ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-377 VH-CZM Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 27 December 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-377
Operator:Ansett Australia Airlines
Registration: VH-CZM
MSN: 24302/1618
First flight: 1988-09-23 (11 years 3 months)
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3B1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL) (   Australia)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC (MEL/YMML), Australia
Destination airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY), Australia
During the pre-departure preparations, one end of a towbar was connected to the nose landing gear of a Boeing 737 aircraft and a pushback tractor was positioned approximately one metre from the towbar's opposite end. A ground engineer subsequently started the tractor with the intention of hooking up to the towbar. When the engineer released the handbrake, the tractor lurched forward and struck the towbar. The force of the impact fractured the aircraft nose landing gear drag brace. The nose landing gear assembly then pivoted back under the aircraft, becoming jammed between the towbar and the aircraft fuselage.

Probable Cause:

The investigation was unable to determine the reason for the sudden movement of the pushback tractor.

Damaged on the ground


Follow-up / safety actions

ATSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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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 Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, VIC to Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW as the crow flies is 703 km (440 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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