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FR 737 taxis with towbar stuck under engine

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FR 737 taxis with towbar stuck under engine

Old 21st Dec 2021, 11:30
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Originally Posted by A4 View Post
Simple cure. DO NOT start the after start checklist until you have watched the tug, tow bar, man and pin clear the aircraft and safely cross "over the line" back into stand area. Verbalise it for the benefit of your colleague and the CVR. The taxi way is then yours and unobstructed - the after starts can then be done in the knowledge there's no-one or any equipment close to the aircraft.....because you weren't heads down doing checks when you need to be heads up watching the ground crew and equipment clear the aircraft. That's worked for 20+ years for me............

A4
That's more or less what the company SOP says. Only thing that can/should be done before that: Generators on bus, APU off. Everything else only after receiving the clear signal.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 13:19
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Originally Posted by CW247 View Post
Collected whilst taxying most likely, but whether they collected it because of a taxying error or because ground crew didn't position it properly we don't know yet.
The ground track looks pretty unexceptionable, so a taxy error looks unlikely.

The incident took place about an hour before sunrise at FRA.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 13:48
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Originally Posted by HOVIS View Post
Ive seen tow bar pins get bounced out of the tug's towing lugs before, sending the towbar careering across the taxiway. Tug crew non the wiser. I suppose its possible, at night for the same to happen but snag a 737 on the way.
This looks like the most likely suggestion so far. Totally unrelated tug is bobbing along, the tow bar seperates and it goes off on its own merry way, collecting the passing Ryanair
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 14:19
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I once saw a tow-bar, still attached to the tug, being dragged along inverted, sending up sparks with the wheels in the air, at Manchester as we taxied in. They were hooning round the corner so fast that it flipped over. The Captain, being something of a character, took over the radio to report it, leaving no doubt of his opinion of the tug-driver.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 15:17
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Originally Posted by 42psi View Post
I'm aware of an incident a few years (not a 737) where the towbar ended up in almost the same position.

In that case the error was spotted and the aircraft stopped before being struck by the towbar.

The sequence was, after completing the push:

Bar disconnected from tug.
Tug moves forward to leave room to disconnected the bar from nose gear.
Bar is disconnected from nose gear.
Bar is pulled forward ready to re-attach to the tug
Before doing this the headset person removes bypass pin & unplug headset.
​​​​​​ As the push had been longer than normal it was too far for the headset person to walk back to stand.
Headset person entered tug as passenger and they returned to stand where pin/flag were displayed.
Inexplicably they forgot to reattach the bar to the tug before driving off.
​​​​​​ It was thought that the longer non standard push caused a distraction and they were uncomfortably exposed being a considerable distance from the stand with another section of twy to cross before reaching safety.
They were eager to return quickly from an area they felt exposed/unsafe.
As the aircraft started to move it commenced a left turn towards the adjacent runway holding point.
The error was spotted and the aircraft stopped just before the bar would have struck the right engine.

I suspect something similar may well have happened here.

I note that the towbar head is under the engine, it would seem unlikely it was still attached to the nose gear at the time of txy?

I'd guess either left in error or not correctly attached to tug when it moved off.
That wasnít a 340 was it? Iíve watched exactly the same thing happen to a 340 in VIE. It was only because if my radio call that one of their right engines didnít go into the tow bar.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 19:19
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As in 'Saab 340', right?
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 19:52
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Maybe if the driver of the ramp vehicle could have been fully occupied radio-ing for Ryanair to stop, or to be contacted to stop, rather than seeking their 30+ seconds of fame by videoing it all on their phone to be posted on YouTube, whilst driving along (contravention of their ramp driving permit, surely), they could have been pulled up quicker.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 22:25
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
As in 'Saab 340', right?
We'd have to know which one of their right engines the OP was referring to, before deciding that.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 01:19
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Originally Posted by flyfan View Post
That's more or less what the company SOP says. Only thing that can/should be done before that: Generators on bus, APU off. Everything else only after receiving the clear signal.
At my company, we get the clear from ground crew (we check for safety pin / towbar attached to tug / wave), do our flow and then after start CL.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 06:18
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I do the After Start after the engine is started, that way I am ready to taxi and can look outside for the clear signal. I do not release the brake until after I have received a clear signal and counted 123, clear (tug, tow bar, pin). Whatever trigger you use to make sure it is okay to continue works, but I believe the best triggers are related directly, and waiting for the ground crew to be gone before you do an unrelated checklist doesn't help. Worked for me for the last 20 years, and in compliance with SOP.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 17:09
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1,2,3 ???? Tugs? Towbar-less Tugs? Remote control pushbacks? No pushback?

