ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-232 N489DA West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 24 May 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-232
Operator:Delta Air Lines
Registration: N489DA
MSN: 21019/1097
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:60114
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 130
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 136
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI) (   United States of America)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:West Palm Beach International Airport, FL (PBI/KPBI), United States of America
Destination airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
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.

Probable Cause:

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
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 99 days (3 months)
Accident number: MIA95LA135
Download report: Summary report

Collision with airport equipment
Damaged on the ground



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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 West Palm Beach International Airport, FL to Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA as the crow flies is 873 km (546 miles).

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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