A tug driver at La Guardia got an expensive lesson in physics on Thursday but lived to tell the tale. The unidentified driver ended up trapped under the American Airlines Boeing 737 he was towing. The tug was crushed and there is damage to the belly of the aircraft, but the driver was freed unharmed. Video shows the tug pulling the 90,000-pound airplane at a good clip on a taxiway when the driver makes a sudden sharp right turn toward the gate area. That’s when things got interesting.
The sudden turn caused tail to swing around, the momentum breaking the connection on the tow arm. The driver of the tug appears to hit the brakes and all the rest was up to the natural order of things. Freed of its heavy doorstop at the front, the big fuselage swings right over the tug before running out of all the energy it stored on the brisk trip down the taxiway. There was no one on the plane and American brought in a replacement to take its future passengers to Charlotte.