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Accident description
Last updated: 18 August 2018
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 31 October 2006
Time:18:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic B744 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-430
Operator:Lufthansa
Registration: D-ABVY
C/n / msn: 29869/1261
First flight: 2000
Total airframe hrs:32204
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 18
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 294
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 312
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ (EWR) (   United States of America)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ (EWR/KEWR), United States of America
Destination airport:Frankfurt International Airport (FRA/EDDF), Germany
Flightnumber:LH403
Narrative:
A Boeing 747-400, operated by Lufthansa as flight LH403, incurred substantial damage when its left wingtip impacted the right wingtip of a Continental Airlines Boeing 757-200 that was under tow, but stopped, at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), New Jersey. None of the 18 crewmembers and 294 passengers onboard LH403 were injured. There was no one onboard the B757 and the tug driver and radio operator were not injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed.
The accident occurred in the vicinity of the intersection of taxiways A and S. The B747 crew was not aware of the B757 in tow. The captain indicated that the accident occurred in an area where the B757 in tow was backlit by apron lights, and that the crew's attention was diverted to another B757 ahead that they had been instructed to follow. The B757 in tow, which had been taxiing ahead of the B747 prior to reaching the diverging taxiways, had received its taxi instructions prior to the B747 crew being on the frequency. Some taxiways were mislabeled on a Federal Aviation Administration airport diagram; however, the mislabeling did not affect the outcome of the accident.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the Boeing 747 crew to maintain an adequate visual lookout. Contributing to the accident were the night lighting conditions, the back lighting from the apron lights, and the crew's diverted attention in focusing on a Boeing 757 that they were instructed to follow."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 11 months
Accident number: NYC07LA017
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Ground collision

Sources:
» NTSB


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

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Map
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 Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ to Frankfurt International Airport as the crow flies is 6167 km (3854 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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