On January 2, 2002, at 2120 eastern standard time, a Boeing 727-200, N262FE, owned and operated by Federal Express, collided with an airport tug during pushback for takeoff at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in Greenville, South Carolina. The domestic cargo flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 121 with an IFR flight plan. Instrument weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airline transport pilot and first and second officers were not injured nor was the tug driver, however the airplane received substantial damage. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the Captain, during the first phase of pushback, everything appeared normal. The first and second officers were completing the engine start check and the airplane was being pushed back from the gate when the airplane came to a stop. The tug operator stated that during pushback, the airplane nose wheel hit a patch of ice. As he applied brakes to stop the tug, the airplane began to slide. Unable to stop the movement, the tug driver jumped from the tug to avoid getting caught between the tug and airplane. The tug came to rest lodged under the fuselage of the airplane creating a 10-inch by 14-inch hole in the underside of the fuselage. The examination of the airframe revealed that two stringers on the bottom side were damaged. .
Witnesses stated that after deicing the airplane, the tug operator began to pushback the airplane. The parking area was clear of ice but the ramp was slick. The tug operator parked the airplane on the taxi line at a 90-degree angle from the tug and engaged the brakes. According to the operator, "due to the ice on the ramp, the momentum of the tug caused the tug to slide into the airplane."