ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 N288SA Ketchikan-Waterfront SPB, AK (WFB)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 7 August 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic DHC6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300
Operator:Seaborne Aviation
Registration: N288SA
MSN: 389
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:33938
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 17
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Ketchikan-Waterfront SPB, AK (WFB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Standing (STD)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base, AK (WFB), United States of America
Destination airport:?
A float equipped DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 airplane, N288SA, sustained substantial damage while docked at Ketchikan, Alaska, when it was struck by another float equipped DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 airplane, N224SA. Both airplanes were being operated as visual flight rules (VFR) local area sightseeing flights when the accident occurred. There were no injuries.
The crew of N288SA was beginning a passenger briefing to passengers before departing on a sightseeing flight. The passengers were on board the airplane, but the engines had not been started. N224SA, was also tied to the Ketchikan dock, parked behind N288SA. Each airplane was separated by about eight feet.
The crew of N224SA had completed their briefing to the passengers on board the airplane, and had started the engines. The airplane was tethered to the dock by ropes attached to the floats at the forward and aft end of the airplane. Each rope was tended by a company dock handler. Due to a slight change in the manner the passengers arrived from a cruise ship, the passengers had not received a briefing booklet before boarding N224SA. A company representative approached the forward dock handler to hand the briefing booklets to the airplane crew. The aft dock handler observed this activity and mistook its meaning as a "thumbs up" signal. He released the docking rope, allowing N224SA to begin moving forward under idle power. The nose of N224SA collided with the tail of N288SA.

N288SA received damage to the rudder and trim tab assembly. N224SA received minor damage to the left pitot tube, and the left side of the nose.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A failure of ground handling personnel to verify a release procedure/directive, and removal of a second airplane's tiedown, and subsequent collision from a second airplane."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Accident number: ANC99LA107A
Download report: Summary report

Ground collision
Damaged on the ground



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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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