Event Details

Title:Tail strike on rotation, Boeing 777-200B, N784UA
Micro summary:This Boeing 777-200B experienced a tail strike on rotation.
Event Time:1999-11-05 at 1308 UTC
File Name:1999-11-05-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C99/11/1
Site of event:Takeoff, London Heathrow
Departure:London Heathrow Airport, London, England, United Kingdom
Destination:Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 777-200B
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):United Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The aircraft was scheduled to fly from London Heathrow to Los Angeles. Whilst taxiing for Runway 27 Right (27R) the crew completed the briefing and entered the payload weights into the Flight Management Computer (FMC). During the taxi to the holding point the crew was given a change to the weights and these were entered correctly in the FMC. V speeds were entered in accordance with the company procedures as V1: 154 kt, VR: 161 kt and V2: 167 kt. The aircraft was following a Gulf Air aircraft which was cleared to line up and was passed a surface wind of 180/15 kt with infrequent gusts of 28 kt.

Following the departure of one aircraft ahead the Boeing 777 was cleared for take off. With checks completed the commander lined up the aircraft and with the first officer handling the controls a rolling take off was commenced. Left bank control input and right rudder were required to maintain the runway centreline and some crosswind yaw was experienced but it was not considered to be significant. Acceleration was normal and approaching V1 of 154 kt there was an 8 to 10 kt reduction in airspeed which steadily restored to its previous value, and rotation was initiated at 161 kt. All three crew members considered that the rate and angle of rotation was normal, and the aircraft was accelerated towards V2 of 167 kt. The crew then received an Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) message that the aircraft had suffered a tail strike.

The aircraft was depressurised in accordance with the emergency checklist and climbed initially to FL 90 and then held at Daventry at FL 70 where 130,000 lb of fuel was jettisoned to reduce weight for landing at Heathrow. The emergency checklist was completed and the aircraft was given radar vectors for Runway 27L at Heathrow where an uneventful landing was carried out.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Center of Gravity/MAC
Systems - Automation Design
Systems - Flight Controls - Spoilers - Slats - Flaps
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage
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Uncommanded rotation, Incident involving aircraft LN-RPL at Gothenburg/Landvetter Airport, O county, Sweden, on 7 December 2003
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Loss of control on takeoff, United Airlines Flight 2885, N8053U, McDonnell Douglas DC-8-54F, Detroit, Michigan, January 11, 1983
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Runway overrun, Airbus A320, Detroit, March 17, 2001
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