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Last updated: 19 November 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 3 March 2017
Time:18:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-214
Operator:easyJet
Registration: G-EZTV
C/n / msn: 4234
First flight: 2010-02-15 (7 years )
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B4/3
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 172
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 178
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Manchester Airport (MAN) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC), United Kingdom
Destination airport:København-Kastrup Airport (CPH/EKCH), Denmark
Flightnumber:U21985
Narrative:
EasyJet flight 1985, a scheduled service from Manchester, U.K. to Copenhagen, Denmark, was cancelled after a tow truck jack-knifed and became stuck under the aircraft's fuselage.
During the pushback from Stand 1 at Manchester Airport, in dark and wet conditions, the flight deck crew felt a fore and aft jolt and heard a mechanical "clunk". The commander informed the headset operator who conferred with the tug driver, and then visually checked the towbar and its attachment to the tug and to the aircraft. The ground crew saw nothing abnormal and they assumed the clunk was due to the tow hitch shifting, which is a familiar occurrence. The headset operator informed the commander that all was well, and the pushback continued. In response to a request from the commander, the headset operator
indicated the left engine could be started, although the aircraft had not reached the designated engine start positon for that stand.
As the aircraft was halted, in preparation for being pulled forward to the release point, the headset operator approved a request from the flight deck crew to start the right engine.
The commander was conscious of the aircraft beginning to move gently forward, while he was concentrating on starting the right engine. Both the tug and the headset operator were concealed from his field of view and he was not surprised when the aircraft’s nose turned first to the right and then to the left, as if it was being lined-up on the taxiway centreline. He then heard an urgent instruction from the headset operator for the brakes to be applied, so he responded by pressing on the toe brakes before setting the park brake. The headset operator then informed him that the tug and aircraft had collided, but that nobody was injured. Both engines were then shut down.
Ground crew from adjacent stands came to assist and found the towbar was still connected to both the tug and to the aircraft. The nose gear leg was rotated approximately 90° to the left and the tow bar was bent around the front corner of the tug. The shear pins on the towbar had fractured, and pieces were later found within the boundary of the stand, but the central retaining pin remained intact. The passengers and crew disembarked without injury from the rear right exit door.

An investigation by the ground handling company showed One of the pins on this towbar had failed 16 days before the accident and only that pin had been replaced. It was also established that other maintenance procedures for the shear pins had not been followed. They had not been lubricated correctly and the training given to ground crews did not prepare them for conducting adequate serviceability checks on the pins.

Probable Cause:

No Probable Cause was issued by the AAIB

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 289 days (10 months)
Accident number: EW/G2017/03/01
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Collision with airport equipment
Damaged on the ground

Sources:
» BEA


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Wheels fallen off

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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 Manchester Airport to København-Kastrup Airport as the crow flies is 987 km (617 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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