Imagine driving across the country without adding so much as scrape to your car only to dent your fender as you pull into the garage. That's kind of what happened to an American Airlines 777 Tuesday morning.
The flight, fresh off an arrival from Sao Paulo, had just pulled up to the jetbridge at gate D32 and was nearly ready to deplane when something unusual happened.
With the door open so passengers could exit, the aircraft began rolling backward -- ripping the door off the fuselage.
The plane rolled about 200 feet. Wagner said the wheels were not chocked -- chocking is the procedure where the ground crew places blocks or a wedge around the wheels to keep the plane from rolling. And from ripping the door off the fuselage.
"So even if the brake pressure failed, the guy can put the chocks on the wheels, and he'll stop the airplane," said aviation expert Denny Kelley. "That's what it's there for."
Wagner said the plane was taken out of service so the aircraft could be repaired. It could be back in the air Thursday.
"This is not minor," Kelley said. "In the cost of fixing the airplane, plus taking it out of service, it's expensive. It's a big mistake."
No one was injured in the incident.
Kelley said that what appears to be human error could have ended in disaster.
"So where it becomes a problem is if there's people in the jetway, and it hits the jetway enough to rip the door off," Kelley said. "What's it going to do to people in the jetway?"
NBC DFW's Susy Solis contributed to this report.
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