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The aircraft was being pushed back from the parking bay of the operating company. The despatch engineer, who was on headset to the flight deck, was located near the nosewheels prior to commencement of pushback. When pushback commenced, he walked on the right side (looking to the rear of the aircraft) of the nosewheels, slightly leading them in the direction of travel and approximately one metre from them. Shortly after pushback commenced, the tug driver initiated a turn such that the nosewheels turned towards the despatch engineer. At this point the despatch engineer was seen to stumble and fall into the path of the oncoming nosewheels, one of which ran over his right lower leg. The tug driver immediately applied the brakes, selected reverse gear and pulled the aircraft off the engineer's leg. The investigation determined that the injured engineer had been in the employ of the company for one year at the time of the accident. He had done approximately six months on-the-job training in tarmac duties including pushback procedures. He was considered competent to do pushbacks of all aircraft in the fleet. The investigation did not determine what caused the engineer to stumble and fall. Company procedures for receipt and despatch of aircraft are published. Included in those procedures is a warning that "the despatch engineer must remain on one side of the aircraft, clear of nosewheels, whilst the aircraft is moving". The procedures also include advice that "the aircraft will normally be pushed back to a nominated despatch area with the despatch engineer walking beside the tractor and adjacent to the driver". The despatch engineer was aware of these published procedures. The reason he did not follow the procedures was not determined.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 25KB]
General details
Date: 04 March 1990 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1450  
Location:Melbourne Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other 
Release date: 17 August 1990 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 767 
Aircraft registration: VH-RMH 
Serial number: 22696 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Melbourne, VIC
Departure time:N/A
Destination:Hobart, TAS
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