Accident Airbus A320-214 (WL) N220FR, Monday 28 January 2019
ASN logo
 

Date:Monday 28 January 2019
Time:06:17
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-214 (WL)
Owner/operator:Frontier Airlines
Registration: N220FR
MSN: 5661
Year of manufacture:2013
Engine model:CFMI CFM56-5B4/P
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 126
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN) -   United States of America
Phase: Pushback / towing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Denver International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN)
Destination airport:Buffalo-Greater Buffalo International Airport, NY (BUF/KBUF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Frontier Airlines flight 450, an Airbus A320-214, N220FR, was struck by the tug during pushback operations at Denver International Airport (KDEN), Denver, Colorado.  There were no injuries and the airplane received substantial damage.
According to flight crew statements, the crew advised the tug driver they were cleared to push back, either tail east or straight back. At the time of the accident, dark night conditions existed and the ramp was contaminated with snow. During the pushback, the flight crew started No. 1 and 2 engines. The tug driver pushed the airplane back with its empennage towards the east and then notified the captain that he would pull forward to straighten them out. As the tug driver pulled the airplane forward and was coming to a stop the airplane's nose began to drift to the left.  The tug detached from the airplane and impacted the right forward fuselage and right engine air intake resulting in substantial damage. The captain noted that the nose swung to the left, and then said it felt as if the airplane was moving backwards. According to the operator, on the morning of the accident, the ramp management company had instructed their ground personnel that all pushbacks should be straight back pushes due to the snowy conditions. It is likely that the angle of the towbar from pushing the airplane back to the east, combined with the snow contaminated ramp and the engine idle thrust, caused the tug driver to lose control of the tug during the pushback.

Probable Cause: loss of control of the tug by the driver during pushback operations as a result of the contaminated ramp, angle of the towbar, and the airplane engines being at idle thrust.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA19CA079
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years 1 month
Download report: Final report

Sources:


Location

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
www.FlightSafety.org