American B752 at Charlotte on Dec 31st 2018, tail strike on landing

Last Update: April 27, 2020 / 13:40:32 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 31, 2018

Classification
Report

Flight number
AA-567

Aircraft Registration
N938UW

Aircraft Type
Boeing 757-200

ICAO Type Designator
B752

An American Airlines Boeing 757-200, registration N938UW performing flight AA-567 from Phoenix,AZ to Charlotte,NC (USA), was on final approach to runway 36L in visibility that was just sufficient for landing. Following a stabilized approach, runway approach lights in sight at decision height, the first officer, pilot flying, disconnected autopilot and autothrottle at 100 feet AGL and continued manually. The airspeed, Vref computed at 125 KIAS, however, decayed to 107 KIAS, the first officer perceived a rapid descent and reached for the thrust levers to advance them, the aircraft however touched down at 107 KIAS and 9 degrees pitch angle nose up, the tail struck the runway surface. The aircraft did not bounce and rolled out without further incident, however, received substantial damage as result of the tail strike.

On Apr 25th 2020 the NTSB releaed their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

an inadvertent loss of airspeed and increased pitch attitude prior to touchdown.

The NTSB wrote:

According to the operator, the flight crew discussed the forecast weather for KCLT, and due to some inoperative equipment, no lower than category 1 visibility was required. The flight from KPHX to the KCLT area was reported as normal. Shortly prior to arrival, the flight crew received the latest weather update indicating conditions were 1/8 statute mile visibility in fog, with overcast clouds at 200 feet. ATC advised the crew that the RVR (runway visual range) was reported at 2800, 2600, 2900 feet; which was sufficient for landing. The flight crew discussed the approach and planned for a flaps 30 landing with a reference speed (Vref) of 125 knots and target speed of 130 knots. They planned to disconnect automation at 100 feet above the touchdown zone, in accordance with standard operating procedure.

The first officer (FO) was the pilot flying, and reported the airplane was configured and stabilized at 1000 feet above touchdown, slightly fast and correcting. As they were approaching decision height, the crew observed the approach lights were in sight and disconnected the autopilot and autothrottle. The FO indicated that he perceived the aural radar altitude countdown was fast and so reached for the throttles to push them forward. TThe airplane landed hard in the touchdown zone but did not bounce.

An examination of recorded flight data by the operator indicated that following autothrottle disconnect, the airspeed decayed to about 107 knots at touchdown, with a pitch attitude of about 9 degrees airplane nose-up.

Post-flight inspection of the airplane indicated the underside of the rear fuselage struck the runway. Inspection of the airplane revealed that several bottom skin panels were scraped, crushing damage to the Aft Pressure Bulkhead lower chords and web, several frame webs, chords, and associated shear ties were crushed, and the APU was found seized.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 31, 2018

Classification
Report

Flight number
AA-567

Aircraft Registration
N938UW

Aircraft Type
Boeing 757-200

ICAO Type Designator
B752

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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