UPS B763 at Albuquerque on Mar 5th 2016, hard landing results in tail strike

Last Update: August 25, 2016 / 15:21:09 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 5, 2016



Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-300

ICAO Type Designator

A UPS Boeing 767-300, registration N305UP performing freight flight 5X-916 from Louisville,KY to Albuquerque,NM (USA) with 2 crew, landed on Albuquerque's runway 03 at 05:29L (12:29Z) but touched down hard and struck its tail onto the runway surface. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the apron.

The aircraft remained on the ground for about 75 minutes, then continued flight 5X-916 to Ontario,CA (USA), landed on Ontario's runway 26L and taxied to the apron. Only then damage was discovered to the tail section of the aircraft.

On Mar 16th 2016 the FAA reported the aircraft received damage to the aft fuselage belly skins, internal structure, aft drain mast and tail skid while landing in Ontario. An inspector was sent to the airport within one hour after the message about the occurrence arrived on Mar 5th 2016.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground in Ontario for a week until Mar 12th 2016, then ferried to Mobile,AL (USA) and remained on the ground in Mobile until Apr 14th 2016 before resuming service.

On Jul 16th 2016 the NTSB reported the actual tailstrike had already happened in Albuquerque. The NTSB is investigating, however, has not dispatched investigators and is using data provided by the various entities like FAA or the operator.

On Aug 25th 2016 the NTSB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

the pilot flying's failure to maintain airspeed and correct pitch attitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain appropriate thrust after disconnecting the autothrottles. Also contributing was the first officer's failure to monitor the decaying airspeed and increasing pitch.

The NTSB stated to the extent of damage: "The airplane sustained damage to a 23 foot long section of lower fuselage skin, 4 fuselage stringers, 5 fuselage frames, 3 floor stringers and the tail skid. The replacement of the frames and stringers was considered a major repair and qualified as substantial damage in accordance with 49 CFR 830.2"

The NTSB reported the approach to Albuquerque's runway 03 met all stabilized approach criteria until the aircraft descended through 158 feet AGL.

The crew had been informed about winds from 090 degrees at 20 knots gusting 29 knots. The crew had computed their target approach speed at 146 KIAS. After having intercepted the localizer of runway 03 the crew disconnected autopilot at about 1100 feet AGL, fully configured at gear down, flaps at 30 degrees the aircraft descended through 500 feet AGL at 146 KIAS well within all stabilized approach criteria. At 158 feet AGL the captain, pilot flying, disconnected the autothrust system, from that point on the pitch attitude slowly increased and the speed slowly decreased. 1.75 seconds prior to touchdown the airspeed had decreased to 129 KIAS and the pitch was 7.2 degrees nose up, the aircraft touched down at 128 KIAS and 8.4 degrees nose up. The tailskid assembly contacted the runway surface momentarily at a nose up attitude of 8.6 degrees, about 800 feet down the runway.

The NTSB stated: "The crew reported that they encountered a 10 knot wind loss just prior to touchdown and landed firmer than normal, but didn't suspect that they had struck the tailskid."

Metars Albuquerque:
KABQ 051452Z 07013KT 10SM FEW130 BKN200 BKN250 11/M06 A3023 RMK AO2 SLP188 T01061061 53016=
KABQ 051352Z 08018KT 10SM FEW045 FEW130 BKN220 OVC250 09/M05 A3021 RMK AO2 SLP182 T00941050=
KABQ 051252Z 09019G26KT 10SM FEW040 SCT130 BKN220 09/M05 A3018 RMK AO2 PK WND 08033/1203 SLP171 MTN TOPS OBSC NE-SE T00941050=
KABQ 051152Z 09020G29KT 10SM FEW040 FEW150 SCT240 10/M06 A3017 RMK AO2 PK WND 08034/1101 SLP160 MTN TOPS OBSC E T01001061 10144 20100 53005=
KABQ 051052Z 08025G32KT 8SM FEW040 FEW150 BKN240 11/M06 A3016 RMK AO2 PK WND 08035/1027 SLP153 BLDU ALQDS MTN TOPS OBSC E T01061061=
KABQ 050952Z 09023G30KT 10SM FEW040 11/M08 A3016 RMK AO2 PK WND 10032/0856 SLP153 MTN TOPS OBSC E T01111078=
KABQ 050852Z 10024G30KT 10SM FEW045 12/M09 A3015 RMK AO2 PK WND 10036/0838 SLP152 MTN TOPS OBSC E T01221089 53007=

Metars Ontario:
KONT 051753Z 29003KT 6SM HZ FEW023 BKN030 16/10 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP183 T01560100 10156 20133 50012
KONT 051653Z 00000KT 7SM FEW018 BKN030 14/11 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP184 T01440106
KONT 051553Z 00000KT 8SM FEW018 BKN032 14/11 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP179 T01390106
KONT 051453Z 20004KT 8SM FEW018 BKN030 13/11 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP171 T01330106 53007
KONT 051353Z 00000KT 7SM SCT018 BKN030 14/09 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP166 T01390094
KONT 051253Z 00000KT 10SM BKN019 OVC024 14/10 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP162 T01390100
KONT 051153Z 00000KT 10SM OVC020 14/10 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP160 T01390100 10139 20122 56011
KONT 051053Z 00000KT 10SM OVC017 13/11 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP161 T01330106
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
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United States
Date of Registration
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 5, 2016



Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 767-300

ICAO Type Designator

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