View Full Version : XL Tail Strike Samos Greece

13th Jun 2008, 11:28
Anybody hear of a tail strike on take-off on an XL flight from Samos, Greece, yesterday. Aircraft apparently diverted to Athens unpressurised, I guess for inspection. Reported by a friend on the flight. Apparently its a short runway.

13th Jun 2008, 14:14
Yup Samos is short. Always had to tech stop for a splash and dash on the homeward trip.

Would be standard to check the airframe before going too far. It does happen.

14th Jun 2008, 07:34
Unless you are a Chinese Airline who obviously Know better after their tail-scrape at LHR.....

14th Jun 2008, 08:32
Yup, it's short, but not THAT short...

09/27 is 6706 feet. As SLF I've flown in and out of there with a Transavia 757-200 some years ago nonstop SMI-AMS.

The challenge of this apt lies in the approach - which is sort of a Kai-Tak thing, and the usually northerly winds.

14th Jun 2008, 11:12
How many bent airframes (or worse) is it going to take before someone realizes there are risks to operating at Samos that are not being managed effectively? It's either totally unsuitable for airline ops, or the procedures, training and/or the choice of aircraft need a second look. Funchal is an excellent example. Adding length to the runway has helped, but there are still tight restrictions on pilot qualifications and limitations on the wind conditions. As far as I know, these have been pretty effective at significantly reducing the accident rate at Funchal.

El Grifo
14th Jun 2008, 15:28
Ah Funchal - - - Is that not the airport with the little pin inserted in the anemometer gauge around maximum advised wind speed :eek:

15th Jun 2008, 10:22
Just a quick question with regards to the approach to Samos. The approch from over the sea is this generally a bumpy approach with updrafts and down drafts off the sea or does this make it smoother? Don't know if I have worded that correctly? But if some knows what I mean I would be intrested to know. :ok:

15th Jun 2008, 11:47
The approach to both runways is from the south ie over the sea and is as smooth as silk. It is when you position to land over the bumpy bits, particularly for the easterly runway, it gets 'interesting'.

El Grifo
15th Jun 2008, 12:20
Kinda glad that I am arriving there by sea next week :ok:

The Flying Stool
15th Jun 2008, 18:25
Anyone know what aircraft was involved in this bump? Where was it going an what type etc?

15th Jun 2008, 18:45
737-800. Either into LGW or MAN

Austrian Simon
15th Jun 2008, 19:22
Anyone know what aircraft was involved in this bump? Where was it going an what type etc?

B738, LGW

Servus, Simon

15th Jun 2008, 23:35
I'm not sure if the runway length at Samos or the testing approach onto its easterly runway have anything to do with a tail strike on take off (which I presume this to be?).When they still had them, XL flew their 757's direct to MAN from SMI with few runway performance problems.
Samos becomes a real pain to operate into and out of,when there are strong north to north westerly winds.Such crosswind and terrain induced rough conditions might cause two reasons for a tailstrike on take off.The crosswind might tempt the pilot to rotate too quickly,egged on by a feeling of wanting to get away from the ground cleanly before skid/drift and associated possible wing drop/roll needs sorting out.Or, the pilot might rotate at the correct rate,commenced at the correct speed but then be unlucky with a windshear due to the rough air.
But who knows. It could have been a quiet, calm day but the achieved rotation rate a little over enthusiastic. And that can happen anywhere.

16th Jun 2008, 10:41
Oh dear, yes quite tricky. A demanding but nice visual approach in nice weather, runway a bit short, I think around 1900m. The problem starts with northerly winds above around 15 kts makes a very bumpy approach, around 30 knots is hell. :eek:
Gusts, windshear, turbulence, tailwind, you name it all in combination with a rubber contaminated short runway. Olympic Airways I believe have wind limitations, the regular Euro charters don't.

A and C
16th Jun 2008, 10:49
The Boeing QRH requires the aircraft to be inspected and to be flown unpressurised (& landed at nearest airport for inspection).

However the whole thing is likely to be a storm in a teacup, the tail skid normaly is only scuffed and as long as the shock absorbing cartrige is not too badly compressed the aircraft can go on its way very quickly.

The big problem is that it has to be treated as a full blown tail strike untill proven otherwise and the world tends to over react, the chances are that this was a tail skid scuff and the aircraft has not exceeded any of the maintenance manual limits and so at no time was in any way unservisable.

