Accident Boeing 747-422 N127UA, Thursday 2 February 2006
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Date:Thursday 2 February 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic B744 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 747-422
Owner/operator:United Airlines
Registration: N127UA
MSN: 28813/1221
Year of manufacture:1999
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PW4056
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 113
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL) -   Australia
Phase: Taxi
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL/YMML)
Destination airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY)
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Boeing 747-422, operated by United Airlines, was taxiing for departure at Melbourne Airport, Australia. At the same time, a Boeing 767-338ER operated by Qantas was stationary on taxiway Echo and waiting in line to depart from runway 16. The tail section of the 767 was protruding into taxiway Alpha while it was stationary on taxiway Echo awaiting a clearance to enter the runway.
The pilots of the 747 received a clearance to taxi, which included a taxi route from the international apron to the holding point on taxiway Bravo, for a departure from runway 16, via taxiways Uniform then Alpha. The pilot in command of the 747 deviated from the taxi clearance issued by the surface movement controller and turned the 747 right into taxiway Echo, to pass behind the 767. The left wing tip of the 747 collided with the right horizontal stabiliser of the 767 as the 747 crew attempted to manoeuvre behind the 767.

The taxiway dimensions and markings at Melbourne Airport complied with international standards and were suitable for use by the aircraft types involved in the occurrence.

The 747 crew was aware of the 767, and chose to pass behind it rather than wait on taxiway Alpha until the 767 was no longer obstructing the taxiway. The decision by the pilot in command of the 747 to deviate off the centreline of taxiway Alpha and taxi behind the 767 did not comply with the taxi clearance issued by the SMC. It was based on his assessment that it was safe to do so. The pilot in command of the 747 misjudged the distance between the wingtip of the 747 and the right horizontal stabiliser of the 767, which resulted in the collision.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: 200600524
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report



photo (c) ATSB; Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL); 02 February 2006

Revision history:


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