Accident Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ET-AUP, Tuesday 18 December 2018
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Date:Tuesday 18 December 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic B789 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Owner/operator:Ethiopian Airlines
Registration: ET-AUP
MSN: 38782/636
Year of manufacture:2017
Total airframe hrs:4305 hours
Cycles:1152 flights
Engine model:Rolls-Royce Trent 1000
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 69
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (OSL) -   Norway
Phase: Taxi
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (OSL/ENGM)
Destination airport:Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN/ESSA)
Investigating agency: AIBN
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787-9, flight ET715, bound for Addis Ababa via Stockholm, hit a light pole with the right-hand wing at the de-icing area of Oslo-Gardermoen Airport, Norway.
The de-icing coordinators at the airport agreed that the aircraft was to be de-iced at stand 992, which was suitable for larger category aircraft like the B787-9. When clearing the flight to to the stand, the coordinator inadvertently cleared the aircraft to stand 991.
The captain taxied the aircraft. He saw the light mast and thought that clearance on the right-hand side was marginal. However, he was confident the airport had control of the situation. He did, however, ask the first officer, who was in the right-hand seat, if he could see the distance between the wing tip and the light mast. The first officer could not see the wing tip and had thus limited ability to estimate the distance from his seat. The captain reduced the taxiing speed even more the last few meters.
Before ET715 was assigned de-icing stand 991, two old de-icing vehicles were parked at the front edge of de-icing stand 991. There was an operator in each of the vehicles. As opposed to the more modern de-icing vehicles, the old de-icing vehicles were not equipped with a VHF radio. This meant that the two operators could not communicate directly with the ET715 crew.
The driver of de-icing vehicle No. 11 saw the Ethiopian aircraft taxiing on to de-icing stand 991, and he knew that this de-icing stand could not be used by aircraft the size of the Dreamliner. At 19:09:52 hours he called the de-icing coordinators over the internal radio and said that the Ethiopian aircraft had to be stopped.
At 19:09:57 hours de-icing coordinator made a radio call: "Etian seven one five you are going to wrong ... stop stop Etian stop stop stop."
At 19:10:05 hours the tip of the right-hand wing of ET-AUP collided with the light mast to the right of de-icing stand 991. After the collision, the aircraft continued to move forward for about another four seconds, coming to a halt approximately four meters further ahead. Due to right wing torque, the nose of the aircraft turned towards the right and the nosewheel stopped approximately 3/4 meters to the side of the center line.
The captain noticed the nose of the aircraft pulling right but thought the aircraft had skidded slightly to the side and was not aware that the wing had hit the light mast. He stopped the aircraft and applied the parking brake. The crew again contacted the de-icing coordinator to inform them of the type of de-icing they required. They were then told that the right wing tip had struck the light mast.

The AIBN’s investigation has revealed that the following key factors contributed to the accident:
a) The de-icing coordinator had by a slip-up assigned ET-AUP a different de-icing stand than the one he and his colleague had previously planned.
b) The de-icing coordinators did not have adequate technical aids to ensure that the correct de-icing stand was assigned, based on aircraft category.
c) SGH has been unable to present work instructions for the de-icing coordinators relating to allocation of de-icing stand for each aircraft category. A "Coordinator procedure for allocation of de-icing stand at Oslo Airport Gardermoen" is now taken care of.
d) The crew on ET-AUP did not have access to information about what de-icing stands were authorized for their type of aircraft at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Information about what de-icing stand can be used by the various aircraft categories was not included in the Aeronautical Information Publication Norway, or in NOTAM.
e) Some type of anti-collision aid, such as a wingtip camera, would have clearly indicated to the crew that there was insufficient clearance between the wing and the light mast, thus preventing a collision.
f) As the ET-AUP turned into the "Bravo North" de-icing area, there were no markings, lights, signage or other technical barriers to indicate to the crew that they had been assigned the wrong de-icing stand. Thus, the crew was unable to stop the aircraft before it hit the light mast to the right.
g) As the aircraft approached the light mast, the commander thought that clearance was marginal. The crew decided to rely on the given instructions to taxi to de-icing stand 991.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIBN
Report number: SL 2020/1
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) AIBN; Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (OSL/ENGM); December 2018

photo (c) AIBN; Oslo-Gardermoen Airport (OSL/ENGM); 18 December 2018

Revision history:


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