NTSB Identification: DFW05IA200A
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier (D.B.A. TED Airlines)
Incident occurred Wednesday, August 03, 2005 in Denver, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Airbus A320-232, registration: N496UA
Injuries: 324 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
While taxiing east on Taxiway AA toward Gate A-48, an Airbus A320 collided with another Airbus A320 from the same company that had been pushed back from Gate A-40 and was holding on the ramp for the inbound traffic to clear. According to company policy, airplanes departing Concourse A were pushed back until the main landing gear wheels sat on the centerline of Taxiway AS, the northern taxiway. This policy assured airplanes taxiing on Taxiway AA (the southern taxiway) adequate wingtip clearance (about 30 feet), assuming their nose wheel stayed on the centerline. A witness said the holding airplane was pushed back too far from Taxiway AS and the taxiing airplane's nose wheel was on the centerline of Taxiway AA. As the inbound airplane taxied behind the holding airplane, its left winglet cut through the bottom section of holding airplane's tail cone. The flight crew on the inbound airplane recognized that the holding airplane was pushed back further than normal from the gate and elected to increase their wing tip clearance by moving to the right of the Taxiway AA centerline approximately 5 to 6 feet. As they approached the holding airplane, the captain reduced forward speed to a crawl, determined there was sufficient clearance between the two airplanes, and continued to taxi to their assigned gate. The flight crew onboard the holding airplane felt the airplane move slightly as the inbound airplane taxied behind them. Shortly after, both flight crews were notified of the collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The captain's failure to maintain sufficient clearance while taxiing to an assigned gate, which resulted in a collision with an airplane that had been pushed back (and holding) from another gate. Also causal was the tug operator's failure to follow published company procedures resulting in the holding airplane being pushed back too far, which reduced wingtip clearance of the taxiing airplane. Full narrative available
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