LAX04CA208
LAX04CA208

On May 13, 2004, at 1100 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N84245, had a backhoe collide with its right wing during taxi at the Ryan Airfield, Tucson, Arizona. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, International Airline Training Academy, Tucson. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane was substantially damaged. The backhoe was not damaged and the driver of the vehicle was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local flight departed approximately 1 hour prior to the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, he was taxiing into the ramp area after landing and was positioned on the centerline of the taxiway. He saw the backhoe next to the taxiway, so he stopped the airplane to see what the vehicle was doing. He noticed that the backhoe was not moving and proceeded forward on the taxiway. As the airplane taxied abeam the backhoe, the backhoe backed up onto the taxiway impacting the leading edge of the right wing resulting in substantial damage.

According to the chief pilot of the flight school, construction had been taking place between two buildings near the ramp. The backhoe had plenty of room to maneuver without having to enter the taxiway. The pilot and chief pilot reported that there were no preaccident anomalies with the airplane.

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