Investigation of Aircraft Wingtip Collisions on the Ground
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Today’s economy relies heavily on air travel for both business, personal and freight movements. Air traffic has quadrupled from 1978-2010 with nearly 14 million air carrier operations in 2015 (Federal Aviation Administration). Incidents are bound to happen since airports are complicated intricately connected places with aircraft, ground service vehicles and people are always moving. Getting an aircraft into the sky involves more than just fueling and getting passengers onboard. It involves dozens of individuals at multiple companies to work together effectively and safely. In-flight catering items must be restocked, checked luggage and cargo ushered throughout the airfield and loaded, fuel is pumped, the cabin is cleaned and lavatories are serviced all while an aircraft is on the ground preparing for the next flight. Airports are routinely active throughout the day with early morning departures and late night arrivals. Ground operations are extremely complex requiring coordination among numerous companies and stakeholders. This is often overlooked by the traveling public that want to get to their destination quickly and comfortably. However, these crews are vital for the safe completion of the flight, and often are a contributing factor to the cause of these wing accidents. This report attempts to find a common element to the 414 wing incidents that occurred between 1979 and 2017.