The aircraft was being pushed back from its stand by a ‘towbarless’ tug when the pilots detected a “major shake” from the aircraft nose landing gear. On inspection, damage was found on the torque link pivot of the nose landing gear and the aircraft had to be taken out of service. The damage had been the result of incorrect alignment of the tug lifting paddles. This was caused by the tug laser alignment system being lined up on the nose gear main forging whilst the nosewheels were 10° to 15° off centre. The handling company have taken four safety actions to prevent recurrence.
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Published 10 October 2019