ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-8FE (WL) VH-YFT Hobart Airport, TAS (HBA)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 7 December 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-8FE (WL)
Operator:Virgin Australia Airlines
Registration: VH-YFT
MSN: 41028/5557
First flight: 2015-08-27 (1 year 3 months)
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B24E
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Hobart Airport, TAS (HBA) (   Australia)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Hobart Airport, TAS (HBA/YMHB), Australia
Destination airport:Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW (SYD/YSSY), Australia
A Boeing 737-8FE aircraft, registered VH-YFT (YFT) was parked on bay 3 at Hobart Airport, Tasmania, as the crew prepared to conduct Virgin Australia flight 1531 to Sydney, New South Wales. Another Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE aircraft, registered VH-VUP (VUP), was parked on bay 2, adjacent to YFT. Boarding had commenced for the flight (VA1321) to Melbourne. The bays required power-in and power-out taxiing, as there were no tug facilities available at Hobart Airport.

At about 10:12, the first officer of YFT requested a clearance to taxi and was advised of an Airbus A320 aircraft on their left taxiing out (to the south) and to follow that aircraft. The captain commenced turning the aircraft to the right, out of the bay, with the nose wheels just inside the marked lead-out line. During the turn, another A320 aircraft was taxiing in towards the parking bays from the north and the captain became uncertain as to which A320 to follow, and stopped the aircraft to clarify their taxi clearance. After stopping, the captain removed their hand from the tiller, which caused the nose wheels of YFT to centre.

After confirming the clearance, the captain recommenced taxiing. The dispatcher and ramp supervisor, both marshalling the aircraft, stood with their arms out and thumbs up to indicate YFT was clear of obstacles, particularly the wingtip of the parked aircraft (VUP). However, YFT then tracked towards the tail of VUP as it turned, and subsequently the left wingtip collided with the horizontal stabiliser of VUP. Both aircraft sustained substantial damage and no one was injured.

Probable Cause:

The ATSB summary report did not contain an Annex 13 Probable Cause statement.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: ATSB (Australia)
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 168 days (6 months)
Accident number: AO-2016-167
Download report: Final report

Ground collision
Damaged on the ground


photo of Boeing-737-8FE-VH-YFT
accident date: 07-12-2016
type: Boeing 737-8FE (WL)
registration: VH-YFT
photo of Boeing-737-8FE-VH-YFT
accident date: 07-12-2016
type: Boeing 737-8FE (WL)
registration: VH-YFT
photo of Boeing-737-8FE-VH-YFT
B737 aircraft taxi track with nose wheel on lead-out line (left) and approximate incident taxi path (right)

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 Hobart Airport, TAS to Sydney-Kingsford Smith International Airport, NSW as the crow flies is 1036 km (647 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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