Tugs are good little trucks that tow aircraft from gate to gate or from storage to taxiing areas. They also are relatively tricky to maneuver, as this video from La Guardia Airport on Tuesday clearly shows.
The first video shows the aftermath of the incident; the second video shows how it happened. The tug driver, towing a Boeing 737-800, made a sharp right turn, and the plane’s momentum caused a jackknife. The 91,000-pound plane had enough momentum to snap the tow bar like a twig, and the jet rolled directly on top of the tug, flattening the cab.
The Drive reached out to American Airlines to confirm the incident and check on the tug driver. An airport official said that “no reported injuries to team members [but] as a precautionary measure, one team member was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
” The video shows the tug driver pinned inside the now-demolished cab but without injuries. They had incredibly good reflexes to duck before the plane rolled directly over them.
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The company also said the plane was empty at the period and was being moved from a hangar to the gate for a departure. After the incident, it was swapped out for another plane, and the underbelly-damaged craft was towed back to a hangar for inspection and repairs.
Miami to La Guardia
The company said an investigation into the crash is open, presumably to determine exactly what went wrong to get a jackknife this severe.
The jet in question appears to be N949NN, which last flew from Miami to La Guardia on Monday. It’s unclear what route it was scheduled to fly next and whether the incident caused any delays. However, La Guardia officials approved to The Drive that the incident didn’t impact operations.
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