NON-FLIGHT AIRPORT INCIDENTS

Airport Terminal

Case Description

In 2012, the number of passengers flying for business reached 2.9 billion worldwide and 730 million domestically.   In addition to being called upon to investigate airplane crashes, ARCCA engineers have also evaluated numerous non-flight related airport incidents, including trip and falls, slip and falls, escalator incidents, tarmac incidents, baggage handling, crew member incidents, jet bridge incidents, motor vehicle incidents, and pedestrian incidents that occur at or in airports or surrounding service properties or businesses.   As an example, ARCCA was retained to evaluate an incident where a crew member on a cargo plane fell while climbing air stairs within the aircraft.

Steps Taken:

  • ARCCA’s expert performed a site, tarmac, jet bridge, and aircraft inspection. Sometimes accessibility to sites or evidence may be an issue for large active airports or for aircraft in constant active use.  On occasion, the site and/or evidence may simply no longer be available for inspection or may have been repaired.  In this case, the aircraft was available for inspection once it came out of service.
  • The expert reviewed all available written materials, including incident reports, police reports, claims information, and legal filings. In this case, the design plans and standards for the air stairs were available for review, as well as a history of maintenance to the aircraft.
  • The expert reviewed all applicable standards. In this case, the aircraft had been certified by the FAA.
  • The expert performed engineering research. In this case, the air stairs were comparable in form, fit and function to common engineering art.
  • The expert performed engineering analysis and testing of the facts and information. The stairs were tested as installed in the aircraft and found to be firm and stable.

Final Findings:

Based on the site and evidence inspection, review of written materials, and engineering research, ARCCA’s expert determined that standards were met with regard to the element of the airport or aircraft in which the incident occurred.  In this case, the air stairs conformed to the design specifications of the aircraft manufacturer at the time of the inspection.  The maintenance records revealed timely inspections and repairs to all elements of the aircraft, including the incident stairs.  The aircraft and stair design were approved by the FAA.