LAX02LA126
LAX02LA126

On April 5, 2002, about 0940 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N4181M, struck a fuel truck with its right wing while taxiing to runway 3 at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport, Goodyear, Arizona. The airplane was owned and operated by the Airline Training Center Arizona, Inc., under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, as an instructional flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area solo instructional flight, and no flight plan had been filed.

In the student pilot's written statement, he had started to taxi to the run-up area between shade hangars "G" and "F" when he saw a fuel truck on the taxiway. He throttled back and applied the brakes. He thought that he could make it around the fuel truck so he let off the brakes and let the airplane roll. The right wing struck the fuel truck. The airplane swung around and came to a stop after the propeller struck the rear part of the aluminum fuel tank, and right rear bumper of the fuel truck. The student pilot stated that he remembered that his flight instructor had told him to never go by a fuel truck when he was alone in the airplane. He stated that there were no mechanical anomalies noted with the airplane or braking system.

According to the safety officer for the flight school, per their general operation's procedures training manual concerning taxiway obstructions: "If a solo student encounters a refueling operation, or any other vehicular form of taxiway blockage (complete or partial) along his/her taxi path, the student must STOP THE AIRCRAFT ON THE YELLOW LINE and wait for completion of refueling and movement of the fuel truck or vehicle before continuing to taxi."

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