Back to Squawk list
  • 41

Tug crushed by American Airlines 737 at La Guardia Airport

Earlier today, an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 with registration N949NN was being towed to the gate... ( 기타...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Ed Kostiuk 24
We have an employee like that..........always says "not my fault" or "I'm an expert so it could not be my fault." My favorite was telling me he used to train tug operations for an FBO, who would not hire him back, this after I wrote him up for towing in high winds with a tail stand still attached to the Caravan.

Thanks for the video I can use it during my safety briefs.
That person sounds like an 'expert' in carelessness.
There are employees like that everywhere! You are not alone!
btweston 1
Sorry, I can’t find where the article says anything like that.
There are some physics lessons in play here, those regarding mass, velocity, and momentum.
tlfys1 8
And the physics of how fast the funds in this tug diver's bank account will now start to disappear
...that's realativty for ya....
Probably not... He may get fired or prosecuted if he was under the influence of something that he should not have been... If he was legal, he will probably just get 3 days off without pay and the union will fight for him!
AWAAlum 3
With help so hard to come by these days, you're probably right,Sparkie.
btweston 1
It must be cool to be so excited about having never made a mistake.
One of these days the dimwits news outlets assign to write these stories will figure out the difference between a hanger and a hangar.
Decosse 5
One can only hope. It would also be nice if people would remember that "brakes" are what stops a vehicle... unless something "breaks".
You sir, are an optimist.
sparkie624 -1
Wanna Bet!
"Taken to the hospital as a precaution" AND to get a drug test.
If he test positive to any level for Drugs or Alcohol or Drugs, he will not only be fired, but turned over to the police for Prosecution. If he is a Licensed Pilot or Mechanic, then he will also lose his license for life... I have no sympathy for someone working with me under the influence of either!
augerin got my vote today've hit it right on the nose!...
I jack-knifed the very first plane I ever pushed off a gate (727-200 at Terminal 1 LAX in 1978). 33 years later with hundreds of pushbacks and tows, my record stood at 1 when I retired. The number 1 rule on ramp movements of any kind is SPEED! Not sure what his mindset was dialed in to, but it sure wasn't on how fast he was going. I was surprised to also see the turn radius he was attempting and why he breached it, but again speed plays a big part in turning control. With the momentum of the aircraft, he didn't stand a chance of recovery. He's lucky he wasn't injured or killed.
He exceeded the Turn limits of that plane in the worst kind of way... to say the least... In 43 years, I have never had that to happen to me, but my tow instructor put me through it in training... We had to tow a plane from the Gate to the Hangar a long time ago... Went to push the plane off the gate and he said... Push it all the way to the hangar!....... UGH... that is over a MILE! he said Yeap!!! so there we went...5 Major 90 Degree turns once I started the push off the gate, I never stopped til I was in front hangar, and that is because we had to get the Wing Walkers in place... Continued to push it all the way in the Hangar into the Tail Doc! He signed me off for tow without an issue! - BTW, that was a 737-200 Aircraft!
I was skeptical when I saw the headline Tug Crushed. It should have said damaged. A tug is a pretty solid vehicle under the operator cockpit. Maybe these tug operators need a refresher course, like the operator in Alaska that didn't secure that 747-8.
