Flying Cheap

Accident - Dec. 2, 2003 - Jamaica, N.Y.

The flight, operated by Comair Inc., was scheduled to depart from Pittsburgh, Pa. en route to Jamaica,N.Y..

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

Final Summary

The airplane was parked, and in the process of deplaning passengers when it was struck by an unoccupied belt loader. The driver of the belt loader stated that she was maneuvering the belt loader when she fell off due to the gusty wind conditions. The airplane was parked in a confined area of the ramp, which would have required tight turns to maneuver the belt loader. The belt loader was equipped with an operational seat belt. The operator did not require that seat belts be utilized when operating belt loaders. Winds reported at the airport, about the time of the accident were sustained at 25 knots, with 30 knot gusts.

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

Cause

An encounter with an unoccupied belt loader, after the belt loader driver inadvertently fell to the ground while maneuvering. Factors in this accident were the gusty wind conditions and the failure of the operator to require that persons operating belt loaders use seat belts.

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

Factual Narrative

On December 2, 2003, about 1645 eastern standard time, a Canadair CL-600-2B19, N916CA, operated by Comair Inc. as flight 5242, was substantially damaged when it was struck by ground equipment, while standing at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Jamaica, New York. The certificated airline transport pilot, commercial co-pilot, a flight attendant, and 42 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The scheduled passenger flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 121.

The airplane was parked, and in the process of deplaning passengers when it was struck on it's right side, by an unoccupied belt loader. The driver of the belt loader stated that she was maneuvering belt loader when she fell off due to gusty wind conditions. She was not injured.

Ground support services were provided for the airplane by Delta Airlines personnel.

According to Delta Airlines, the airplane was parked in a confined area of the ramp, which would have required tight turns to maneuver the belt loader.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the belt loader was equipped with an operational seat belt.

Delta Airlines did not require seat belt usage for ground service equipment, except for forklifts and roadway vehicles.

The weather reported at the airport, about the time of the accident included sustained winds of 25 knots, with 30 knot gusts.

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