Accident Boeing 727-232 N489DA, Wednesday 24 May 1995
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Date:Wednesday 24 May 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 727-232
Owner/operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N489DA
MSN: 21019/1097
Year of manufacture:1975
Total airframe hrs:60114 hours
Engine model:P&W JT8D-15A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 136
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI) -   United States of America
Phase: Taxi
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI/KPBI)
Destination airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
A Boeing 727-232, N489DA, operating as Delta flight 1522, a scheduled domestic passenger service from West Palm Beach, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a tug during pushback at West Palm Beach.
The tug driver who was pushing N489DA from the gate stated that two of the aircraft's engines had been started before pushback due to the aircraft's power unit being inoperative. During the pushback there were two wing walkers. There was not a signal man in front of the aircraft in view of the captain, as required by Delta Air Lines pushback procedures, due to manpower shortages.
He pushed the aircraft straight back and then turned the aircraft's tail to the left. The aircraft and tug made a "U" shape at this time with the tug on the aircraft's right front. As he moved the tug to straighten the aircraft's nose gear, the safety pin on the tug end of the tow bar sheered. He did not believe he turned the nose gear beyond the normal limits; however, it was a "sharp" turn. The aircraft became disconnected from the tug and rolled forward at which time the right front side of the aircraft struck the tug. As the aircraft rolled forward the tug driver's headset cord became disconnected from the aircraft and he lost communication with the cockpit crew. The left wingman arrived at the front of the aircraft at this time and signaled the captain to brake the aircraft and stop it.

The failure of the ground pushback crew to follow Delta Airlines pushback procedures and place a signalman forward of the aircraft in view of the captain during pushback. This resulted in the captain not being aware that the tug tow bar had disconnected and the need for him to apply brakes to stop the aircraft.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: MIA95LA135
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:


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