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US Air pushback incident at MAN 4/8/02

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US Air pushback incident at MAN 4/8/02

Old 4th Aug 2002, 19:12
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US Air pushback incident at MAN today

US197 was involved in an incident while being pushed back for its flight to Philadelphia. Apparently the nose wheel was turned through 90degrees at one stage. When I saw it was parked at a very strange angle, diagonally across stand 202. Various airfield ops vehicles swarmed the scene, tug was disconnected at the time. The aircraft departed around 13.30 local time, without offloading pax. Type was A330.
Anyone have any more details? Not good news for Manchester airport seeing the grilling it has been getting recently, and one handling agent in particular.....

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Old 4th Aug 2002, 20:21
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I was on GMC for the latter part of this.

The view of that area isn't very good and nobody was forthcoming with any info, but since it was in an area that wasn't too busy, I didn't push it (excuse the pun ).

I did see a sweeper present though. I'm guessing here but maybe the taxyway was slippery and the tug lost traction or maybe the towbar broke. Nothing too untoward in this as it does happen fairly regularly usually when too tight a turn is attempted.

The turn from 202 onto taxyway Mike is quite tight but is normally not a problem for this aircraft type. I wasn't on when it started to push, but if its not too busy I ask whether the tug crew are happy to push this way or would prefer to go toward 204. Some are and some aren't.

All in all, no great drama just a bit of inconvenience. I don't think this can be described as bad press for the airport or anyone in particular. It just happens.

End of story.
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Old 4th Aug 2002, 22:34
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There was oil on the tarmac which with the wet weather made traction for the tug very difficult, no big deal......a non event.
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Old 5th Aug 2002, 23:50
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No big deal eh? Any tug that jackknifes on slippery ground is a very big deal for the poor sod walking next to it on the headset.
Having said that, at least one of the handleing agents at MAN has been reprimanded several times for useing a tug that is too small for the job.
Not that I am saying that this was the cause, however 202 is uphill and if the engines were started before getting on to the main taxiway you can see the scenario.....

Hope no one got hurt.

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Old 6th Aug 2002, 05:38
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With an A330. it is a big deal if you push back and the nose gear swings through 90 ! There are big inspections to be done as a result of the Sabena gear collapse some years ago. If they released the aircraft in anything less than 12 hours, they are not doing the post incident inspection properly. If there is excessive angles on the nose gear ( I cannot remember the exact angle as I don't have the MM at home ! ) there is stress induced on the main gear in the area around the retract actuator fittings, ask Sabena, they know. The nosegear angle is critical on the A330 and the pushback procedures must be very styictly adhered to ! There are even some fields in Asia that are presently out of bounds for the A330 as they cannot happily turn at the end of the runway to back track to the terminal . . .
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Old 6th Aug 2002, 13:58
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Methinks it's 60 deg but there is a lump of software which allows exceedances and then calculates the reduction of life to the main gear. 90 deg sounds like a lot of life has just been lost !
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Old 7th Aug 2002, 18:35
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The tug's hydraulics failed causing the steering to lockup. Another tug was brought over to push it and the broken down tug.
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Old 7th Aug 2002, 21:24
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Re: US Air pushback incident at MAN today

What's the problem with that "one handling agent in particular"?
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Old 12th Sep 2002, 22:44
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In reply to HOVIS' statement 'hope no one was hurt'

I work for the company in question and although i heard nothing about this, i can confirm no one was hurt.

What tends to happen is some of the people there have their mistakes kept under wraps so as not to have the mickey taken out of them by the rest of the lads. Others do not receive the same courtesy. I take it that it was one of these people as i havent heard anything about it until now.

Old 12th Sep 2002, 23:30
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Thumbs down

Monitor .9 were you watching from the top floor of the multi-storey by any chance?

"Apparently the nose wheel was past 90 degrees at one point"

Is that what you heard or is that your observation?

No tug driver in their right mind would push a nosewheel past the red line and for a headset man to be "hit by a sliding tug!!" he would have to be either asleep or on drugs to not notice something untoward happening. In such an event you would just call for "brakes on please" to the Capt.

Somehow I dont think this "incident" will make the newspapers tomorrow.

prepare for next week's MAN instalment "Aircraft cleaner injured by stray mop and bucket"

Get real.
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Old 12th Sep 2002, 23:45
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In a way i agree with you in that the headseat man should have done somthing to stop the tug driver.

If the tug driver is who i think it was. (AND I MAY BE TOTALLY WRONG AND BE SAYING SOMTHING ABOUT SOMEONE I LIKE) If it is this person who i think it was (MAY BE WRONG) then i think he is someone who i would wish this sort of embarrassment on. HOWEVER you have to remember that some of the people who do this job have no interest in aviation and therefore would not have known to stop and call breaks on to the pilot. The tug driver knows not what goes on in the cockpit, therefore would not know that he should have called breaks on.
I have a strong interest in aviation and even i would not have known to call breaks on and would have tried to correct the angle of which i was pushing back with.

I just hope that pilots will start to be more understanding of the ground staff when things go wrong as it isnt always the ground staffs fault. One example of this is when a headset does not work. Pilots seem to blame the ground staff but it isnt the ground staff, it is the company which employs them who cant be bothered to keep the equipment in working order.

People are all too quick to blame the man lower down in rank when in reality its not his/her fault.

Having realised this through working in ground ops i can take this knowledge forward for when i become a pilot myself. This was the reason i applied for this job. It may not have turned out like i thought but i have still learnt a lot of points, which many pilot seem to have missed.

Sorry to moan
Old 13th Sep 2002, 01:27
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Any procedure requiring ground crew close to gear/engines etc as is the norm on pushback should be as disciplined and as precise as possible.The alternative is (very) dangerous.Refer Boeing Flight Crew Training Manual(737) if you're interested(which you should be if you're down there).I'm certain the same applies to Airbuses.
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Old 14th Sep 2002, 11:45
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Maybe headset men were on drugs, or half asleep when they have been hurt in past incidents.

Or more likely with a headset on and walking forward of the tug, perhaps looking at one of the engines winding up or trying to get the attention of a passing motorist who despite the size of the a/c does not see it moving or anyone of a number of other reasons why the tug at that moment is not in his field of vision.
You cannot hear the tug sliding over the noise of engines and headset, especially if you are in conversation with the flight crew at the time.

People have been hurt(badly) in the past due to jackknifing tugs. So don't patronise people who know better eh!!
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Old 18th Sep 2002, 00:30
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I have found out what caused this incident.
ALL of the hydrlic systems in the tug failed, meaning that both the steering and brakes hardly worked at all thus the sticky situation which the aircraft found itself in.

By the way i was wrong about the tug driver. It was NOT who i thought it was and was someone who is a nice guy so sorry my mistake!


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