How many SOPs do you have exactly ?

The ramp areas at FRA are VERY well floodlit. Pretty much every aviation journal I look at online is saying that the aircraft taxied with the towbar still attached rather than picking it up during the taxy.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 18:05
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
Pretty much every aviation journal I look at online is saying that the aircraft taxied with the towbar still attached rather than picking it up during the taxy.
Though most journals tend to parrot each other, so the sheer number of reports isn't necessarily a guide to their accuracy.

I'd want to see a photo of the business end of the towbar and the NLG pickups before reaching any conclusions - anyone seen one?
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 06:19
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
1,2,3 ???? Tugs? Towbar-less Tugs? Remote control pushbacks? No pushback?

How many SOPs do you have exactly ?
1, because everywhere I fly we have a push with a towbar. Pretty sure that if I ever have to get used to doing supertug, I can adjust the math.
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 07:03
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Ryanair. Say no more....
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 09:11
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No need for an investigation, then ... ?
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 17:38
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Not in my book!
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Old 24th Dec 2021, 12:56
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
1, because everywhere I fly we have a push with a towbar. Pretty sure that if I ever have to get used to doing supertug, I can adjust the math.
That's half the problem..... You only fly to a limited number of destinations. Every company is obliged to audit their own ground handlers at each station or the handling agents retained at that destination. Different aircraft have different SOPs and different requirements for verbal communications with the ground. It needs to be kept as standard as possible and as simple as possible but unfortunately a lot of places just like doing their own thing regardless of the consequences (ever been to JFK?).

Ready to push should mean 'ready in all respects now' not simply 'We are all here'.
'Clear to pressurise' - Do modern day Boeings still need this or is it a holdover from the past?
Brakes ON / Brakes OFF - In widespread use but safe? Better.... 'Brakes released / Brakes set to park'

And that's even before we get to safe communications for De-Icing or Ground air starts !
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 00:57
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
That's half the problem..... You only fly to a limited number of destinations. Every company is obliged to audit their own ground handlers at each station or the handling agents retained at that destination. Different aircraft have different SOPs and different requirements for verbal communications with the ground. It needs to be kept as standard as possible and as simple as possible but unfortunately a lot of places just like doing their own thing regardless of the consequences (ever been to JFK?).

Ready to push should mean 'ready in all respects now' not simply 'We are all here'.
'Clear to pressurise' - Do modern day Boeings still need this or is it a holdover from the past?
Brakes ON / Brakes OFF - In widespread use but safe? Better.... 'Brakes released / Brakes set to park'

And that's even before we get to safe communications for De-Icing or Ground air starts !
I don’t know if modern day Boeings still require a clearance to pressurise, but 737s do.
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 05:34
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Originally Posted by Magplug View Post
That's half the problem..... You only fly to a limited number of destinations. Every company is obliged to audit their own ground handlers at each station or the handling agents retained at that destination. Different aircraft have different SOPs and different requirements for verbal communications with the ground. It needs to be kept as standard as possible and as simple as possible but unfortunately a lot of places just like doing their own thing regardless of the consequences (ever been to JFK?).

Ready to push should mean 'ready in all respects now' not simply 'We are all here'.
'Clear to pressurise' - Do modern day Boeings still need this or is it a holdover from the past?
Brakes ON / Brakes OFF - In widespread use but safe? Better.... 'Brakes released / Brakes set to park'

And that's even before we get to safe communications for De-Icing or Ground air starts !
About 70 destinations in 18 countries in my current airline, and yes been to JFK, LGA, EWR, LHR, AMS, MAD, BCN and about 400 more.... The reply I gave was all about having SOP use the appropriate trigger, and I feel using the after start as a trigger to look for the tow bar isn't the best thing. I think releasing the parking brake should be the trigger to make sure both of you have confirmed that you are clear to taxi (nothing attached to the aircraft, taxi instructions received, both know where we are going). Nothing to do with ground communications.
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 16:58
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Maybe if the driver of the ramp vehicle could have been fully occupied radio-ing for Ryanair to stop, or to be contacted to stop, rather than seeking their 30+ seconds of fame by videoing it all on their phone to be posted on YouTube, whilst driving along (contravention of their ramp driving permit, surely), they could have been pulled up quicker.
The incident was brought to an end (a head?) when a ramp worker, maybe even the one filming, managed to attract the attention of the crew who stopped the aircraft - earning their '15 minutes of fame'?
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