NTSB Identification: IAD05LA118A
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES INC
Accident occurred Monday, August 08, 2005 in Newark, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/02/2007
Aircraft: Boeing 737-824, registration: N73270
Injuries: 205 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.
Six Embraer 145 airplanes were parked side-by-side in an unmarked, paved "run-up block" area between two parallel taxiways at a large, international airport, as they waited for further instruction from air traffic control (ATC). A Boeing 737-824 was instructed by ATC to continue on the taxiway, behind the line of airplanes, and park between the fifth and sixth airplane in the row. With the nose wheel centered on the taxi line, the right winglet of the Boeing struck the tails of the first two airplanes parked in the "run-up block," which resulted in substantial damage to one parked airplane. According to Advisory Circular 150/5300-13, Taxiway and Taxilane Design Rationale, "The need for ample wingtip clearance is driven by the fact that the pilots of most modern jets cannot see their airplane's wingtips." Taxiway Centerline to Object Separation states: "...a minimum separation between taxiway centerline and an object is 0.70 times the wingspan of the most demanding airplane plus 10 feet (3m)." According to the Airman's Information Manual, 2-3-4b. Taxiway Markings, Taxiway Centerline: "The taxiway centerline...provides a visual cue to permit taxiing along a designated path. Ideally the aircraft should be kept centered over this line during taxi to ensure wing-tip clearance." According to the FAA inspector who responded to the scene, the nose wheel of the Boeing was centered over the taxiway centerline.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The airport's failure to install markings on a parking "block" that bordered the taxiway, which failed to provide adequate clearance between taxiing airplanes and airplanes parked in the block. Factors in the accident were air traffic control's use of the unmarked parking "block," and the flight crew's misjudgement of the clearance between their airplane and the parked airplanes in the block, during taxi. Full narrative available
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