18th Jun 2008, 16:40
Flying Croc, your assumption that Olympic has x-winds limitations for Samos (SMI) and the Euro Charters do not is based on what? On quicksand I suppose, I have worked with different ''Eurocharters" and they all had very special limitations for Samos, not only concerning wind!:confused:

18th Jun 2008, 22:05
I know from friends at Olympic of limitations, I worked for a Swiss charter outfit, there were no limits at all, the airport was considered Cat B, basically just brief the Jeppesen charts before flight. :eek:

19th Jun 2008, 02:03
No limits at all and we'll see how the App goes??:cool:

Sounds like they could fly in on a 'blind' App.:D

Not personally been to Samos, But gets the overall impression of a similar FNC situation??

Can picture how hard it gets on Dep with the temp on RWY less than 1,000m, You obviously cannot get away on MTOW.

What's the ILS set up 11 or 111???

RVR Minimum???


19th Jun 2008, 07:12
Oh yes Samos. I remember it well from my charter days when I operated into the place in a B737-200. One of the more challenging places like Mikonos (only 4200 ft long and 30m wide and no fuel in my days going there)

When landing on the easterly runway I remember you come over the sea and over a village at 700ft and with the wind from the north it is nice and smooth whilst on right base but then when turning onto finals all hell lets loose at times with windshear and turbulence.

I well remember a particular take off one day from the easterly runway when the IAS froze for what seemed like an eternity at the time and I managed to drag the aircraft into the air before running out of runway. That day we had to stop for fuel at Ostend into Gatwick and whilst waiting for a slot time into Gatwick fog suddenly swept into and suddenly we had 50m viz and 130 pax and crew had to nightstop! Still that is a different story.All that rather put me off Samos.

fatboy slim
19th Jun 2008, 08:20
was it C- reg?

Those guys seem to be struggling a bit at the moment with greek and cypriot airpots and atc.

19th Jun 2008, 09:35
As a 737 skipper flying for Olympic I can clarify that Samos is considered Cat C airport for 737 and Cat B for ATR42-72. Olympic's OM Part C states:

Operational Restrictions
When surface wind direction is between 340 and 020 and maximum
crosswind exceeds 25kts, T/O and LDG is prohibited.

Night T/Os and LDGs are authorized provided:
i) Maximum crosswind component is 15kts.
ii) Ceilling is at least 2.700ft and Visibility 8km or more.
iii) Runway and obstruction lights are all serviceable.

T/O from RWY27 at night is not authorized.

It's a tricky airport, although I think Rodos with southern winds is the most dangerous one.

21st Jun 2008, 16:10
Went in there a while back in a 737NG and watched the CP of Novair having an 'exciting moment' on 09 in a AB321, after which he told me he was reducing the X-wind limit for the 321, as he had run out of aileron control...................:eek:

It's real and it can be nasty and 09 can be worse than FNC at its worst.

21st Jun 2008, 23:44
fatboy slim, where did you get your info on the C - reg pilots struggling with greece??

I know and work with these guys and believe me if they can bring a 737 in with nearly zero visibilty in heavy snow and short icy runways in Canada i think samos and mikonos is just another airport for them!

I have great respect for them and are the best and most friendly flightdeck crew i've ever had the chance to work and fly with.

Well done Sunwing crew :D

22nd Jun 2008, 00:21
What are you talking about, there are limits for visibilty and contamination, this has nothing to do with turbulence and windshear. I see you have no idea about Samos. This place is really vicious and no place to play or brag about. :ugh:

fatboy slim
22nd Jun 2008, 09:29

Everybody is so touchy and jumpy on this forum. I'm not trying to start an argument. It was a statement of fact and i get my information from being down in the greek islands/cyprus/turkey 2 or 3 times a week and listening, watching as we all work together.

To put it another way - It must be quite a learning curve to be doing lots of CFU, HER, SMI, PFO, DLM etc etc without having the luxury of the other guy's experience to learn from as I did when I was new to the area. I'm sure that by the end of the season the Canadian boys and girls will have seen and worked out the nuances (of which there are many) of Greek Island flying.

I also would suggest if i were to take on their day job in the 'frozen wastes' it would take a while to get up to speed.

So - all that said - was it a C- reg 73 in Samos?


22nd Jun 2008, 12:01
No was a G reg ac