Oversight and “unintentional errors” by crew and ground handlers may have contributed to an airplane crash that caused “tens of thousands” of euros in damages, investigators have found.

A Falcon 7X aircraft broke free from its parking position in December 2017, ploughing through a perimeter fence and into the road before crashing into a building owned by Polidano Group. The plane’s nose, including the cockpit, ended up inside the building. 

Force 7 winds moved the aircraft from its parking position, but the report found “at most” three out of six wheels were chocked – chocks are placed against an aircraft’s wheel for safety in addition to setting the brakes – “even though the crew had every opportunity for all wheels to be chocked”.

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“Following strong winds, the [aircraft’s] rotation continued up to a point where the angle between the tyre and chock became acute enough to dislodge the front chock, a movement that left the aircraft completely free,” the Bureau of Air Accident Investigation report said. 

Evidence from the site of the accident suggested the aircraft was chocked on the nose-wheel and the left main-gear only, leaving the right main gear unchocked.

The investigation also suggested that the distance between the chocks and tyre marks were not blocking the nose wheel from moving, as they were intended to. The handling agent also told investigators additional nose wheel chocks “should have been requested”. 

A weather briefing on the adverse conditions on the day was not offered by the handling agent nor requested by the crew, the report said. 

Ground handlers “could have taken the initiative” to check that all aircraft left in their care were adequately secured for the weather conditions of the day and if need be, add another set of chocks on the right main gear, the report said.

 “There was plenty of time to do an appropriate walk around the aircraft to make sure that the recommended procedures were followed and that the aircraft was adequately secured for a long stay,” it added.

Combined efforts by the crew and ground handlers, establishing better lines of communication and paying more attention to detail, may have prevented this accident from happening, it concluded.

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