Monday, April 16, 2007

El Al accident on Paris airport taxiway

damageA few days ago, a Boeing 747-400 aircraft operated by El Al had a run-in -- literally! -- with a tug on a taxiway at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris. The accident did substantial damage to the aircraft, and presumably to the tug. Fortunately no people were injured, but according to the buzz on several message boards and forums, the rampers operating the tug had a very close call.

El Al Flight 324 was preparing to depart from from CDG for a scheduled flight to Tel Aviv. An early report about the accident on the Israeli website quoted an El Al official who said, "While the plane was being towed ahead of take off, the plane's engine was hit by the towing vehicle. We are now trying to evaluate the damage caused to the engine." However most other reports, including one on the aviation news website, say it was the aircraft that hit the tug, not the other way around.

The article on, which includes two photos, reports:
A spokesman for airports operator Aeroports de Paris says the pushback tractor had been disconnected from the aircraft but was still under the 747 when it started to taxi.

"During the departure the tractor had pushed back the aircraft," he says. "It was still under the aircraft and the pilot decided to go without authorisation from the ground staff. Normally the pilot has to wait for ground staff authorisation before moving."
One of the photos on clearly shows the tug jammed underneath the number three engine. For more photos (and some discussion, for those who can read French) visit this thread on Avia Passion, a French language aviation forum.

[Photo Source]