On October 10, 2005, approximately 1124 mountain daylight time, an Airbus Industries A319-111, N927FR, operated by Frontier Airlines Inc., as flight 567, and piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained minor damage when it collided with a de-icing vehicle while taxiing for takeoff from the de-icing pad at Denver International Airport (DEN), Denver, Colorado. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the incident. The scheduled, domestic passenger flight was destined for San Diego, California, and was being conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121. An instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The 5 crew members and 104 passengers sustained no injuries. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to a report submitted by Frontier Airlines, Inc., "during a snowstorm at DEN, flight 567 scheduled to San Diego, was de-iced on de-ice pad A-3. At 1118, the crew was given the de-ice report and told they were clear to contact ground control. They were cleared to taxi to runway 25 via taxiway G. As the aircraft moved forward, the crew felt a jolt and they thought they had run over a chunk of ice with the nose wheel. As they continued to taxi, they received an electronic centralized aircraft monitoring (ECAM) warning for flight control/slat fault. After performing ECAM actions, they received a call from a flight attendant, who was on board, stating that the passenger in row 10D had seen the de-ice truck or boom and the right wing leading edge collide. The aircraft was taxied back to the gate to be inspected for damage."
According to the captain, who was the pilot in control at the time of the incident, "We moved forward and felt a jolt. I thought at the time we had run over a chunk of ice with the nose wheel." According to the co-pilot, "We began taxiing forward. We heard and sensed what felt like the nose wheel run over two chunks of ice. We continued to taxi the aircraft for takeoff and got an ECAM message the same as when we were taxiing in from the previous leg (flight control/slat fault), which cleared after cycling the flap. We got a call from the 'A' flight attendant that a passenger saw the right wingtip collide with the de-ice equipment on taxi out."
According to a report submitted by the de-ice vehicle operator, Aircraft Services International Group TM (ASIG), approximately 1124, flight 567 received a clearance from tower to taxi from de-ice pad A-3. At that time, de-ice truck #57 was positioned on the west (departure) side of the de-ice pads between A-3 and A-4. Truck #57 was facing north with its rear toward de-ice pad A-3. The boom operator had the boom in a "1 o'clock position approximately 10 feet from the ground. The wingtip struck our lower boom at the joint where it meets the upper boom." At that time, both the boom operator and the de-ice truck driver "felt the truck shake from side to side." The bucket operator was "thrown from one side to the other side and then thrown to the bottom of the bucket." The driver of the de-ice vehicle and the bucket operator sustained no injuries.
According to ASIG's report, prior to de-icing, the captain "indicated a growing sense of frustration" due to the lengthy amount of time it was taking to de-ice (approximately 1 hour and 17 minutes). The captain also stated that they were fuel critical and did not want to taxi back to the gate for more fuel. In an attempt to expedite the de-icing process, the captain requested only one step (Type I de-icing fluid) of the regular two step (both Type I and Type IV de-icing fluid) de-icing process. All other aircraft were requesting the two step process of both Type I and Type IV de-icing fluid.
According to ASIG's Aircraft De/Anti-icing OJT Facilitator Guide (August 2005), the post de-icing procedures are: When the [de-ice] operation is complete, ensure all trucks are in their designated safety areas. Relay post De/Anti-icing report. Advise crew 'the Post De/Anti-icing Check is complete.'" Also, employees are to "evaluate situations and/or conditions that could affect the safety of the personnel and equipment. Give consideration to personnel, limited visibility, weather conditions, ramp/roadway conditions, etc. For example, during periods of limited visibility due to inclement weather it may be appropriate to add a second person in the truck cab." De-ice truck #57 had a two person crew during the time of the incident; one person was operating the boom and the other was operating the truck. The routine aviation weather report (METAR) indicated visibility at the time of the accident as 1/4 statute mile with snow and fog.
Damage sustained to the airplane's right wing included; the number 5 slat had a scratch 10 inches long by 5 inches wide and 1 inch deep, and the navigation light lens was broken. There was a scrape from the aft end of the navigation light lens to the leading edge of the wing, and the right winglet had an 8 inches long by 1 inch wide tear. Damage to the de-ice truck included a scratch approximately 3 feet long by 8 inches wide on the right side of the boom, and one of the bolts on the elbow of the boom was sheared causing damage to the internal gear of the boom.
Weather at the time of the incident was winds 330 at 10 knots, 1/4 SM visibility, snow, fog, temperature 0 degrees C., dew point minus 1 degree C., and altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.