ASN Aircraft accident ATR 42-312 N143DD San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 25 October 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT43 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
ATR 42-312
Operated by:Executive Airlines
On behalf of:American Eagle Airlines
Registration: N143DD
MSN: 056
First flight: 1987-07-27 (11 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:22818
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW120
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 24
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 27
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) (   Puerto Rico)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU/TJSJ), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:Ponce-Mercedita Airport (PSE/TJPS), Puerto Rico
After starting the No. 2 engine near gate C-7, the pilot gave two hand signals to the forward stationed ground handler in succession; (1) to disconnect electrical power, and (2) to pull the chocks. The ground handler disconnected the electrical cable, closed the airplane's ground service access door, wound the cable and stored it on its GPU mounted rack. She then proceeded directly to the right side nose area, made eye contact with the first officer, and bent down to pull the nose wheel chocks. When she pulled the forward chock, the right nose tire passed over her foot, and the aircraft rolled forward. Observing the mishap, the second ground handler ran over to pick her off the ground and they both ran forward trying to give the flight crew the emergency stop signal. The airplane continued forward about 10 to 15 feet until collision by the No. 2 propeller with the top of the GPU. The propeller was in high rpm at the time of the propeller strike. Fragments of propeller blade impacted the right side fuselage and the sudden stoppage fractured the No. 2 engine case, causing a fuel leak. A fire was ignited by flame droplets falling from the No. 2 engine intake to puddled up jet fuel under the engine and main landing gear area developed. One of the four propeller blades separated from its hub and all four blades sustained tip damage. The spinner was torn as a result of the blade separation. The propeller collision caused metal and composite fragments to impact and dent the right side fuselage. Although the aircraft is still on the US Register, the plane was reported withdrawn from use and used for spares.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot's failure to verify that the parking brake was applied prior to engine start, and the resultant inadvertent movement of the aircraft and collision with the ground power cart once No. 2 was started."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: MIA99FA012
Download report: Summary report

Brake problem
Damaged on the ground


photo of ATR-42-312-N143DD
accident date: 25-10-1998
type: ATR 42-312
registration: N143DD

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Ponce-Mercedita Airport as the crow flies is 76 km (47 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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