United B752 at Denver on Sep 27th 2021, tailstrike on takeoff

Last Update: July 23, 2022 / 14:55:38 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 27, 2021

Classification
Accident

Airline
United

Flight number
UA-1117

Aircraft Registration
N12125

Aircraft Type
Boeing 757-200

ICAO Type Designator
B752

A United Boeing 757-200, registration N12125 performing flight UA-1117 from Denver,CO to Newark,NJ (USA) with 166 passengers and 6 crew, departed Denver's runway 08 and completed a seemingly uneventful flight with a landing on Newark's runway 22L about 3:10 hours later.

The FAA reported however that a postflight inspection revealed substantial damage as result of a tailstrike on takeoff from Denver. The occurrence was rated an accident.

On Oct 7th 2021 the NTSB reported there were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. The occurrence was rated an accident and is being investigated by the NTSB.

On Jul 23rd 2022 the NTSB released their final report and investigation docket concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

The nose high attitude on landing resulted in a tailstrike.

The NTSB analysed:

United Airlines Flight 1117 experienced a tailstrike while landing at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Newark, New Jersey. The captain was the pilot flying and receiving operational experience refresher (OER) training with a line check airman (LCA) who was the pilot monitoring and the pilot-in-command. All other phases of the flight were uneventful.

According to the LCA, the captain suggested a go-around shortly after touchdown due to a significant pitch up, but the LCA thought the pitch was like the pitch up caused by ground spoiler deployment and advised the captain to continue the landing. However, the ground spoilers had not automatically deployed, and the airplane skipped and then began to bounce. The LCA took control of the airplane and attempted to execute a go-around, but because the engines had previously been placed in reverse thrust for the continuation of landing, the thrust levers would not advance so he elected to land on the remaining runway. According to United, during the LCA’s landing, the ground spoilers deployed normally.

According to the aircraft manufacturer, a review of recorded data from the airplane revealed that prior to landing, the speedbrake lever had not been fully placed in its armed detent, which prevented automatic ground spoiler deployment upon landing. Additionally, operation of the reverse thrust levers to their deployed position would mechanically release the speedbrake lock mechanism and move the speedbrake lever out of the down-and-locked position into the armed detent position. This was evident in the recorded data and was likely the cause of the ground spoiler deployment being coincident with the thrust reverser deployment.

The automatic ground spoiler deployment during the LCA’s landing resulted in an airplane nose-up pitch tendency (which is an expected aircraft behavior) for which the LCA failed to mitigate. As a result, the pitch attitude increased until the tail struck the runway. After the tailstrike, the remainder of the landing and landing rollout were normal with no risk of runway overrun or excursion.
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
N12125
Country of Registration
United States
Date of Registration
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Manufacturer
BOEING
Aircraft Model / Type
757-224
Number of Seats
ICAO Aircraft Type
B752
Year of Manufacture
Serial Number
Aircraft Address / Mode S Code (HEX)
Engine Count
Engine Manufacturer
Engine Model
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Engine Type
Pounds of Thrust
Main Owner
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 27, 2021

Classification
Accident

Airline
United

Flight number
UA-1117

Aircraft Registration
N12125

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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