Someone is going to get Drug Tested... Having driven many Tugs as a Mechanic over the years.. I cannot fathom the fact that this was not a preventable incident. I guess that American needs to add 1 more mechanic to their wanted list...
AA is saving a lot on "contract" employees. Hope it's worth it for them!
Tug driver tows J-41 to the hangar with no ground guides. both wing hit partially open hangar door and pulls nose gear from airframe . both props, engines and airframe totaled out.
sparkie624 1
Not surprising... Hopefully the Tug Operator was totaled out as well.
Ken Riehl 2
Tug crushed???
Aircraft out of service…
It amazes me that commercial aviation doesn't make brake riders mandatory on tow jobs. Especially considering that most airports can have so much equipment as well as other aircraft in the immediate vicinity of the ground movement operations.
sparkie624 -1
Each Airline sets the policy and the FAA Buys off on it... The Airline is financial responsible for any damage (even if it was not their plane) and that can get expensive, but they have insurance just like we do for cars. If you are ever a Break Rider and you are on a Long Tow and want to PO your Tug Driver, once he gets up to speed, smack the brakes and watch him fly forward! Heads up... Be ready for retaliation.. :)
Another angle:
Richard, This video confirms the front wheels of the aircraft are hanging in the air (off the ground). It is difficult to see this in the photo in the article unless you look for the shadows. The shadows for the front wheels of the aircraft are off the the left of the photo.
Last part of the URL is DUI... Hmm, coincidence? 😂
It is clear what happened... He was towing way to fast, went into a sharp turn and the plane had too much momentum to stop. Tow Bar Pins sheared and the plane continued its course... If it had not run over the tug, it would have probably been a lot worse running into a Jetway or another plane.
Momentum will get you every time you do not plan for it.
Interesting comments from a few who have never towed an aircraft or if they have only a "light aircraft" the big aircraft are a lot different than a Cessna 172 - DON'T judge the poor guy till the investergation done -
By the way American / United / Air Canada / and British Aireways - use ramp staff to drive the tow tugs and NO brake riders - So one can assume there was no one in the cockpit to appy the brakes when the tow bar broke. Maintanence Tows are by mechanics and do have brake riders -
Not sure who you may be referring, But I have towed large A/C with that size tug and not just GA Birds.... I have been trained how to do it and how to do it safely.. I saw in the video what happened. He was going way to fast and careless and the plane did not appear to be properly powered (No Nav Lt or Beacon and probably no Hydraulics! It is true they use, but if they don't use Break Riders.. that is there problem... I won't move an a/c with out one!
Very true! A brake rider is an extra safety measure, and an extra pair of ears and eyes up high to help or notify the tug driver of any dangers or problems, (Or excessive speed)!
AWAAlum 1
There is a foot and partial leg in view on the tug. After noticing that, it's even harder to figure out how that driver wasn't seriously hurt. I can't figure out how he fit under there without being crushed. One unfortunate, but yet lucky guy.
AA Profit Sharing will not happen this year as a result. This accident will be in the permanent employee file so that when this happens again we can fire you.

