Event Details

Title:Tailstrike on landing, Boeing 727-200, N12305, 8 December 1999 at 1112 hrs
Micro summary:This Boeing 727-200 experienced a tailstrike when landing on a runway under construction.
Event Time:1999-12-08 at 1112 UTC
File Name:1999-12-08-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/C99/12/2
Site of event:Landing, East Midlands Airport
Departure:National Airport, Brussels, Belgium
Destination:Nottingham East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire, England
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-200
Flight Phase:Landing
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The crew were operating a cargo flight from Brussels and carrying out an NDB approach to Runway 27 at their destination of East Midlands Airport. The airfield weather report (METAR) for 1050 hrs, issued some 20 minutes before their approach, gave the surface wind as 210/ 22 to 33 kt, visibility 8,000 metres in light rain with broken cloud at 2,700 feet, overcast cloud at 8,000 feet, temperature +8C, dewpoint 5C and a QNH of 997 mb. At the time some work was being carried out resurfacing the runway. A sterile area existed from close to the threshold of Runway 27 adjacent to taxiway 'W' which restricted the Landing Distance Available (LDA) to 1,600 metres. The aircraft therefore had to overfly the work in progress before touching down beyond the displaced threshold. A supplement to the UK Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) detailing the runway restrictions had been issued in September 1999.

The commander reported that, having established visual contact with the runway, he used the Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPIs) to maintain the correct glide slope. On short finals, due to the gusty wind conditions, the aircraft descended slightly to show three reds lights and one white light. A high sink rate then developed and the appropriate corrective action was taken, but the aircraft landed heavily on what the crew believed was 'the active runway side of the displaced threshold'.

The aerodrome controller reported that the crew established initial communications with him whilst still under Manchester Control in order to check the surface wind conditions. The aircraft was subsequently transferred to his control as it approached 6 nm on finals. He confirmed during one of his transmissions that the first half of the runway was sterile and he reported several readings of the instantaneous surface wind. He saw the aircraft as it crossed the sterile area and described it as flying level at approximately 30 feet over the sterile area before touching down heavily at the beginning of the declared landing distance. The crew of an aircraft waiting for departure also saw the touchdown and reported, after their take off, that a collision may have occurred between the landing Boeing 727 and contractor's equipment positioned within the sterile area.

After the incident the duty ATC watch supervisor carried out a runway inspection. This showed evidence of a possible tailscrape, heavy landing and damage to a sandbag as well as part of the approach lights within the 210 metre sterile area prior to the displaced threshold. The supervisor reported that in a later conversation with the aircraft commander, he (the commander) said that he was aware of the tailstrike.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Near-Ground Collision
Operations - Tailstrike
Consequence - Damage - Airframe or fuselage


Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
 All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.