Updated: Oct 4, 2022
After an uneventful flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Georgia, USA) to Milwaukee_General Mitchel Airport (Wisconsin, USA) a Boeing 717-2BD had taxied to and parked at gate C14, the time was just after 20.00 local time. Onboard the aircraft was a crew of five and 103 passengers. The chocks were in place, the airbridge was connected and passengers had started leaving the aircraft.
The damaged fuselage (© NTSB)
The weather at Milwaukee was good, Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. While the passengers were leaving the aircraft a catering truck approached the aircraft's right forward service door. As the truck got closer to the aircraft the driver attempted to stop the aircraft. He applied the brakes three times consecutively, the truck however failed to stop and struck the aircraft.
Damage to the aircraft was extensive, however, limited to the area of a production splice. A joint where the forward section of the fuselage is mated to the mid-section of the fuselage. The following fuselage stations were damaged;
After the collision, the driver of the truck found a sleeve (a stack) of drink cups under the brake pedal. The damaged fuselage (© NTSB) This prevented the brakes from being applied, and thus the truck from being stopped. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report was alerted about the accident and an investigation was launched. Their report on the collision was published on the 22nd of January 2013. They concluded that the probable cause(s) of this accident was;
"An obstruction (a sleeve of cups) that lodged under the catering truck brake pedal, which prevented the driver from stopping the truck before it struck the parked airplane."
Although the was substantial, the aircraft was repaired and returned to service, The NTSB report, on which this blog is based, is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the .pdf file below;
The incident aircraft in 2006 (© Timo Blossfeld)