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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 188498
Last updated: 27 November 2021
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Time:10:50 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A320-231
Owner/operator:Cyprus Airways
Registration: 5B-DBC
MSN: 295
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 181
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:London Gatwick Airport Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: Pushback / towing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:London Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK)
Destination airport:Larnaca International Airport (LCA/LCLK)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Sustained substantial damage to Right elevator and stabiliser, whilst taxying for take off. According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft, with all the passengers on board, was ready to leave Stand 12 at London Gatwick Airport. Pushback was requested on the ground frequency and clearance was given, with the added instruction that the aircraft should be pushed "right back to the blast fence." This instruction was passed on to the headset man on the ground, who indicated that he was familiar with the requirement, and the pushback began. The headset man, who was responsible for ensuring the area was clear, was monitoring the pushback but his attention was also on another aircraft positioning onto Stand 12 behind him.

The tug driver had recently completed training and, a few days prior to the incident, had been released to operate without supervision. At the end of the pushback the flight crew felt a slight jolt and asked the headset man the reason for this. He replied "that's nothing" and so they instructed him to disconnect the tug from the aircraft.

Neither the driver nor the headset man was aware of any contact with the blast fence. Meanwhile another airport staff member had seen the tail of the aircraft hit the blast fence and went over and alerted the headset man. He called the flight crew back and informed them that the aircraft had hit the blast fence and that the engines should be shut down.

This was done and the flight crew requested assistance from the emergency services. On arrival they advised that the damage was confined to the right elevator and stabiliser and there was no risk of fire.

The right elevator and stabiliser had impacted the angled end of the blast fence causing substantial damage to the aircraft. The aircraft had come to a halt with the nosewheel and fuselage displaced 5.5 metres to the north of the taxiway centreline. If the marked taxiway centreline had been maintained during or on completion of the push back, the aircraft would have remained clear of the blast fence."


1. AAIB:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Airbus A320-231 5B-DSC of Cyprus Airways at Amsterdam Schiphol (EHAM) on 26-12-2007: 5B-DBC, Cyprus airways (2140401737)


Photo of 5B-DBC courtesy

Manchester - International (EGCC / MAN)
5 October 2007; (c) Don Gilham

Revision history:

03-Jul-2016 16:26 Dr.John Smith Added
03-Jul-2016 16:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Phase]
01-Jul-2017 14:54 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Location, Destination airport, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description