Delta jetliner rolls off taxiway during test
The Delta 737 rolled off a taxiway early Tuesday morning.
March 13th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Delta jetliner rolls off taxiway during test

A Delta Airlines jetliner veered off a taxiway during maintenance testing at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport early Tuesday, causing significant damage to the aircraft, an airline spokesman said. No one was injured, he said.

"Mechanics testing the engines of a Boeing 737-700 this morning experienced a problem with the plane’s braking system," Delta spokesman Eric Torbenson said.

The plane left a taxiway near 8 Right at the airport, he said, and rolled partially down an embankment.

There were no passengers aboard, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

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Filed under: Aviation • Georgia
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. ham on five hold the mayo

    Ever heard of wheel blocks?!?!?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • jpip

      yeah, but who wants to run alongside the plane and attempt to deploy them when they need to stop?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Paully

      Wheel chocks aren't going to stop an aircraft that size, it needs to be chained down. I've been a airframe and power plant mechanic for years and I've done hundreds of tests on many different type/model/series aircraft including the 737 from this article and they always have at least 6 chains. Even helicopters. These mechs we crazy relying on the brakes to hold it.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. bilbo

    Mythbusters proves it's impossible to roll a 737....

    March 13, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. bilbo

    This will make a great picture after Delta photoshops out all the emergency vehicles....and land.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. emtpjill

    DELTA = Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport!!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. bobmc

    we the Avionics and Powerhouse Mechanics at certain levels, acutally drive jets around the Tarmack. Looks like someone left the Bleeder valve open on the brake lines. Look like it clipped that pole also.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • binrat

      that pole is what stopped it from rolling down the hill..... should have let a ramp rat drive

      March 13, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    found the problem... I'm too high to operate this plane.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill the Tool

    Those Italian former ship captains get around fast, don't they.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. krag

    Why would Delta come out and say it was brake failure if they are not sure or the guys did something stupid. To say the brakes failed doesnt help ticket sales for any airline flying 737s. how about. we are waiting for the investigation to determan what happen .

    March 13, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. RobbD

    Was there an extra charge?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Wes Scott

    This will not look good on my resume!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pinebelt Bob

    "Hey Ed, now that we've got 'er runnin', how do we drive this thing?"

    March 13, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. ErnMC

    bobmc – I thought there were redundant systems on planes? Not for brakes?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      If they had thought quickly enough, they might have been able to use the thrust reversers to slow the plane a bit, but it still wouldn't be 100% effective without the brakes. From the photo, it also looks like it might have been raining (could have been a factor).

      Now for the irony... the guys doing the testing are the same guys that are supposed to know how to fix all the mechanical systems. It's going to be hard to point a finger on this one.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Opti

      "If they had thought quickly enough, they might have been able to use the thrust reversers to slow the plane a bit" Really Dave? You think they DIDN'T do that? Please stop trying to pretend that you're any sort of expert.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hey, Opti. Get a clue. I'm assuming you weren't on board either. And if you look around this board, you'll see what others were saying is true – these were mechanics, not pilots, operating the plane. How do we know what they're trained to do. Also, not that I said the thrust reversers alone probably wouldn't be enough without the brakes working. So here are my qualifications: I'm a certified SEL, MEL, instrument-rated commercial pilot. And you are ?

      March 13, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      And one more thing to respond to the original question. To the best of my knowledge there is no redundancy on the braking system of commercial aircraft. The reason? Aviation brakes are hydraulic. If there's a leak in the line between the toe-brakes and the brakes (at least on most planes), there's nothing to apply pressure to the brakes. It's possible on large commercial aircraft that they'd use a "by wire' technology to communicate pressure to the brake, but I'm not sure.

      Also, to the best of my knowledge, there's no such thing as an "emergency brake" on a plane. They use chalks to keep the plane in place on the ground. Opti - I'm sure you have something to this discussion?

      March 13, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. lou gregory

    Man ...everything is tilting right in this country.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Way Out There

      Depends on your perspective, because if you are facing it head on, it is leaning left. 🙂 So we can slant it whichever way it suits us!

      March 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. David M

    Some of you people need to actually read the story before commenting.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nick

    Not him but Joe Patroni.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
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