ASN Aircraft accident Airbus A330-243 OD-MEA Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 17 December 2010
Type:Silhouette image of generic A332 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A330-243
Operator:Middle East Airlines - MEA
Registration: OD-MEA
MSN: 984
First flight: 2009-01-13 (1 year 11 months)
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG (   France)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG), France
Destination airport:Beirut International Airport (BEY/OLBA), Lebanon
The Airbus A330 was about to be pushed back from stand H12 at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
During the push back manoeuvre, the tractor driver tried to align the aircraft with the centre line of the taxiway. The aircraft crossed the centreline and came to rest in an off-centre position with the nose gear out of alignment.
The crew started the No. 1 engine, which stabilized at ground idle speed. After about one minute, the tractor driver attempted to pull the aircraft forward to align the nose gear wheels with the centreline. Almost simultaneously, the crew started the No. 2 engine.
As the tractor driver pulled the aircraft forward, the tractor lost traction when rolling on ice. The plane continued to advance by pushing the tractor.
The ground agent, in contact with the crew by wire, asked them to apply the parking brake. The plane continued to move forward and the tractor skidded to the left. The tow bar couplings broke and the tractor struck the side of the fuselage. The crew braked and the aircraft came to a stop.

Probable Cause:

The second engine speed stabilized as the tractor pulled the aircraft towards the front. The inertia of the aircraft and the thrust of both engines at idle exerted a forward force while the tractor, offset to the left, had lost all power adhesion.
The accident was caused by a pushback manoeuvre on icy ground.

Contributed to the accident:
- insufficient measures to prevent and/or treat ground ice storms;
- the particular configuration of the H12 parking point, which leaves little space for pushback;
- difficulties in understanding between ground staff and crew.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Accident number: od-a101217
Download report: Final report


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 Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to Beirut International Airport as the crow flies is 3164 km (1978 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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