OK Captain your clear to turn One!
Will play little role as they have spare aircraft and Insurance will pay the bill on it.
You're missing the humor in the comment. Insurance will cover for their loss with higher premiums to AA. No such thing as "spare aircraft" in the airline world. It's either in service or in maintenance.
By today's standards with the Pilot Shortage, they always have spares as they do not have the crews to fly them... Right now, we have 2 Spares in every base ready to go at a moments notice. I guess I did miss the Humor on it... Besides, AA Probably not setup for profit anyway, it will probably ding them a little however!
The tug driver seem to turn the nose gear of the plane to a pretty extreme angle. Can any of you with 737 experience say what is the turning limit on that gear?

On any of the planes that I've flown, this would have been too far and likely damaged the nose gear.
JetMech24 2
Under normal conditions, you can't exceed 78 degrees tow angle which is a vertical stripe on the gear door so the tug driver always has a visual reference easily seen to not exceed the angle. The maintenance manual has procedures for exceeding this angle if it is really necessary, but was probably not implemented in this case. Since he was "pulling" the plane, instead of "pushing" it, he probably wasn't even watching his tow angle, on top of the excessive speed the video appears to show, if the video is not sped up.
John D 1
So, is the aircraft damaged? It seems to still be at LGA since 8-1-22
LOL.. look where the tug is.. Lots of damage, and the A/C being towed the way that nose gear got swung around, I am sure it is damaged as well.
John D 1
MY bad, have not looked at the video yet :)
John D 1
Sparkie, just watched the YouTube video, oh yeah. That is a mess. Be curious to see what it takes to repair that damage. Too bad there is not a way to delete a comment. I should have looked first.
to delete a comment... LOL, all of us have wished for that feature and have asked for it... From experience of working with this type of damage, chances are boeing will come in to fix the one that is on top of the tug. They will probably park it somewhere and put a tent over it... They will need to put the airframe in a cradle and probably straighten it. that plane will probably be AOS for 6 Months. the one with the Spun Nose Gear, that will probably be in the hangar a couple of days, probably getting the entire Nose Gear replace and Bulkhead inspections. - IMHO!
Greg S 1
I suspect the video was sped up a bit, I can't believe he was going that fast. Looks like he failed to straighten out during the turn for some unknown reason and the rest is history.
linbb 4
Could have been the fellow who should have kept the speed down was not on his game and let it build up tug driver doesnt apply the AC brakes.
He may have applied the breaks, but not have had adequate brake pressure. Make note, this plane appears not to have power on the A/c... The Accumulators won't take much to bleed down before there are no brakes... This tow is probably going to have 2 people to blame.. the Brake rider if there was one and the tow Driver.
If an accumulator bleeds down that fast, it has an internal leak and needs changing. That accumulator should be able to hold for long enough to two that aircraft anywhere on the field.
I have seen some pretty fast tug drivers... Keep in mind that mgmt is always on their back to get things moving to prevent delays and then around tell you that you should not have been moving so fast when an incident happens... I would say by the way he was under the other aircraft and sideways that he was moving at a pretty good pace to say the least!
You ought to watch towing at Miami International.....
Very Very Lucky to be alive. At police academy they had a saying, God watches over cops and fools. Well this fool I suspect used up his get out of jail free card to the eternal afterlife. Hmmm, Make marijuana legal they said, Harmless they said? Darwin Award candidate 2022. Proper noun. Darwin Award (plural Darwin Awards) (humorous) One of the international honors awarded to people who supposedly help to improve the human gene pool by "removing themselves from it in a spectacularly stupid manner."
Definition of 'Sweeping Statement', and you have provided a definition ....... seriously?
He was lucky he got away with just an underwear change!
LOL... If he was a COP, he was certainly Under Cover (Quite a few tons of cover).. But I am leaning to the Fool side of it on this occasion.
linbb -3
Thanks for playing dont understand all of you babbling about it nothing of value have a great day.
There should have been someone in the AC in position to monitor the move and apply the brakes as needed. Beyond the video being speeded up could have been a problem with the person who should have applied braking as needed the tug driver doesnt have any way to do it.
so not being a pilot myself, is there normally always someone in the plane? to brake? And if there was not? Then why did the tug driver pull it? wouldn't that violate some procedure to prevent this. Some required precheck and communication?
Every company is different, but with that said, every company that I have worked for has required a Brake Rider in the Cockpit that has been appropriately checked out on how to apply Hydraulics and save towing procedures.
interesting so i wonder why the article dosnt mention no one applied the brakes in AC inferring that the tug driver was to blame?
The tug driver was to blame. Ya, there should have been a brake rider in the cockpit, but everything started with excessive speed by the tug driver!
Implying. You are inferring.
How could they... They did not have power on the A/C and did not appear to be anyone in the cockpit.
If the 737 is anything like it's uncle the KC-135, there is a reserve brake accumulator that uses battery power to run the electrical pump.You can count on at least two solid brake applications but generally as many four or five. But that does no good without a brake rider.
The tug driver is responsible for the maneuvering and speed he’s towing the plane. The brake rider is there to assist.
Alan Jorge -2
What a bunch of jump to conclusinest. How just shut your trap until the “facts” ( y Okk u remember thiose pre Donald Trump data points) are known.
AWAAlum 1
Um - WHAT?


계정을 가지고 계십니까? 사용자 정의된 기능, 비행 경보 및 더 많은 정보를 위해 지금(무료) 등록하세요!
이 웹 사이트는 쿠키를 사용합니다. 이 웹 사이트를 사용하고 탐색함으로써 귀하는 이러한 쿠기 사용을 수락하는 것입니다.
FlightAware 항공편 추적이 광고로 지원된다는 것을 알고 계셨습니까?
FlightAware.com의 광고를 허용하면 FlightAware를 무료로 유지할 수 있습니다. Flightaware에서는 훌륭한 경험을 제공할 수 있도록 관련성있고 방해되지 않는 광고를 유지하기 위해 열심히 노력하고 있습니다. FlightAware에서 간단히 광고를 허용 하거나 프리미엄 계정을 고려해 보십시오..