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Last updated: 20 November 2018
Status:Final
Date:Tuesday 12 September 2017
Time:13:10
Type:Silhouette image of generic B739 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-924ER (WL)
Operator:United Airlines
Registration: N69813
C/n / msn: 43531/4773
First flight: 2014-01-20 (3 years 8 months)
Total airframe hrs:13045
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-7B27E
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 133
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 140
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX) (   United States of America)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Destination airport:San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO), United States of America
Flightnumber:UA447
Narrative:
United Airlines flight UA447, a Boeing 737-900 (N69813) sustained damage when the right hand winglet scraped the horizontal stabilizer of Air Canada flight AC785, a Boeing 767-300ER (C-GHOZ) at Los Angeles International Airport, California, USA.
The Boeing 767 was being marshalled onto gate 69B after arrival and was instructed to stop approximately 15 feet short of the stop line because it is normally a tow-in gate. The flight crew shut down the engines and awaited the ground crew to hook up the tow bar. There are white lines painted around each gate area to aid ground vehicles driving on the ramp. The B767 tail protruded beyond the white lines perpendicular to, and adjacent to, taxiway C.
The Boeing 737 was taxiing out for departure via taxiway C in accordance with ATC instructions. The captain reported that he saw the B767 and maneuvered left of centerline for more clearance. However, the NTSB reports that surveillance video from Gate 69B showed that the B737 nosewheel was tracking along the yellow centerline of taxiway C.
The captain asked the first officer (FO), who was heads down making FMS entries, to look and verify if they had enough clearance. The FO reported he saw that the B767 was hooked up to the tug but wasn't sure if it was being towed. He judged that there was about 5 feet of clearance. He said he saw no action by the marshallers indicating they thought the airplanes were too close.
As the airplane continued taxiing, the right winglet of the B737 contacted the horizontal stabilizer of the B767. The flight crew reported that they did not feel an impact but were told by ATC that the collision had occurred. The B737 returned to the gate and deplaned passengers normally. The B767 was towed into the gate and deplaned passengers normally.
C-GHOZ received substantial damage to its right hand elevator's lower right stabilizer control surface.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The B737 flight crew's misjudgement of the clearance between their wingtip and the B767 horizontal stabilizer."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 12 months
Accident number: DCA17CA195A
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Ground collision


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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 Los Angeles International Airport, CA to San Francisco International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 540 km (337 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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