RJ85 / RJ1H, London City Airport, London UK, 2008

Summary: 

On 21 April 2008, an Avro RJ85 aircraft was parked on Stand 10 at London City Airport, with an Avro RJ100 parked to its left, on the adjacent Stand 11. After being repositioned by a tug, the RJ85 taxied forward and to the right, its tail contacting the tail of the RJ100 and causing minor damage to the RJ100’s right elevator.

Event Details
When: 
21/04/2008
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Day
Flight Conditions: 
On Ground - Normal Visibility

18902

Flight Details
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Flight Origin: 
Intended Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
No
Flight Airborne: 
No
Flight Completed: 
No
Phase of Flight: 
Pushback/towing

18903

Flight Details
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Not Recorded
Take-off Commenced: 
No
Flight Airborne: 
No
Flight Completed: 
No
Phase of Flight: 
Parked
Location
Location - Airport
Airport: 
General
Tag(s): 
Aircraft-aircraft collision
HF
Tag(s): 
Ineffective Monitoring
GND
Tag(s): 
On gate collision, Aircraft / Aircraft conflict, Aircraft Push Back, Incorrect Parking Position, Wingtip clearance
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Minor
Non-aircraft damage: 
No
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
None
Occupant Fatalities: 
None
Off Airport Landing: 
No
Ditching: 
No
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Airport Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
None Made
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Synopsis

On 21 April 2008, an Avro RJ85 aircraft was parked on Stand 10 at London City Airport, with an Avro RJ100 parked to its left, on the adjacent Stand 11. Prior to taxiing, the RJ85 had been repositioned by a tug to gain sufficient wingtip clearance from the RJ100. This had the effect of reducing the tail clearance between the two aircraft, which was not identified. As the RJ85 taxied forward and to the right, its tail contacted the tail of the RJ100, causing minor damage to the RJ100’s right elevator.

The Investigation

The Investigation into the Serious Incident led by the UK AAIB, determined the following cause(s):

"The collision occurred due to a combination of the RJ100 on Stand 11 being parked 1 m to the right of its stand centreline, the RJ85 on Stand 10 being pushed back onto a heading which further reduced the tail clearance, and the limited clearance between aircraft of this size when using these stands. The absence of a person monitoring the tail area meant that the inadequate tail clearance was not identified prior to the collision.

The safety actions already taken by the airport operator following this incident should reduce the risk of tail collisions between aircraft operating from Stands 10 and 11 at London City Airport."

The report stated that since the following safety actions were taken, safety recommendations were not considered necessary:

[…]

  • "When a 146/135 aircraft is positioned on Stand 11 Ground Staff (GS) must provide wing-tip and tail fin observation for any aircraft self-manoeuvring off of Stand 10. If for any reason the aircraft on Stand 10 is slightly out of parking alignment consideration must be given as to whether the aircraft should be towed off stand if an aircraft remains parked on Stand 11 during the departure.
  • If the aircraft is to be towed off stand the GS marshaller must re-establish head set communication with the cockpit and all GS personnel undertaking wing tip/tail fin observation should also wear a headset to allow direct communications.
  • Operations will also endeavour to give consideration to which aircraft types are parked on Stand 10."

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