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Austrian Airlines Tailstrike in BEJ on 29th

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Austrian Airlines Tailstrike in BEJ on 29th

Old 2nd Feb 2010, 20:17
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Aparently this one doesn't merit ATSB involvement in a crew's judgmental decision

[quote] Qantas plane drama after tail strike ANDREW HEASLEY
February 2, 2010 - 1:22PM
A Qantas plane with 120 passengers on board had to abort its ascent and return to Sydney airport after a tail strike on take-off yesterday afternoon.

Flight QF453, a Boeing 767 bound for Melbourne, had taken off from Sydney at 5pm and was in its climbing phase when the captain told passengers over the PA system that that plane's tail may have struck the ground on take-off.

A tail strike occurs when a plane takes off at too sharp an angle and scrapes the underside of the tail assembly on the runway.

Passenger Nicole Kearns, 33, who was flying with her one-year-old son, said she thought she detected the pilots throttling off to slow the engines while the plane was still climbing.

The captain then made his address just minutes into the flight, as the coastline was still in view.

"We were on ascent then the announcement came over that we'd have to turn around," she said. "They said another plane had thought they'd observed a tail strike on take-off on our plane."

"The pilots said it was quite gusty on take-off, and wind might have contributed," said Ms Kearns.

Ms Kearns, an experienced parachutist of 300 jumps, said that she felt no impact, or any unusual noise from the plane during take-off.

"I didn't hear anything or feel anything unusual," she said.

The plane turned and landed about 15 minutes later without incident, and was tailed by a ground vehicle with flashing lights as it taxied back to the terminal.

Passengers were kept on board for about 10 minutes while the plane was inspected on the ground, Ms Kearns said.

Passengers were then told they would be offloaded and rebooked on later flights.

She said she believed the crew were still strapped in their seats when the incident occurred and were "extra courteous" to passengers when they were disembarked for replacement flights.

A Qantas spokeswoman told Fairfax Media a gust of wind lifted the nose of the plane as its front wheel had just left the ground, lifting the plane up more sharply than normal.

"The tail skid a shock absorber at the back of the aircraft touched the runway," the spokeswoman said. Tail skids are devices purposely fitted to aircraft to absorb tail strike impacts.

The pilots were aware of the strike from the cockpit instruments, the Qantas spokeswoman said.

There was no damage to the plane although some paint was scratched off, she said.

Engineers have inspected and cleared the plane to return to service. It takes to the skies again tomorrow as flight QF581 from Sydney to Perth at 10:10am.

There was no pilot error, she said.

Qantas had notified the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of the incident.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau had been notified of the event, a spokesman confirmed, but won't need to investigate.



Qantas plane drama after tail strike
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 03:24
  #22 (permalink)  
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Tailstrikes happen. They aren't a huge event, as long as you have a tail bumper to hit. The 767 is particularly prone to it. From memory the manual gives a figure of something in the order of 18-24" clearance at rotate, so it really doesn't take much to gather that extra little bit to give the strike.

A couple of our aircraft had a readout of clearance that you could look at after take off. I seem to remember seeing 6 inches there on one occasion, though I can't remember the circumstances. I suspect that most pilots have never had access to that info, and actually don't know how close they've come.
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