ANC96LA042
ANC96LA042

On April 1, 1996, at 1100 Alaska standard time, a retractable gear, wheel equipped DC-6-B airplane, N861TA, registered to and operated by Woods Air Fuel, Inc., of Palmer, Alaska, collided with ground fuel tanks at Beluga, Alaska, during taxi after landing. The business flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 91, departed Palmer and the destination was Beluga, Alaska. A company flight plan was in effect and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The certificated airline transport pilot- in-command, the first officer, and the flight engineer were not injured and the airplane received substantial damage.

During a telephone interview with the crew on April 4, 1996, they stated that the Captain was taxiing the airplane because he had control of the nose gear steering wheel. They were making a right turn in the parking area attempting to position the airplane close to the ground fuel tanks in order to off load their fuel cargo. The Captain stated in the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 that the area is very tight for a DC-6 airplane. During the right turn, the left wing tip struck a steel upright support for an open building. The Captain stopped the airplane and called for reverse. As the Captain backed up the airplane, the left elevator, left stabilizer, and vertical fin struck a steel fuel tank being stored near the parking area. The Captain stated that the airplane did not back up along the same ground track made during the forward taxi. He stated that when operating in reverse, the weight on the nose wheel is reduced.

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