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On 2 February 2006 at approximately 1308 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a US registered Boeing Company 747-422 (747) aircraft was taxiing for departure at Melbourne Airport, Vic. At the same time, a Boeing Company 767-338ER (767) aircraft was stationary on taxiway Echo and waiting in line to depart from runway 16. The tail section of the 767 was protruding into taxiway Alpha while it was stationary on taxiway Echo awaiting a clearance to enter the runway.

The pilots of the 747 received a clearance to taxi, which included a taxi route from the international apron to the holding point on taxiway Bravo, for a departure from runway 16, via taxiways Uniform then Alpha. The pilot in command of the 747 deviated from the taxi clearance issued by the surface movement controller and turned the 747 right into taxiway Echo, to pass behind the 767. The left wing tip of the 747 collided with the right horizontal stabiliser of the 767 as the 747 crew attempted to manoeuvre behind the 767.

The taxiway dimensions and markings at Melbourne Airport complied with international standards and were suitable for use by the aircraft types involved in the occurrence.

The 747 crew was aware of the 767, and chose to pass behind it rather than wait on taxiway Alpha until the 767 was no longer obstructing the taxiway. The decision by the pilot in command of the 747 to deviate off the centreline of taxiway Alpha and taxi behind the 767 did not comply with the taxi clearance issued by the SMC. It was based on his assessment that it was safe to do so. The pilot in command of the 747 misjudged the distance between the wingtip of the 747 and the right horizontal stabiliser of the 767, which resulted in the collision.

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General details
Date: 02 February 2006 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1308 hours ESuT  
Location   (show map):Melbourne, Aerodrome Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria Occurrence type: Taxiing collision/near collision 
Release date: 30 June 2006 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft 1 details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 767 
Aircraft registration: VH-OGH 
Serial number: 24930 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Melbourne, Vic
Destination:Sydney, NSW
Aircraft 2 details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 747 
Aircraft registration: N127UA 
Serial number: 28813 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Melbourne, Victoria
Destination:Sydney, NSW
 
 
 
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Last update 18 April 2018