Amerijet 767 Jet Blast Blows Cessna 172 Onto Its Side In Aruba

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An Amerijet 767 Freighter taxiing at the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba (AUA) tipped a Cessna 172 Skyhawk onto its side while exiting the southern ramp.

On March 1, 2024, an Amerijet Boeing 767-300F (registered N378CX) was operating a charter cargo flight from Willemstad, Curacao (CUR) to Oranjestad, Aruba as M6857. After landing at Aruba, the tower controller instructed the pilots to exit the runway, saying, “taxi second to your right via Taxiway B, second to your right.”

Even though they were supposed to taxi to the north ramp via taxiway B, the controller accidentally said “second to the right” instead of second to the left.

The Amerijet aircraft replied, confirming that they would take the right, and ended up turning onto southern general aviation ramp via taxiway F. The controller said something else, but his transmission was blocked by another pilot on frequency, preventing the Amerijet pilots from hearing the tower’s instructions.

After switching to the apron frequency, they were cleared to taxi slowly via taxi H and E in order to cross the runway to get back to taxiway B. This proved to be a huge mistake as the blast from the 767’s CF6-80 engines almost flipped over a nearby Cessna 172 parked on the apron.

In the video captured by one of the ramp officials, the Cessna 172 (registered N172GK) was tipped onto its right wing from the 767’s jet blast, resulting in minor damage to the light aircraft. The 767 crossed the runway and continued via taxiway B to the north ramp.

An investigation was launched into the matter, but based on the evidence already provided, this situation could have been easily avoided from the get go. For starters, the pilots could have clarified the conflicting taxi instructions. Even though they were given the correct taxiway to vacate by, on not one, but two occasions, the controller said “second to the right”, instead of second to the left. The pilots could have quickly verified this discrepancy with their charts and asked for confirmation.

There was a Z Air Saab 340 following behind, so we are not sure if the Amerijet pilots were more concerned with clearing the runway first before trying to figure out their taxi instructions.

After establishing that they exited via the wrong taxiway, operations officials should have opted to tow the aircraft back to the north ramp versus allowing them to taxi on their own power. From the video, the 767 appeared to be very close they were to the parked general aviation aircraft, and engine blast was obviously a problem as one of the small aircraft tipped onto its side.

[Featured Photo: 24ora]

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