CHI95LA094
CHI95LA094

On March 5, 1995, about 1908 central standard time, a Beech 1900, N130UE, registered to Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd., and operated as United Express Flight 6048, collided with an untended baggage cart and step stool while taxiing to parking at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The airplane received substantial damage as a result of the collision. The two flight crew members and 16 passengers on board the airplane reported no injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight operated on an IFR flight plan. The flight operated under 14 CFR Part 135, and originated from Des Moines, Iowa, approximately 1747.

The Captain reported the flight was cleared to parking via the inner Echo (E) taxiway. He stated as they neared the commuter airplane parking area, they encountered a DC-9 positioned on the inner taxiway centerline, blocking their progress. The Captain reported he considered taxiing around the DC-9 on the outer Echo taxiway, but decided against it because of other traffic and the DC-9 jetwash. Instead, the Captain elected to taxi on the parking ramp, passing between a parked commuter airplane and the DC-9. He reported he and the first officer did not observe any obstacles on the parking ramp, and proceeded to taxi "...at an extremely slow taxi speed..." past the stationary airplanes. The Captain stated as they passed between the airplanes they heard a loud noise and felt extreme vibrations, as the airplane struck the untended objects.

The Captain stated the night was dark, with light snow falling, and the parking ramp was not well lit. He stated there was no reflective tape on the baggage cart or step stool, nor was there anything else to draw attention to the objects. He indicated he had turned off the taxi light (per company general operating procedures) so as not to blind the DC-9 flight crew.

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