Boeing 767-200, EI-DBW
The aircraft had recently arrived at Gatwick, following an uneventful scheduled flight from Moscow, and it was assigned to Stand 32M. Stand 32 at Gatwick’s South Terminal consists of three possible parking positions 32 left (32L), 32 (32M) and 32 right (32R). In preparation for the arrival of the aircraft, a set of motorised passenger steps had been positioned in the inter stand clearway to the left of Stand 32, leaving enough clearance for the aircraft to taxi onto Stand 32M. The driver of the motorised steps also noticed that the parking aids were set for the aircraft to taxi onto, and park on, Stand 32M. When the aircraft arrived, it was observed, by the ground staff, to turn onto Stand 32L, instead of Stand 32M. Upon seeing the aircraft turn onto Stand 32L, a member of the ground support staff then switched the stand parking aids from Stand 32M to Stand 32L, thinking they had been initially set incorrectly. With the aircraft now approaching Stand 32L, the aircraft’s left wing was overhanging the inter stand clearway on which the motorised steps were parked. The driver of the steps realised that the aircraft was approaching the wrong stand; he moved away from the steps and attempted to try to attract the pilot’s attention, without success. The pilot continued to park on the stand, guided by the parking aids now set on 32L. The leading edge of the left wing then came in contact with the handrail of the motorised passenger steps. Each parking stand has a stop button which allows ground staff to immediately indicate to the flight crew of the parking aircraft to stop. At no point during the incident was the stop button utilised. Since this incident the ground handling agent has issued a notice to its entire staff about the use of the stop button.
EI-DBW-07-05.pdf (55.37 kb)