduled 14 CFR operation of FEDERAL EXPRESS
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 31, 1990 in INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/1992
Aircraft: BOEING 727, registration: N519FT
Injuries: 1 Fatal,6 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE BOEING 727 WAS CHOCKED AWAITING A TUG. A MECHANIC/RAMP EMPLOYEE BROUGHT A TUG AND TOW BAR TO THE AIRCRAFT. AFTER APPROACHING THE AIRCRAFT, HE STOPPED THE TUG, DISCONNECTED THE TOW BAR FROM THE TUG AND CONNECTED IT TO THE NOSE GEAR OF THE AIRCRAFT. HE RE-BOARDED THE TUG TO BRING IT CLOSER TO THE TOW BAR FOR ATTACHMENT. RATHER THAN STOPPING, THE TUG CONTINUED FORWARD AND CONTACTED THE BAR, WHICH SLID OFF THE FACE OF THE TUG. THE TUG CONTINUED FORWARD AND CONTACT WAS MADE WITH THE UNDERSIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT'S NOSE, CRUSHING THE EMPLOYEE BETWEEN THE TUG AND THE AIRPLANE. THE TUG DRIVER WAS WEARING A BUILT-UP SHOE ON HIS RIGHT FOOT. TESTS SUBSEQUENT TO THE ACCIDENT REVEALED THAT WITH THE SHOE PLACED UNDER THE BRAKE PEDAL OF THE TUG, BRAKING ACTION OF THE TUG WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO STOP THE VEHICLE. SCUFF MARKS AND SIGNS OF SCRAPING WERE NOTED ON THE TOE OF THE BOOT, THOUGH THE SOURCE OF THE SCRAPE/SCUFF MARKS WAS NOT VERIFIED.

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

THE TUG OPERATOR'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OF THE TUG, POSSIBLY DUE TO HAVING INADVERTENTLY PLACED OR CAUGHT HIS BUILT-UP, STEEL-TOE BOOT UNDER THE BRAKE PEDAL.

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