On April 1, 1997, at 2220 eastern standard time, N280MA, a Fokker F27, operated by Eagle Jet Charter Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada, was substantially damaged when it was struck by a driverless Nations Air maintenance van, while standing on the ramp at the Atlantic City International Airport, Atlantic City, New Jersey. The certificated airline transport pilot, co-pilot, flight attendant and the 34 passengers were not injured, while one passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for charter passenger flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 121. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that while taxiing slowly through the ramp area, he observed a van approaching the airplane from the "10 to 11 o'clock position." He said the van was travelling in reverse motion from left to right. He signaled the van with the landing lights, but the van passed the nose of the airplane in a curving turn. He stopped the airplane, but the driverless van continued in reverse until it struck the right rear fuselage.
According to the driver of the maintenance van, he had exited the running van to work on another airplane without setting the parking brake. He had placed the gear shift handle in the park position.
According to a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, the van's transmission was replaced the day of the accident, and the gear selection indicator on the steering column was missing.