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Accident description
Last updated: 19 March 2018
Date:Tuesday 23 March 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic A321 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A321-211
Operator:Aer Lingus
Registration: EI-CPE
C/n / msn: 926
First flight: 1998-11-20 (5 years 4 months)
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-5B3/P
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 186
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 194
Airplane damage: Minor
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Dublin Airport (DUB/EIDW), Ireland
Whilst Aer Lingus Airbus A321-211 EI-CPE (Flight EI713) was stationary on Taxiway U, behind an A330 at the runway 27L holding point, its rudder was struck by the wing tip of British Airways Boeing 747-436 G-BNLK, which was under tow along Taxiway A. No injuries reported to the 194 persons on board the Aer Lingus Airbus EI-CPE.
The investigation by the AAIB revealed that the towing crew of Boeing 747 G-BNLK had assumed that as they had been cleared to tow, they would be clear of all obstacles. The base of the rudder on EI-CPE had sustained damage in the form of an angled slice through its structure aft of the hinge line, consistent with the left winglet of the B747-436 passing through the rudder, and the winglet exhibited damage on its leading edge, consistent with such contact.

No other damage was reportedly found relating to this collision. The rudder of EI-CPE was subsequently replaced, as was the winglet of G-BNLK, and both aircraft were returned to full commercial service.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: EW/C2004/03/07
Download report: Final report


Follow-up / safety actions

AAIB issued 3 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


photo of Airbus A321-211 EI-CPE
photo of Airbus A321-211 EI-CPE
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from London-Heathrow Airport to Dublin Airport as the crow flies is 446 km (279 miles).

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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