NTSB Identification: DCA10IA006
Scheduled 14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial operation of British Airways PLC (D.B.A. Brithish Airways)
Incident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 2009 in Dulles International Airport, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2010
Aircraft: BOEING 767, registration: G-BNWY
Injuries: Unavailable

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The captain stated that during the taxi, the airplane was always on the yellow painted line on the pavement, and that the parking area appeared clear of vehicles and obstructions. The lead marshaller was indicating “all clear” with lighted wands, and as the airplane neared the final parking position, it came to a stop. The first officer characterized the stop as “gentle”, as if the aircraft had met an inclined ramp. The lead marshaller continued to indicate “taxi forward” and some engine thrust was applied by the first officer, but because the airplane did not move, he retarded the throttles. The lead marshaller then indicated a routine “stop”.

An examination of the B38/B40 parking area revealed that the B40 gate was not retracted and parked within its safety zone by airline personnel. Due to the proximity of jetways B38 and B40 to a ramp road or lane utilized by ground support vehicles, Evergreen E.A.G.L.E policy called for wing marshallers to remain near the road as aircraft are parked. This allowed them to stop ground support vehicle traffic until the parking airplane’s engines were shut down. At the time of the incident, they did not “walk the wings” into the parking spots.

The lead marshaller stated that he was in place on top of an airplane tug, but that jetway B38 blocked his view of the outer portion of the left wing as the airplane taxied toward him. He stated that he did not see the left side marshaller make any signals to stop the airplane. The left side marshaller, positioned behind the airplane at the ramp road, stated that he saw that the left wing was about to contact jetway B40, and signaled to the lead marshaller to stop the airplane. When he saw that the lead marshaller was not responding, he ran forward, but by that time the wing contact had already occurred.

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

The failure of the lead and left side marshallers to identify the B40 jetway obstacle and stop the airplane's taxi before the wingtip contacted the jetway.

Contributing to the cause of this incident were inadequate marshalling procedures used by the ground support company, which failed to: (1) provide sufficient personnel to ensure that visual contact was maintained at all times when airplanes were taxiing to the gate area and (2) verify proper positioning of jetways in the taxi path of the airplane before directing airplanes into the gate area.

Full narrative available

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