US Airways A321 at Las Vegas on Apr 5th 2013, tail strike on landing

Last Update: April 9, 2020 / 12:21:55 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 5, 2013

Classification
Accident

Airline
US Airways

Flight number
US-1733

Aircraft Registration
N560UW

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

Airport ICAO Code
KLAS

A US Airways Airbus A321-200, registration N560UW performing flight US-1733 from Charlotte,NC to Las Vegas,NV (USA) with 186 passengers and 6 crew, landed on Las Vegas' runway 25L at about 12:50L (19:50Z) but struck its tail onto the runway on touchdown. The aircraft rolled out safely, the crew maintained routine communication while vacating the runway and taxiing to the gate.

The FAA reported the aircraft struck its tail onto the runway while landing in Las Vegas, the damage is unknown.

On Apr 16th 2013 the French BEA reported in their weekly bulletin that the aircraft sustained substantial damage in a tail strike while landing on runway 25 (no left/right identifier provided) at Las Vegas. The NTSB is investigating the occurrence rated an accident.

On Feb 7th 2014 the NTSB released a brief preliminary report stating the aircraft suffered a tail strike while landing at Las Vegas in visual meteorological conditions, there were no injuries, the aircraft however received substantial damage. An investigation is ongoing.

The accident aircraft was ferried to Mobile,AL (USA) as flight US-9225 on April 10th 2013 reaching a maximum altitude of 11,000 feet. Other than this ferry flight for maintenance the aircraft did not fly until Jul 8th 2013, the aircraft resumed service on Jul 9th 2013.

On Apr 8th 2020 the NTSB released their final report concluding the probable cause (adopted Apr 6th 2020) was:

the captain's improper recovery from a bounced landing which resulted in a tailstrike.

The NTSB reported the captain (ATPL, 14,119 hours total, 3,543 hours on type) was pilot flying, the first officer (ATPL, 14,000 hours total, 1,700 hours on type) was pilot monitoring and wrote:

According to the flight crew, the approach was stabilized, on speed, and on glide path. Flaps were selected FULL and autobrakes were selected LOW. The approach speed was 158 knots. When the captain began to initiate the flare within about 20 feet above the ground and pitched up "just a tad" for the flare, but stated he did not feel any pitch response, so he brought the nose up a little more to arrest the descent. Upon initial touchdown, he estimated that they bounced about 5-10 feet back into the air and the airplane struck its tail on the second touchdown. During post flight inspection, the flight crew confirmed damage to the tail.

During post accident interviews, the captain told investigators that he would typically bring the thrust to idle when he heard the "Retard" auto callout. For this landing, he said he did not see a speed buffer like normal on the speed tape, so he held the thrust in a little longer. He said that he started to initiate the flare within about 20 feet above the ground and pitched up "just a tad" for the flare, but did not feel any pitch, so he brought it up a little more to arrest the descent and still did not feel any pitch change.

The aircraft received substantial damage: "The airplane incurred substantial damage to the underbelly and aft bulkhead area. The skin was abraded through its thickness in several areas of the pressure vessel. Skin was eroded in sections 17 & 18; Frames and cargo floor support structure at Frames 63 and 64 were bent; Frame 64 cargo floor support cross brace had severed; Frame clips at Frame 65 were severed as well as the tab between clip and Stringer 44; Frame clips at Frames 62, 63, 66, and 67 were damaged; Frames 64-67, the rivets that connect the frame clip to the stringer had sheared, the butt splice strap at Frame 64 was damaged; stringers 43L, 44, and 43R had damage at Frame 65; the vertical strut at Frame 65 between cargo floor structure and passenger floor beam had a bent attached structure; Floor beam at Frame 65 had twisted; the cargo floor support structure at Frames 63 and 64 had deformed; the internal doubler around potable water service panel in proximity to Frame 65 was damaged."




Metars:
KLAS 052100Z 31005G15KT 10SM FEW120 SCT250 28/M04 A2985 RMK AO2
KLAS 052056Z VRB04G15KT 10SM FEW120 SCT250 27/M04 A2985 RMK AO2 SLP088 T02721039 58017
KLAS 052034Z 32008KT 10SM FEW120 SCT250 27/M04 A2986 RMK AO2
KLAS 051956Z 04011G17KT 10SM FEW120 SCT250 27/M01 A2988 RMK AO2 SLP097 T02671011
KLAS 051856Z VRB04KT 10SM FEW250 26/00 A2989 RMK AO2 SLP101 T02560000
KLAS 051756Z 00000KT 10SM FEW250 23/01 A2990 RMK AO2 SLP107 T02330011 10233 20161 50006
KLAS 051656Z 18008G15KT 10SM FEW250 22/02 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP109 T02170022
KLAS 051556Z 19010KT 10SM FEW250 20/03 A2990 RMK AO2 SLP107 T02000028 $
KLAS 051456Z 20010KT 10SM FEW250 18/03 A2989 RMK AO2 SLP101 T01830033 53015 $
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 5, 2013

Classification
Accident

Airline
US Airways

Flight number
US-1733

Aircraft Registration
N560UW

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

Airport ICAO Code
KLAS

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