Temperatures were in in the high 70s under sunny skies at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday, when a United Airlines employee driving a deicing truck hit the port-side engine of one of the airline’s 757s.
Deicing in that weather? Well, luckily no one was hurt and the plane wasn’t scheduled for flight – if only because it was serving as a deicing drill.
“Our crews were conducting deicing training on an aircraft and the deicing mechanism did come into contact with the aircraft, but there was no one on the aircraft,” a United spokeperson told local reporters. “There is damage. We’re evaluating and we will make repairs.”
This news came my way yesterday afternoon. I’ve since tried to find out more and will continue to do so. But deadlines loom and it’s to write this week’s blog.
Anyway, I can’t do much better than to reiterate the blog John Goglia wrote this morning entitled, “What Does A Forgotten Chock Tell You?” As the flight he was on was pushed back from the gate, he felt the unmistakable feeling of the plane running over something. Shortly after, he could see the chocks the plane had just run over.
“When chocks are left behind,” he writes, “it indicates a rushed or sloppy (or, even worse, rushed and sloppy) operation.”
No more than two weeks ago, we both picked up news of an accident in Nashville that left one expensive private plane atop another expensive private plane after a tow bar possibly gave way.
And now we have a drill with a deicer. I don’t know about you, but “drill” to me suggests that there had to have been some type of training and level of skill demonstrated before this accident. After all, a drill is a dry run. You know what to do.
So how are we doing out there? Are we rushed? Just sloppy? Or rushed and sloppy?