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Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-900 Aircraft Collides With Ground Stairs Truck in Cayman Islands

Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-900 Aircraft Collides With Ground Stairs Truck in Cayman Islands

BY ÖYKüM GELEN February 10, 2024 2 COMMENTS

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) is investigating an airside incident at Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) in the Cayman Islands. A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-900 aircraft collided with a ground stairs truck at 12:51 p.m. local time on February 9, affecting flight operations for approximately 20 minutes.


The aircraft and truck after colliding | Photo: Loop


The Accident


Delta Air Lines operates flight DL 1870 from George Town to Atlanta (ATL) using its Boeing 737-900 fleet. The aircraft used for this flight, with registration N846DN, collided with a ground stairs truck owned by ground handling service provider Flower Air Dispatch Services (FADS) staged on the apron. The collision damaged the aircraft's left wing as it was taxiing from its parking position, and the ground stairs truck tipped over onto its side. No injuries were reported in this incident.



Flight operations returned to normal at 1:22 p.m. without any further disturbances. Delta came up with alternate arrangements for passengers onboard the affected aircraft. Data from FlightAware shows that DL 1870 departed at 7:53 p.m. and arrived in Atlanta at 10:32 p.m. local time. 


CIAA officials said the following about the event:


"The safety and security of our passengers is our top priority. We are conducting a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances that led to this occurrence and collaborating closely with airport partners to prevent such incidents in the future."

The aircraft involved in the incident, with registration N846DN | Photo: Flickr


How Stairs Trucks Can Cause Collisions



Stairs trucks are utilized at airports without a jetway or a jet bridge connecting an aircraft to its gate. Jetways are advantageous since they create comfort for passengers while protecting them from adverse weather conditions. A stairs truck is pulled next to an aircraft's door to transport passengers when a jetway cannot. GCM's lack of jet bridges requires using stairs trucks to accommodate passengers.


Photo: Andrew Salisbury | AeroXplorer


Stairs trucks can create visibility issues by obstructing the views of other vehicles or an aircraft on the tarmac, leading to a collision. Their speed and maneuverability limits can also create misjudgement by other drivers. Effective communication with staff is essential for operations involving ground stairs. Ground control, air traffic control, and truck operators should coordinate their movements on the tarmac. Communication breakdowns and misunderstandings through the reports may cause collisions. 


This incident highlights the importance of prioritizing passenger safety and effective communication for airport operations. While no injuries were reported in this collision, it serves as a reminder of the potential risks inherent in ground-handling procedures. 


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Öyküm Gelen
Hey there, I'm Öyküm Gelen, and I'm all about weaving stories that take you to new places. Writing is my jam, and each sentence is like a little journey on its own. But there's more to me than just words; I'm also fascinated by airplanes. Whether I'm exploring the skies in my writing or geeking out about aviation, I can't get enough of it. And guess what? I'm not just about words and wings – I'm knee-deep in the world of architecture studies. Designing structures that stand tall is my other passion. So, in the mix of storytelling, aviation dreams, and architecture plans, I'm Öyküm, bringing a blend of creativity and curiosity to the table.

Comments (2)

6d ago • Reply
Shawn Prather The plane in your picture of the action is not a delta plane.
6d ago • Reply

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