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2020/14 eng

Report on air accident at Oslo airport Gardermoen, Norway 18 December 2018 with Boeing 787-9, ET-AUP operated by Ethiopian Airlines

Tuesday 18 December 2018 the wing on an Ethiopian Airlines plane collided with a light mast at de-icing stand «Bravo North». By a slip-up the airline crew were instructed by de-icing personnel to use a de-icing stand which is limited to airplanes with a wing span of less than 36 meters. A Boeing 787-9 has a wing span of 60,12 meters. The investigation has among other things shown that the de-icing coordinators did not have adequate technical aids to ensure that the correct de-icing stand was assigned, based on aircraft category. The crew on ET-AUP did not have access to information about what de-icing stands were authorized for their type of aircraft at Oslo Airport Gardermoen, and as the ET-AUP turned into the “Bravo North” de-icing area, there were no markings, lights, signage or other technical barriers to indicate to the crew that they had been assigned the wrong de-icing stand.

There was considerable damage to the outer section of the aircraft’s right wing, but there was no fuel leakage. The light mast was also considerably damaged.

The AIBN issues three safety recommendations in connection with this investigation.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation SL No. 2020/12T

On 18 December 2018, a Boeing 787-9 operated by Ethiopian Airlines collided with a light mast at a de-icing platform at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The de-icing coordinator had by a slip-up instructed ETH715 to taxi to a de-icing stand only authorized for aircraft with a much smaller wingspan. Information about what de-icing stands can be used by the various aircraft categories was not included in the AIP Norway, or in NOTAM. As for Gardermoen, this was subsequently ensured through issue of a revised AIP Norway on 10 October 2019.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that all airport operators for Norwegian airports review and issue information in AIP Norway for all other airports in Norway, stating limitations relating to what de-icing stands/areas the various aircraft categories can use.

Safety recommendation SL No. 2020/13T

On 18 December 2018, a Boeing 787-9 operated by Ethiopian Airlines collided with a light mast at a de-icing platform at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The de-icing coordinator had by a slip-up instructed the aircraft to taxi to a de-icing stand only authorized for aircraft with a much smaller wingspan.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that Avinor Oslo Airport, in consultation with the relevant handling operators, find suitable technical solutions for Gardermoen to prevent aircraft from being directed to the wrong de-icing stand.

Safety recommendation SL No. 2020/14T

On 18 December 2018, a Boeing 787-9 operated by Ethiopian Airlines collided with a light mast at a de-icing platform at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. In line with previously issued safety recommendations to FAA, EASA and ICAO, as well as the IFALPA Position Paper and with support from Cockpit Association of Norway (NF), the AIBN believes that anti-collision aids for taxiing would improve aviation safety.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway recommends that EASA consider to require large aircraft to be equipped with anti-collision aids for use during taxi.

Facts

Location Oslo airport Gardermoen, Norway (ENGM)
Occurrence date 17.12.2018
ICAO Location indicator ENGM
Aircraft Boeing 787 serie
Operator Ethiopian Airlines
Registration ET-AUP
Meteorological conditions VMC
County Viken
Type of occurrence Accident
Type of operation Scheduled air transport
Category of operation Heavy, aeroplane (> 10 000kg)
Aircraft category Landplane, Multi-engine, Turbofan/Turbojet
FIR/AOR ENOS (Oslo ATCC)