As of 1/22/05 Ship 732 is still out of service...
NTSB Identification: DEN05LA048
Scheduled 14 CFR
Part 121: Air Carrier operation of Continental Airlines INC.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 08, 2005 in Gunnison, CO
Aircraft: Boeing 737-724, registration: N16732
Injuries: 68 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On January 8, 2005, at 1333 mountain standard time, a Boeing 737-724, N16732, operated by Continental Airlines Inc, as Continental Flight 1662, was substantially damaged when it was struck by a snowplow while it was stopped on the taxiway at Gunnison County Airport (GUC), Gunnison, Colorado. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The airline transport certificated captain, airline transport certificated first officer, 3 flight attendants, and 68 passengers on board the airplane, and the driver of the snowplow were not injured. A passenger riding in the snowplow received minor injuries. The scheduled domestic passenger flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR
Part 121 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated at Houston, Texas, at approximately 0938.
According to the captain, after landing on runway 06, he rolled out to turn off on A8 taxiway. While taxing westbound to the gate, airport operations requested him to hold on the taxiway between A4
and A5 to give a Delta Airlines pushback crew some room to move another airplane around. After stopping, he set the brakes, and made a passenger announcement. Approximately 3 minutes later, the airplane was struck from the left rear by a snowplow. The force of the impact pushed the left main landing gear forward approximately 10 feet, turning the airplane to the right. He said he shut down the engines, requested an assessment from the flight attendants, and told the first officer to call for fire equipment. He then surveyed the damage from the cockpit window and aft galley service door window. At that time, the snowplow had backed off to the east approximately 50 yards. He stated that the airport visibility was reported at 2 miles. However, he could see the Western State "W" on the hill, approximately 2.5 miles south of the airport. After an assessment of the damage and confirmation from the fire crew that it was safe, the airplane was towed to the ramp and the passengers were deplaned with the airstairs.
According to the airport manager, the snowplow was an Oshkosh H-series truck with a 22-foot wide plow. The snowplow was plowing the taxiway and did not realize that the airplane had stopped. The snowplow hit the left main landing gear assembly. The right end of the plow blade struck the underside of the airplane's fuselage, on the wing-to-fuselage fairing approximately 3 feet aft of the trailing edge of the wing. The impact resulted in a 10-foot gash, running forward from the point of initial contact along the keel beam between the main landing gear wheel wells.
According to witnesses, the snowplow was plowing snow from the taxiway and was seen approaching the parked airplane at approximately 40 to 60 mph.
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