On March 11, 1998, about 2115 eastern standard time, a Fokker F-100, N863US, operated by US Airways, was substantially damaged when it was struck by a ground vehicle while standing after push back at the Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The captain, first officer, 2 cabin attendants, and 83 passengers were not injured. The driver of the ground vehicle was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the scheduled domestic passenger flight. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 121. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a statement from the captain:
"...Subsequent to push back from Gate C-29, the aircraft was stationary with the parking brake set. As the push back crew was attempting to remove the tow bar, the left wing tip was struck by a fuel truck. The fuel truck came to rest approximately 100-150 feet to our left front...."
According to a statement from the first officer:
"...While the ground crew was attempting to remove the tow bar after push back, a fuel truck hit our left wing tip area...."
According to a statement from the fuel truck driver"
"...As I came around onto the service road I saw the plane already push out off of gates either C29 or C31. At that time also notice MTC looking like they were about to unhook from the plane already pushed out. From that observation I thought everything was fine and saw the service roadway to be clear. Then a tug driver drove out swinging wide onto the service [road] coming in the opposite direction. At that time I diverted my attention to the tug driver thinking I might have to stop or something to avoid this guy coming into contact w/me. In a split second as I made gesture to look back and then look back up I was struck in the head. I proceeded forward for maybe a yard more or two. Then I stopped, secured the vehicle, and called for assistance. I was hit but didn't know by what...."
The investigation revealed that the Fokker F-100 was not equipped with rear side wing tip lights.
The investigation further revealed that US Airways had conducted a two man push back in accordance with their ground procedures manual. The two people consisted of a tug driver/phone talker and a safety guide person. The safety guide person was nearby the nose wheel of the airplane. The US Airways ground procedures manual did not require a safety person with illuminated wands to be present at the service road when a portion of the airplane covered the service road.
The accident occurred with the airplane facing east on taxiway JULIET, and the left wing overhanging the outer service road.