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Last updated: 11 November 2019
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 23 March 2019
Time:21:10 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-232
Operator:Wizz Air
Registration: HA-LPL
C/n / msn: 3166
First flight: 2007-06-06 (11 years 10 months)
Engines: 2 IAE V2527-A5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 159
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 165
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Bristol Airport (BRS) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bristol Airport (BRS/EGGD), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport (KTW/EPKT), Poland
Narrative:
An Airbus A320 at Stand No 2 at Bristol Airport had been given clearance and was being made ready for pushback. The nosewheel steering bypass pin had been installed and the TLD 200MT lift tug was aligned with the aircraft nose landing gear main forging. The tug was being driven by a driver undergoing his first pushback in this model and type of tug, under the direct supervision of a trainer seated alongside in the cab.
The tug was being brought forward using its laser guidance system and joystick and was at the point where the 'paddles' close around the nosewheels. Whilst this was taking place the trainer observed movement of the nose gear followed by a bang.
The driver immediately stopped the procedure, the brakes were applied, and the trainer and driver exited the cab to investigate the cause of the bang. On inspection they found that the paddle on the left side of the aircraft had contacted, and damaged, the nut on the torque link centre pivot. There also was a significant witness mark on the paddle. They then informed the aircraft commander and the aircraft maintenance company. The scheduled flight was cancelled, and the aircraft taken out of service. There were no injuries reported by the passengers or the crews of the aircraft and tug.

Probable Cause:

It is not clear why the event occurred. The handling company confirmed that the training and knowledge of the requirement to align with the nosewheels was in place. However, in this case it is possible that a momentary lapse in concentration led to the system being aligned to the nose leg rather than the nose wheels. This error is likely to have gone unnoticed because the 10° to 15° offset of the nosewheels was not significant enough to indicate a problem.

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 201 days (7 months)
Accident number: EW/G2019/03/11
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Damaged on the ground

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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 Bristol Airport to Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport as the crow flies is 1514 km (946 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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