On May 24, 2000, approximately 1740 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150, N60825, was blown up onto its nose and wingtip while awaiting takeoff clearance for runway 31R at Boeing Field/King County International Airport, Seattle, Washington, for a 14 CFR 91 flight to Friday Harbor, Washington. The Cessna 150 sustained substantial damage in the occurrence, but the private pilot-in-command of the Cessna was not injured. The Cessna pilot reported that his aircraft was upset by jet blast from an Airborne Express Boeing 767 (B-767), N767AX, operating as Airborne Express flight 1414 on a 14 CFR 121 non-scheduled domestic cargo flight from Wilmington, Ohio. At the time the Cessna was upset, the B-767, which had just landed at Boeing Field, was executing a left turn into the Airborne Express ramp adjacent to the Cessna, which was in the runway 31R runup area at taxiway A8. There were no injuries to the airline transport pilot-in-command, first officer, or a jumpseat rider aboard the B-767, and no damage to the B-767 in the accident. Also, no other damage to any other property nor injuries to other persons were reported. Visual meteorological conditions, with winds from 300 degrees true at 6 knots, were reported at Boeing Field at 1753. The B-767 was on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, and the Cessna was not on a flight plan. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The Cessna pilot indicated that at the time of the occurrence, his airplane was in the south portion of the runup area, headed generally north. He stated that he had just completed his runup and switched to the tower frequency, and that another aircraft in the runup area moved out of the runup area and onto runway 31R for departure just ahead of him. The Cessna pilot stated that as the B-767 approached his aircraft, there was "lots of vertical clearance" from the B-767's wingtip to his aircraft, although the lateral clearance from the B-767's wingtip to his aircraft "appeared very close." He reported that as the B-767 reached a position abreast of him, it turned away from him. The Cessna pilot reported:
When my position was relative aft of the B767 the jet blast raised my right wing rolling the aircraft left and forward onto the left wing tip and propeller....The plane continued a left roll to what felt like a high angle of rotation on the left wingtip-prop axis....[Then] the turn of the B767 relieved the blast pressure, and my aircraft came back down on her gear.
Statements from the B-767 flight crew (provided by Airborne Express) indicated that after exiting runway 31L to the right at taxiway A4 in accordance with the tower's instructions, as the aircraft taxied southeast-bound on taxiway A (which parallels the two parallel runways on the east side of the airport), the flight crew noted two aircraft in the runway 31R runup area. The crew reported that the captain taxied slightly left to ensure adequate clearance with these two aircraft, then, after passing the aircraft, the captain returned to the taxiway centerline. The B-767 captain reported that when he started the turn into the parking area, the B-767's ground speed was 3 knots, "with enough power to maintain forward progress for [an] approximately 130 [degree] left turn." The crew reported there was limited room in the parking area, with an Airborne Express DC-8 aircraft parked in the area and "several ramp loaders and other ground equipment" between the B-767's parking spot and the parked DC-8. The B-767 flight crew reported they were unaware of the occurrence with the Cessna until maintenance personnel informed them after engine shutdown.
The Cessna pilot and (in a written statement to the FAA) the individual who marshaled the B-767 into its parking spot both stated that to avoid a jet blast incident, the B-767 captain had the option to stop his aircraft on the taxiway and hold short of the runup area until it was clear. Alternatively, the Cessna pilot suggested, large aircraft taxiing to parking areas in the vicinity of runup areas could be directed by ATC ground control to taxi down parallel taxiway B (to the west of the runways) to parking. This taxi route is free of potential jet blast conflicts with the taxiway A8 runup area for runway 31R but requires a crossing back across the primary instrument runway, 13R/31L.