View Full Version : A321 NEO tailstrike

tubby linton
15th Feb 2016, 22:21
The first A321 NEO suffered a tailstrike during landing on Friday at Perpignan.https://plus.google.com/+JacdecDe/posts/79coMsPTvzH

16th Feb 2016, 04:18
The first A321 NEO suffered a tailstrike during landing on Friday at Perpignan.https://plus.google.com/+JacdecDe/posts/79coMsPTvzH

How ironic...

16th Feb 2016, 08:21
Great quote from Airbus chief executive, Fabrice Bregier, “It touched the runway. But it’s repairable,” he says, “These things happen”. “It touched the runway. But it’s repairable,” he says, pointing out that the aircraft was able to be ferried back to Toulouse.

I think all A321 crew should remember those words next time they are in the fleet office for a tea no biscuits chat. I can hear myself now. "These things happen but it can't have been that bad as you were able to ferry it out for repair!!"

16th Feb 2016, 09:23
I've heard that the 737-900 has been problematic with tailstrikes, but mostly during rotation, around unstick.

16th Feb 2016, 14:55
Perhaps the designers of the BAC111 and DC9 got it right. If you want short landing gear, position it well back. That pulls the wing towards the tail, so the engines need to be far back as well to balance the weight of fuselage ahead of the wing. Alternatively, increaase to length of the landing gear and use longer steps.

17th Feb 2016, 07:55

You would expect a "tea and biscuits chat" if you suffer a tailstrike with passengers in the back. As this was only a test flight I make Fabrice Bregier right.

Aluminium shuffler
17th Feb 2016, 15:36
So, the magic FBW system that prevents all mishandling allowed a tail strike? Airbus flight controls; what a joke.

17th Feb 2016, 17:05
Two questions come to mind:

1. does the Neo have an improved / revised FBW system when it comes to tail strike prevention (which is, admittedly, one of the weak points of the 321) ?
2. as this was a test flight was the protection engaged ?

Hotel Tango
17th Feb 2016, 18:08
So, the magic FBW system that prevents all mishandling allowed a tail strike? Airbus flight controls; what a joke.

I see we have yet another aviation expert in our midst :ugh::rolleyes:

17th Feb 2016, 19:18
Alum Shuf; you win the day's 'Aviation Tool' award for; ignorance above and beyond the expectation of even the most hardened Ppruners.

Well done, and don't come back.

17th Feb 2016, 20:59
Since the A321 is at such risk for tail strikes (in comparison to other aircraft, particularly it's smaller siblings) could/should Airbus not have added some kind of protection or awareness in the Neo.

Such as an alpha protection (or at least an alert) when weight-on-wheels or radalt detects very close proximity to terra firma...

or some kind of tail skid that extends with the landing gear, and alerts the flight deck when it is struck, before the tail takes any damage.

Maybe they felt tail strikes don't occur often enough or cause enough damage (cost wise) for it to be worth investing in something like that.

18th Feb 2016, 05:07
Does any FBW aircraft have a tailstrike protection for landing? I know some have for take off, simply dunno if there is a precedent for something for landing.

18th Feb 2016, 07:08
It would probably be too risky to limit pilots control authority during landing. What would protect perfectly on a calm sunny day, may cause severe problems on a stormy and gusty day.
If you want to prevent a certain pitch exceedence, you have to also involve autothrust to compensate for the limited Cl due to limited AoA. So you may prevent tailstrike, but provoke a runway overrun... If thrust can be increased as quickly as AoA at all if required. Maybe in combination with something like the DLC on the L1011 you may be able to limit pitch effectively and safe.

A tail skid however would have been a clever idea. Others have that.

No Fly Zone
18th Feb 2016, 07:19
This is a semi-new airplane with slightly different weight and balance numbers. Tail strike testing was/is on the list, but they got a head start. While no fan of the AB320 series, I'm not worried that it is unsafe. Nuts. AB and the several certificating agencies will obtain and publish the relevant AOA numbers in due time.
A recordable event? Yes. The DFDR data will help the engineers and test pilots proceed through their testing. A panic event, worthy of screeching media attention? Not even close. Record numbers, adjust as necessary and proceed with certification. Duh?

18th Feb 2016, 08:47
Who is to say that they were flying using the full FBW protections. It is not unheard of to start a test campaign with the full envelope protection disabled - if I remember correctly the initial c series test flights were done in their version of alternate law.

Don't know what airbus do with their test vehicles but wouldn't surprise me if they were in alternate law..

18th Feb 2016, 08:54
Agree snakecharmer,

How do we even know they were flying at the correct speed? I imagine that during flight test they have to prove that its ok to fly an approach at Vref-5 or so... If so, the tail strike, whilst embarrassing, provides valuable data to ensure that our line flights are safe...

18th Feb 2016, 12:58
During flight test things may happen:



18th Feb 2016, 14:25
Hey , maybe a tail wheel option could work :D
Worked for the DC 3

21st Feb 2016, 19:11
I believe the auto callout "pitch" is enough when the pitch is greater than 7,5º pitch up.