Just days after the Sept. 9 collision between a Delta regional jet and a parked Sky Chef vehicle on pushback at Detroit Metro Airport caused substantial damage to the aircraft’s wing, I was observing several aircraft being towed at a small regional airport in New England by a major FBO chain. Two of these aircraft – Gulfstream G4 and G5 - were being towed at the same time from remote parking to the FBO’s facility. The distance the aircraft were towed was at least a mile.
From my vantage point, not far from the FBO facility, it was clear that the aircraft were both being towed much too quickly. As they passed where I was standing, it was obvious that they were also much too close. The second aircraft was less than 50 feet from the aircraft ahead of it and both were moving much faster than was prudent.
The way these aircraft were being towed, there was no margin for error. Even a small mistake could have resulted in contact between the two aircraft and significant damage. Of course, a major mistake could have had even more serious consequences.
So, the question I have for all of you is, how do we get drivers to follow basic safety procedures? What works for you?