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Accident description
Last updated: 22 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Monday 11 December 2006
Time:06:01
Type:Silhouette image of generic B74S model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747SP-94
Operator:Syrian Arab Airlines
Registration: YK-AHB
C/n / msn: 21175/290
First flight: 1976-07-01 (30 years 6 months)
Total airframe hrs:52122
Cycles:21645
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 13
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 103
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 116
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN) (   Sweden)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Damascus International Airport (DAM/OSDI), Syria
Destination airport:Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN/ESSA), Sweden
Flightnumber:RB447
Narrative:
The aircraft, a Boeing 747SP, had landed at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport after a scheduled flight from Damascus, Syria. When taxiing in to the gate the pilots were guided regarding distance and lateral deviations from a display board on the terminal building. The display was programmed by an operator from a handling company. She had received information about the arriving aircraft type from the data system at the airport, where the type code 74L was stated. She was not familiar with this specific code, but presumed it was a standard Boeing 747, which her colleagues also assumed.
At the operators panel in the airbridge housing she programmed B747 after have deleted the first version alternative which was B747SP. The reason why 747 was first choice in the versions list, was that there had been accidents earlier at the airport when wrong version had been entered at the displays. A standard B747 is longer than a SP-version, implying that parking is considerably closer to the terminal building. The computer system laser scans the front profile of the parking aircraft to confirm that the correct type is programmed. Some gates at Arlanda have versions of this system that can separate different versions of the same aircraft type (B747 - B747SP). This modification was not implemented at the actual gate.
When the aircraft was taxiing in towards the gate the display indicated the type version B747, according to the computer log in the system. During the interview the Commander stated that he earlier had experienced that docking systems had displayed B747, and yet had been correct for a B747SP. The operator supervised the intaxiing and when she realized that the aircraft came alarmingly close to the airbridge housing, she activated the emergency stop button. This was however already activated by the ground staff at the ramp. The top of the left wing struck the under side of the airbridge at the same time as the display indicated "STOP" and a large hole was torn up at the upper side of the wing.

Probable Cause:

Causes: "The accident was caused by an inadequate training programme and deficient safety guidance in respect of the gate operator’s handling of the docking system. A contributory factor was that safety shortcomings that had been pointed out earlier had not been rectified."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: SHK Sweden
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: SHK Report RL 2007:23e
Download report: Final report

Classification:


Follow-up / safety actions

SHK issued 4 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of Boeing 747SP-94 YK-AHB
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Map
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 Damascus International Airport to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport as the crow flies is 3200 km (2000 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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