Event Details

Title:Tailstrike on landing, Boeing 757-24APF, December 25, 1994
Micro summary:This Boeing 757 experienced a tail strike on landing.
Event Time:1994-11-25 at 0549 CST
File Name:1994-11-25-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:FTW95LA055
Site of event:Tulsa, OK
Departure:Louisville International Standiford Field, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Destination:Tulsa International, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 757-24APF
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):United Parcel Service (UPS)
Type of flight:Cargo
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The pilot's failure to maintain vref during approach and his improper flare touchdown that resulted in an excessive pitch up attitude following touchdown.

NTSB synopsis:

During landing the aircraft's tail struck the runway. The approach was classified by the pilot and the operator as 'normal' until after touch down; however it was noted on the flight data recorder the aircraft decelerated to vref -8 before touchdown and floated for 8 seconds. Following the touch down, the pilot allowed the aircraft to increase the pitch up attitude to '10.9 Degrees.' The manufacturer's instructions states that if the 'pitch attitude surpasses 10.5 Degrees with the landing gear compressed the tail will strike the runway.' The pilot had a history of experimenting with aerodynamic braking during landings.
NTSB factual narrative text:

On November 25, 1994, at 0549 central standard time, a Boeing 757-24APF, N413UP, was substantially damaged during landing at the Tulsa International Airport, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The airplane, owned and operated by United Parcel Service, Inc., (UPS) as flight 732 and flown by two airline transport rated pilots, was on a 14 CFR Part 121 cargo flight. An IFR flight plan was in effect and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Neither of the two crewmembers, the sole occupants, were injured.

During interviews conducted by the operator's flight standards division, the captain admitted to performing non-standard approaches previously, and he liked to "experiment with dynamic braking;" however, "he was not deliberately trying aerodynamic braking on this landing." Other crew members who had flown with the captain stated that "he often experimented and that he had a tendency toward non-compliance with standard operating procedures outlined in the UPS manuals."

The aircraft was equipped with a Fairchild model F1000 digital flight data recorder. The recorder was removed from the aircraft by the company and transported to Louisville, Kentucky, for read out and analysis. The recorder provided the following information: the approach was stable down to 50 feet, the approach speed was 130 knots (Vref +4), the airspeed was decreased to 118 knots (Vref minus 8 knots), the aircraft floated down the runway for approximately 8 seconds. The recorder also indicated that pitch attitude was increasing as the airspeed dissipated. The pitch attitude at touchdown was 7.3 degrees and reached 10.9 degrees in the next 5 seconds. A review of the UPS manuals determined that the approach did not comply with the published procedures for this aircraft.

Boeing Aircraft Company data, published to the users, states that the tail strike will occur at approximately 10.5 degrees pitch up attitude with gear struts compressed.

According to the operator, the airplane experienced a tail strike during landing which caused substantial structural damage. An inspection revealed damage to the belly skin, stringers, drain mast, and aft bulkhead.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Tailstrike
Operations - Unstabilized Approach
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
Close match:Tailstrike on landing, Boeing 747-267B, TF-ATD
Landed short, Loftleidir Icelandic Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-8-61, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, June 23, 1973
Crash on runway in windshear, Allegheny Airlines, Inc., Douglas DC-9, N994VJ, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1976
Bounced landing and tailstrike, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, November 4, 1994
Tailstrike on landing, Airbus A300-600R, February 6, 1997
Tail strike on landing, Lockheed L-1011, May 9, 2000
Tail strike on landing, A300-600ER, July 15, 1999
Tail strike on landing, Boeing 757-251, September 9, 2002
Tail strike during go-around, McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, September 19, 2004
Hard landing, McDonnell Douglas MD-88, July 27, 1993
Tailstrike on landing, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, HL-737, May 25, 1996


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