NTSB Identification: ANC03LA043.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 10, 2003 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6, registration: N886EA
Injuries: 19 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 captain was taxiing the airplane to the gate area at the conclusion of a scheduled domestic passenger flight. The airplane was being marshaled into a parking spot by a single ground guide utilizing hand signals. No other airplanes were parked nearby, and wing-walkers were not utilized. As the airplane was being positioned by the ground guide, the underside of the left wing struck the top of a parked fleet service van. Inspection of the left wing revealed that the outboard flap hinge assembly was displaced upward requiring replacement of the outboard rib, the outboard flap hanger assembly, and wrinkled upper wing skin near the wingtip. The director of safety for the operator reported that a wing walker was not available or used as required by company policy when aircraft are operated near obstacles.

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

The failure of the captain to maintain adequate clearance between the airplane's wingtip and a parked vehicle. A factor contributing to the accident was the failure of ground personnel to utilize a wing walker as prescribed in company policy when aircraft are operated near obstacles.

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