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Last updated: 22 March 2019
Date:Thursday 4 August 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-3H4 (WL)
Operator:Southwest Airlines
Registration: N368SW
C/n / msn: 26579/2473
First flight: 1993-05-05 (23 years 3 months)
Total airframe hrs:72354
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3B1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 129
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 135
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, MD (BWI) (   United States of America)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, MD (BWI/KBWI), United States of America
Destination airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
Southwest Airlines flight 149, a Boeing 737-300, N368SW, experienced a failure of the nose landing gear during pushback from the gate at the Baltimore/Washington-Thurgood Marshall International Airport, Maryland, USA. The aircraft was substantially damaged and there were no injuries to the 6 crewmembers or 129 passengers but the airplane was substantially damaged.
According to the flight crew, as the pushback tug was maneuvering the aircraft off the gate, the flight crew felt the front of the airplane bounce up and down, and then came to rest on the nose. The passengers were deplaned via air stairs.

The nose gear collapsed in a forward direction, resulting in substantial damage to the gear structure, the nose gear well, and crushing the forward bulkhead. An airport surveillance camera video was obtained, which showed the tug pushing the aircraft at approximately 6 knots. The tug specifications indicate that speed could be achieved only in second gear or higher. The airline general operating manual specifies that pushback must be conducted in low or first gear, and at a walking speed.

As a result of the damage sustained, retirement of the aircraft was moved forward.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The tug operators excessive speed during pushback."




photo of Boeing 737-3H4 (WL) N368SW
photo of Boeing 737-3H4 (WL) N368SW
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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 Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, MD to Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA as the crow flies is 921 km (576 miles).

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Boeing 737-300

  • 1113 built
  • 31st loss
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