WPR09LA255
WPR09LA255

On May 21, 2009, about 1625 Pacific daylight time, an Embraer EMB-135KL, N843AE, taxied into a parked and unoccupied Embraer EMB-135KL, N848AE, while leaving the terminal hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, California. American Eagle operated the airplane under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as flight 3085. The captain, first officer, 1 flight attendant, and 44 passengers were not injured. The accident airplane received substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer, and the parked airplane received substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. The other Embraer was parked at the gate with no flight crew or passengers onboard. There were no ground injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight was destined for San Diego International Airport (SAN), San Diego, California.

In the company's submitted report (National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report form 6120.1), American Eagle reported that ramp personnel pushed airplane back and instructed the captain to set the parking brake. After setting the parking brake, the tug was disconnected. The first officer contacted LAX ground control and was given a taxi clearance. As the captain started to taxi the airplane, along the taxiway center line, the flight crew felt a "bump." The captain stopped the airplane. The captain set the parking brake and shutdown the engines. Ramp personnel radioed the flight crew stating that their left horizontal stabilizer had struck the right horizontal stabilizer of an airplane parked at the gate.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident, the airplane had been pushed back from the gate via ground tow. Once disconnected from the tow bar, the captain started to taxi the airplane to the runway. As the captain was maneuvering around a parked airplane, the left horizontal stabilizer of the taxiing airplane struck the right horizontal stabilizer of the parked airplane.

The FAA inspector further reported that the parked airplane had been improperly parked with the right wing tip and horizontal stabilizer well outside the safety lines. It also appeared that the taxiing airplane may have been pushed back in such a manner that the left main landing gear was to the left of the taxi line placing it closer to the parked airplane.

Both the solid state flight data recorder (SSFDR), and solid state cockpit voice recorder (SSCVR) for the accident airplane were shipped to the NTSB vehicle recorder laboratory, Washington, D.C., for read out.

The SSFDR was a Honeywell SSFDR, model 980-4700, 256 word, serial number 09297. The SSFDR was received at the vehicle recorder division in good condition, and a normal extraction of the data was performed. An FDR group was not convened; the event was recorded on the SSFDR, with no pertinent findings.

The SSCVR was a Honeywell 6022 SSCVR 120, serial number 5550. The SSCVR was received at the vehicle recorder division's audio laboratory in good condition, and the data was extracted normally. A CVR group was not convened; the event was recorded on the SSCVR; however, the information did not add anything to the investigation.

As a result of the ground collision, American Eagle had the lead-in lines redrawn to a 45-degree angle. If the flight crew was not able to make the drop off point to the lead-in lines for parking, they would have to taxi the airplane around the building or satellite terminal and rejoin the drop off point.

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