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Last updated: 23 September 2019
Status:Final
Date:Monday 1 August 1994
Time:17:45
Type:Silhouette image of generic DH8C model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311
Operated by:Atlantic Coast Airlines
On behalf of:United Express
Registration: N433AW
C/n / msn: 305
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:6283
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 50
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 53
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Washington-Dulles International Airport, DC (IAD) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Washington-Dulles International Airport, DC (IAD/KIAD), United States of America
Destination airport:?
Flightnumber:UE6578
Narrative:
A DHC-8-311, N433AW, operating as United Express Flight 6578, was substantially damaged while parked at a gate and struck by a ground support vehicle, at Washington-Dulles International Airport, D.C. The three crewmembers and 50 passengers were not injured.
At the time of the accident the airplane was parked at the passenger gate and was being prepared for departure. The engines were stopped, the chocks were in place, the pilots were seated in the cockpit completing weight and balance paperwork, and the airstair door was open.
Meanwhile a baggage tractor had broken down. While the tractor was being pushed out of the way by another tractor. Both tractors contacted each other in the process. This caused the driver to lose his seat and be pitched halfway off the left side. The driver's right hand pulled the steering wheel down to the right, and his right foot pressed on the accelerator pedal The tractor then smashed into the left side of the nose of N433AW.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The vehicle operator's improper handling of the baggage tractor resulting in loss of control of a second baggage tractor being pushed and its subsequent collision with the airplane."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 128 days (4 months)
Accident number: NYC94LA144
Download report: Summary report

Classification:

Sources:
» NTSB


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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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