AAIB investigation to Piper PA-34, N37US
Wingtip collision during taxi, Jersey Aero Club, Jersey Airport, 11 April 2016.
The aircraft was to be test-flown following maintenance, and was parked in the aero club parking area, which is connected to the taxiway system by a paved private taxi route which is not designed to meet any particular standards. ATC cleared the pilot to taxi to the runway holding point, and he followed the taxi route centreline. Having reached the holding point, ATC informed the pilot that his aircraft’s wing had contacted another aircraft parked beside the taxi route, and the flight was abandoned.
Inspection showed minor damage to the wingtip of a PA-28 which was parked adjacent to the taxi route.
Notwithstanding that the collision occurred while the aircraft followed a taxi route, rather than taxiway, the pilot’s own analysis of the collision caused him to realise that following a taxiway centreline does not assure clearance from parked aircraft.