The Airplane Impacted The Tow Tractor With The Left Wing Collapsing The Cab Of The Tow Tractor

Location: Kahului, HI Incident Number: DCA24LA034
Date & Time: November 30, 2023, 06:14 Local Registration: N494HA
Aircraft: Boeing 717-200 Injuries: 1 Minor, 119 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air carrier – Scheduled

On November 30, 2023, about 0614 Hawaii standard time (HST), a Boeing 717-200, N494HA, sustained minor damage when it was involved in an incident after pushback and while taxiing for departure at Kahului Airport (OGG), Maui, Hawaii. The 119 passengers and crew onboard were uninjured. One ramp personnel sustained minor injuries. The flight was operating as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight from OGG to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Honolulu, Hawaii.

The flight crew reported that after push back from the gate, they received clearance from the tug driver to start the engines. The number one (left) engine was successfully started, the brakes set, and the ground crew was instructed to disconnect the tow bar. While waiting for load closeout and an air route traffic control clearance, the number two (right) engine was successfully started, and the ground crew was released to disconnect the headset and nose landing gear bypass pin. The captain confirmed the pin had been disconnected, the after-start checklist was completed, and a taxi clearance was received from ATC. The taxi commenced followed by an unusual motion as the airplane impacted the tow tractor.

The operator reported that after push back, the disconnect agent disconnected the tow bar from the airplane, and the tow tractor was moved to the left side of the airplane by the tow tractor driver while waiting for the all clear signal from the flight crew. The disconnect agent remained near the front of the airplane and attempted to show the nose landing gear bypass pin to the pilots while the tow tractor driver sounded the vehicle’s horn to gain the flight crews attention. 

Subsequently, the airplane began to move, the tow tractor driver attempted to move the tractor away from the path of the airplane while the disconnect agent vacated the area towards the terminal. The airplane impacted the tow tractor with the left wing collapsing the cab of the tow tractor. Airport fire and rescue responded to the scene and extricated the driver who was transported to the local hospital for treatment. 

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed minor damage to the left wing. The following NTSB specialists were assigned to investigate the incident: operations, cockpit voice recorder (CVR), and flight data recorder (FDR). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hawaiian Airlines, The Boeing Company, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are parties to the investigation.

The FDR and the CVR were removed from the airplane and shipped to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder Laboratory in Washington, DC, for download of the data.

The investigation continues.