Last week, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released a report detailing the March 31 incident when a Malaysia Airlines A330 collided with an aerobridge at Melbourne Airport. The report found that the collision was caused by a miscommunication between the pilot and the ground crews, in which the parking brake was released after the wheel chocks had been removed. During the inspection, the captain engaged the parking brake, at which point the ground crews removed the chocks. However, after the inspection the pilot disengaged the parking break, believing the chocks were still in place. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the accident, but repairs to both the plane and the aerobridge were necessary and no doubt costly. This unfortunate incident highlights two of the most important aspects of occupational safety: procedure and communication. Had the captain and the ground crews communicated more clearly and directly, the whole situation could have been avoided. Likewise, if proper procedure had been followed, the damages could have been prevented. Situations like these are the reason many of our chocks feature molded-in ANSI Z535.4 compliant guidelines: we understand how important it is to be able to reference correct procedure and follow it. When the guidelines are molded into the chock, it eliminates any doubt as to whether the procedure is being followed, and helps professionals in various industries do their jobs with complete confidence in their job site safety. Additionally, we offer a free wheel chock user guide, with helpful guidelines and diagrams explaining and demonstrating proper chocking procedures to maximize safety. A PDF version is available for download here.
When it comes to our aviation chocks, in particular, a major reason to choose Monster is the light weight of our urethane models. Rubber and metal chocks are much heavier and harder to transport, making the nuance of their positioning harder to achieve. Our models are easy to move and position, without sacrificing the strength necessary to get the job done. The A330, the model of aircraft involved in the Melbourne Airport collision, has a maximum takeoff weight of 242 metric tonnes. This aircraft could be safely chocked with our AC6800 Series Chocks, the heaviest of which weighs less than 20 lbs.! Don’t skimp on safety when it comes to chocking large vehicles; as we’ve seen in Melbourne, a small mistake can turn into a costly crash.
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