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Ground Staff Found Responsible for Melbourne Airport Crash

Ground staff at Melbourne Airport was found responsible for a crash that happened at the airport in 2013.

Back in 2013, there was an on-the-ground collision between a Virgin Australia plane and a Jetstar A320 on the tarmac at the Melbourne Airport (MEL). The Virgin Australia plane was given the all-clear to push back from the gate and when it did, it ran into the Jetstar aircraft, damaging the left wing of Virgin’s plane and the back of the Jetstar plane. The damage costs were about $3 million. At the time, the accident was blamed on cost-cutting measures.

Yesterday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its official report about the incident, finding that the ground staff was at fault due to a monitoring breakdown. The report says that the on-tarmac dispatcher for Virgin Australia couldn’t see the left wing of the plane and gave the all clear anyway. The dispatcher also couldn’t see where the Jetstar plane was and assumed it was on the gate, not realizing that it was a little away from the terminal due to a systems error. Plus, there was no wing walker on duty at the time for the Virgin flight, and a wing walker should be issued during pushback, the report said.

Jetstar was not found to be at fault in any way.

“Jetstar personnel followed the correct procedures,” spokesman Luke Enright told the Herald Sun.

Virgin Australia released comments about the report, telling the Herald Sun that “safety is always our number one priority and it is important to note that no one was injured during this event.”

[Photo: Melbourne Airport]

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