Flying Cheap

Accident - May 20, 2003 - Santa Ana, Calif.

The flight, operated by American Airlines Inc., was scheduled to depart from Santa Ana, Calif. en route to New York,N.Y..

Fatalities 0
Serious injuries0
Minor injuries0
Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Final Summary

An unattended crash fire rescue (CFR) vehicle rolled into a stationary jet awaiting instructions from the control tower. Following a medical aid call in the terminal, an airport firefighter was dispatched to the terminal where he parked his CFR vehicle at one of the gates. The driver of the vehicle was in the terminal at the time of the accident and did not remember setting the parking brake on his vehicle. He also forgot to place the anti-roll tire chocks under his vehicle before entering the terminal. The vehicle then rolled into the jet that was stationary on a taxiway. During the impact, the vehicle became lodged between the fuselage and wing root on the right side of the airplane.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Cause

the vehicle driver's failure to deploy the parking brake or use wheel chocks to secure the vehicle prior to leaving it unattended.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010

Factual Narrative

On May 20, 2003, at 1210 Pacific daylight time, American Airlines Flight 250, a Boeing 757-223, N692AA, was struck by an unattended Crash Fire & Rescue (CFR) vehicle while preparing for departure at John Wayne Airport/Orange County, Santa Ana, California. American Airlines, Inc., was operating the airplane as a scheduled domestic passenger flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121. The airline transport pilot licensed captain, airline transport licensed first officer, 4 flight attendants, and 97 passengers were not injured. The flight was scheduled to depart John Wayne Airport as a nonstop to John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City, New York. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

Around noon, an Orange County Fire Authority Engineer was dispatched to a medical aid call in the terminal. After parking his CFR vehicle at Gate 8, he entered the terminal. Shortly afterwards, the unattended vehicle rolled under the momentum of its own weight in the direction of the Airport Operations Area of Taxiway A. The vehicle then broadsided a stationary American Airlines Boeing 757 that was awaiting instructions from the control tower. The driver of the vehicle was in the terminal at the time and first noticed the accident from a terminal window. When questioned by an Orange County Sheriff after the accident, he stated that he did not remember setting the parking brake on his vehicle. He also forgot to set the anti-roll tire chocks underneath his vehicle before entering the terminal.

During the impact, the fire truck became wedged between the fuselage and wing root on the right side of the airplane. Damage to the airplane included a 3- foot tear in the wing to body fairing, a 12-inch hole in the fuselage skin, dents and small holes in the wing root area, number 6 slat, and right engine nose cowl. Several fan blades were also damaged. The CFR vehicle sustained damage to its windshield and upper right portion of its cab.

Source: National Transportation Safety Board accident database system (ADMS2000), last updated Jan 1, 2010