On March 24, 2000, about 1420 Eastern Standard Time, a Boeing 727-247, N297WA, operated by Delta Air Lines as flight 1865, was struck by a McDonnell-Douglas MD-88, N944DL, operated by Delta Air Lines as flight 1857, at Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts. Both airplanes received minor damage, and there were no injuries to the 202 occupants of either airplane, and the 4 ground personnel conducting the pushback of the MD-88. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plans had been filed, for the two flights which were conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

The Boeing 727 was parked at an adjacent gate with the jetway attached. Passenger loading was in progress.

The MD-88 was being pushed back for departure. The pushback crew consisted of two wing walkers, a walker by the nose, and the tug driver. As the airplane was pushed back, the tail was turned toward the Boeing 727. The MD-88 was then pulled forward a short distance, and pushed back again to make a change in direction. During the second rearward push, the right elevator of the MD-88 made contact with the rudder tab on the upper rudder of the Boeing 727.

The airplanes were separated and the MD-88 was returned to the gate where the passengers deplaned through the jetway.

According to statements received from DAL, the three ground walkers all signaled the tug driver to stop. According to the statement from the tug driver:

"...I did not want to jam on the brakes and bring him to a hard stop, so I tried to ease him to a comfortable stop...."

The damage on the Boeing 727 consisted of a tear in the fiberglass skin of the upper rudder tab. The upper rudder tab was replaced and the airplane was returned to service.

The damage on the MD-88 consisted of a four-inch long dent in the trailing edge of right side elevator anti-float tab. The airplane was ferried to Atlanta for repair with the damaged unit still in place.

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