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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 178531
Last updated: 27 January 2022
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B752 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 757-23N (WL)
Owner/operator:US Airways
Registration: N203UW
MSN: 30548/930
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 67
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR) -   Belgium
Phase: Standing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR)
Destination airport:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL)
Investigating agency: AAIU Belgium
At 09:41 UTC, flight US751 to Philadelphia (KPHL), scheduled to depart at 09:55, started pushback from stand 204 at Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU). The aircraft was pushed back on taxiway R4 and then towed on taxiway S. This was done by a single operator driving a towbarless tug nose wheel lifter.
At position 210 the ramp operator was told to stop the aircraft whereupon he instructed the flight crew to set the brake. Subsequently the pilot gave permission to disconnect the steering by-pass pin and the chord of the headset.
When this was done, the ramp operator was walking back to his tug when suddenly he heard the engines spooling up and saw the aircraft starting to move. He immediately ran to the right hand side of the aircraft trying to catch the attention of the pilots by hand signals. But meanwhile the nose gear of the aircraft collided with the lifting mechanism of the tow tug. The tug was pushed forward several meters before the aircraft came to an abrupt stop, resulting in a bouncing movement of the aircraft nose.
The tug continued moving for a few meters after the aircraft had stopped. The ramp operator reconnected the headset and informed the flight crew about what happened. The flight crew further notified ATC about the event. A maintenance crew arrived at the scene and confirmed that the aircraft was able to taxi to a parking stand. Passengers and crew remained on board while aircraft was inspected. At 13:55 UTC passengers disembarked and flight was cancelled.
The collision caused some cabin crew to fall over with several of them being slightly injured. However, none of them wanted to see a doctor. No injuries were reported among the passengers. The ground operator also didnít suffer any injury.

The collision occurred because the aircraft started to taxi whilst the pushback was not completed. Contributing factors were the lack of any visible cue to the flight crew inherent to the current operation with a towbarless tug and due to procedures not harmonised between the ground operator and the airline.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIU Belgium
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Photo of N203UW courtesy

Miami - International (KMIA / MIA)
16 February 2020; (c) Lewis Grant

Revision history:

11-Aug-2015 17:58 harro Added
11-Aug-2015 18:09 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description