ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 757-324 (WL) N57852 San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 23 July 2019
Type:Silhouette image of generic B753 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 757-324 (WL)
Operator:United Airlines
Registration: N57852
MSN: 32811/995
First flight: 2001
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 192
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 199
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO) (   United States of America)
Phase: Pushback / towing (PBT)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO), United States of America
Destination airport:Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America
United Airlines flight 1161, N57852, a Boeing 757-324, received substantial damage during pushback. There were no injuries to the passengers or crew onboard. 
According to the flight crew the airplane was at gate 62 at San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO) and after the door was closed and Pre-flight and Before-pushback checklists were completed, the flight crew then received clearance to push back. According to the ground crew, the pushback operation was conducted with a tug driver and a wing walker at each wing. After pushback was initiated, another airplane was towed behind the accident airplane.
The tug driver stated he saw the other airplane and stopped but lost sight of the wing walker. After he thought the other airplane was clear, he started to move the airplane again, but then was signaled by the other airplanes ground crew to stop and that he had hit their airplane.
Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the right-hand elevator outboard section had broken at the second attach fitting. Also, the right-hand horizontal stabilizer had a puncture, end cap damage and other damage to the lower skin extending about 24 to 30 inches from the outboard end.  

Probable Cause:

Probable Cause: failure of the ground crew to maintain clearance from the parked airplane during pushback.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 7 months
Accident number: DCA19CA186
Download report: Summary report

Ground collision
Damaged on the ground


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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 San Francisco International Airport, CA to Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, IL as the crow flies is 2944 km (1840 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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