Southwest B738 at Las Vegas on Jan 3rd 2014, tail strike

Last Update: March 10, 2018 / 16:45:23 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 3, 2014


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator

Airport ICAO Code

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration N8327A performing flight WN-2516 from Orlando,FL to Las Vegas,NV (USA) with 180 people on board, landed on Las Vegas' runway 25L in calm winds and good visibility, however the tail contacted the runway surface. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the terminal maintaining routine communication. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The FAA reported the aircraft suffered a tail strike on landing, the damage is being assessed.

On Mar 10th 2018 the NTSB reported the aircraft sustained substantial damage, rated the occurrence and accident and released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

the captain's over rotation during the bounced landing.

The NTSB described the landing:

According to the operator, the captain was the pilot flying and the first officer (FO) was the pilot monitoring. The accident flight was the first and only scheduled flight for the day for both crew members. Both pilots indicated that takeoff through the initial descent was uneventful. The aircraft was configured for a flaps 30 landing. During the ILS approach to runway 25L, the captain used the Heads-up Guidance System (HGS) in the IMC mode.

During the decent below 100 feet, the FO indicated that the runway environment was dark and sensed the runway was "coming close fast". He noted a slightly increased descent rate and before he could make a callout, the captain had begun to take corrective action.

During the descent, the captain stated he was hand flying the airplane (autopilot and autothrottles were off) and used the localizer, glideslope and flare cues from the HGS. At approximately 30 feet, he transitioned from the HGS to the runway environment, noting it appeared "pitch black." He then noticed the runway edge lights and what appeared to be an increased sink rate.

Both pilots indicated the airplane touched down firm, then bounced, and the second touch down was harder than the first. Neither were aware that they had struck the tail. The captain did not recall seeing a tail strike warning indication from the HGS.

Post flight inspection revealed that the tail strike indicator was compressed and deep scrapes and wear damage to the lower aft fuselage skin. Further investigation revealed multiple fractured frames and buckled stringers, shear ties and straps.

KLAS 040556Z 21005KT 10SM SCT250 09/M04 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP125 T00891044 10150 20083 50000
KLAS 040456Z 22003KT 10SM BKN250 09/M04 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP126 T00941044
KLAS 040356Z 22004KT 10SM BKN250 11/M04 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP125 T01061044
KLAS 040256Z 20007KT 10SM BKN250 12/M05 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP126 T01221050 55000
KLAS 040156Z 19007KT 10SM BKN250 13/M05 A2990 RMK AO2 SLP122 T01281050
KLAS 040056Z 18004KT 10SM BKN250 14/M05 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP124 T01391050
KLAS 032356Z 15004KT 10SM SCT250 15/M06 A2991 RMK AO2 SLP124 T01501056 10161 20111 56018
KLAS 032256Z 17004KT 10SM SCT250 16/M07 A2992 RMK AO2 SLP127 T01561067
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
Country of Registration
United States
Date of Registration
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TCDS Ident. No.
Aircraft Model / Type
Number of Seats
ICAO Aircraft Type
Year of Manufacture
Serial Number
Aircraft Address / Mode S Code (HEX)
Engine Count
Engine Manufacturer
Engine Model
Engine Type
Pounds of Thrust
Main Owner
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jan 3, 2014


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 737-800

ICAO Type Designator

Airport ICAO Code

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