NTSB Identification: ERA12CA038
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of DELTA AIR LINES INC (D.B.A. Delta Airlines)
Accident occurred Friday, October 07, 2011 in Atlanta, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2012
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT CO MD-88, registration: N922DL
Injuries: 81 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the tug driver, during pushback of the airplane from the gate, he turned the airplane early in order to avoid an airplane at an adjacent gate. He further stated that he did not straighten the tug in time, and it impacted the left side of the airplane he was pushing, which resulted in substantial damage to airplane's nose landing gear support beam and a puncture in the pressure vessel. According to the pilot of the flight, during pushback, the airplane overshot the centerline and was being moved back to the centerline when he observed the tug continue aft and then heard a metallic sound. The pilot further stated that the pushback did not appear to be too fast and that there appeared to be only minor directional control problems with the tug until the impact.

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

The tug driver's inadequate control of the tug while maneuvering the airplane during pushback.

Full narrative available

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