ASN Aircraft accident Canadair CL-600-2B19 Regional Jet CRJ-200ER N961SW San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 28 April 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRJ2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Canadair CL-600-2B19 Regional Jet CRJ-200ER
Operator:SkyWest Airlines
On behalf of:United Express
Registration: N961SW
MSN: 7857
First flight: 2003
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 27
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 30
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO), United States of America
Destination airport:Bakersfield-Meadows Field, CA (BFL/KBFL), United States of America
SkyWest Airlines flight 5260, a CRJ-200, was struck after being pushed back from the gate by an airplane that was being towed by maintenance personnel at San Francisco International Airport (KSFO), California, USA. There were no injuries and both airplanes received substantial damage.
After having been pushed back from the gate, N961SW was awaiting taxi clearance with engines operating and the parking brake set when it was struck by the Boeing 777 that was being reposition under tow. The tug driver that was pushing the Boeing 777 indicated that he saw wing walkers on both sides and began to push back. He stated that he never saw any signal from the wing walker's signal wands indicating to stop. The left wing walker stated that the tow driver started pushing the Boeing 777 in reverse before asking if he and the other walkers were ready stating, that the airplane "was halfway out of the gate before I could react." He stated that, after the airplane entered the roadway, he notice that the tug driver was not slowing down as he approached N961SW. The left wing walk made an "X" with his signal wands and then started jumping up and down and moving to better location to be seen. The Boeing 777's lower left fuselage contacted the right stabilizer of N961SW resulting in substantial damage to the stabilizer and right elevator.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: "The tug driver's failure to comply with the wing walkers direction to stop, which resulted in the towed airplane colliding with N961SW."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years
Accident number: DCA16CA139
Download report: Final report

Ground collision
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 San Francisco International Airport, CA to Bakersfield-Meadows Field, CA as the crow flies is 381 km (238 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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