Flying Cheap

Incident - June 19, 2005 - Salt Lake City, Utah

The flight, operated by Continental Air Lines Inc., was scheduled to depart from Newark, N.J. en route to Salt Lake City,Utah.

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

Final Summary

The jetway had previously been positioned for an MD-80, which required a lower entry level than the Boeing 737. The incident captain stated that he did not use landing or taxi lights as he approached the gate. The airplane stopped and he thought the brake may have grabbed for some reason. He applied a "little power for a moment." When the plane did not move, he shut down the engines. Post incident inspection revealed the left engine inlet had contacted the jetway. There was a 3-inch scratch at the 12 o'clock position. The left wing walker, who took responsibility for the incident, said he did not feel the jet bridge posed a threat to the airplane because "they are supposed to taxi up to the jet bridge...I did not notice the plane would hit the bridge until it was too late. He had been on the job for 6 days. The right wing walker was unaware of the incident. The operations supervisor said she thought the jet bridge was a little close to the J-line but when the plane turned in, she thought there would be enough clearance. When the airplane was about 8 feet from the final stop bar, it lurched as if the brakes had been applied rapidly. She said she had received no signals from the wing walkers. The gate agent (and jetway operator), who had been dealing with a customer issue, did not go out onto the jetway until the airplane was approaching the J-line. Realizing a collision was imminent, he attempted to contact the ramp via radio but was too late.

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

Cause

the left wing walker's failure to maintain an adequate visual lookout. Contributing factors were his inadequate initial training, and the failure of other ground personnel to follow company procedures/directives.

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

Factual Narrative

On June 19, 2005, at 2120 mountain daylight time, a Boeing 737-524, N24633, operated by Continental Airlines as flight 1861 and piloted by an airline transport pilot, sustained minor damage when it taxied into jetway A8 at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Salt Lake City, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the incident. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121. The captain, first officer, 3 flight attendants, and 99 passengers reported no injuries. The flight originated from Newark, New Jersey, at 1815 eastern daylight time, and was destined for Salt Lake City, Utah.

The jetway had previously been positioned for a TransMeridian Air MD-80, which does not require the higher entry level as the Boeing 737. The incident captain stated that he did not use landing or taxi lights as he approached the gate. The airplane stopped and he thought the brake may have grabbed for some reason. He applied a "little power for a moment." When the plane did not move, he shut down the engines. Post incident inspection revealed the left engine inlet had contacted the jetway, causing a 3-inch scratch at the 12 o'clock position.

In a written statement the left wing walker wrote, "I did not anticipate the jet bridge posing a threat to the aircraft since they are supposed to taxi up to the jet bridge. From my perspective, I did not notice the plane would hit the bridge until it was too late. Still, as left wing walker, I recognize my mistake and take responsibility for my error." He had been on the job for 6 days.

The right wing walker was unaware of the incident.

The operations supervisor wrote, "I thought the jet bridge was a little close to the J-line but once the plane turned in, I could see there would be enough clearance...As the plane got closer, I began the final slow marshal. The aircraft was about 8 feet from the final stop bar when the plane lurched as if the brakes had been applied rapidly...I had no signals from the wing walkers that anything was wrong."

The gate agent (and jetway operator) had been dealing with a customer issue and did not go out onto the jetway until the airplane was approaching the J-line. The agent attempted to contact the ramp via radio, but was too late to prevent the collision.




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