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Accident description
Last updated: 16 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 6 February 1997
Time:14:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic A306 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A300B4-605R
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: N41063
C/n / msn: 506
First flight:
Total airframe hrs:22804
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 161
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 170
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Antigua-V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) (   Antigua and Barbuda)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU/TJSJ), Puerto Rico
Destination airport:Antigua-V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU/TAPA), Antigua and Barbuda
Flightnumber:AA699
Narrative:
An Airbus A300-600R, operated by American Airlines as flight AA699, was damaged on the underside of the lower fuselage when the tail section struck the runway surface during landing at V. C. Bird International Airport in St. Johns, Antigua. The extent of the airplane damage was substantial. The 170 occupants were not injured.

The captain was the flying pilot during a VOR DME runway 07 approach to the airport. At about 2,500 feet msl., they maneuvered to avoid TCAS traffic which was visually sighted. At 1,000 feet, on the final approach with the landing runway in sight, the First Officer made the company procedural 1,000 foot verbal callout and the captain brought the power above idle. The crew reportedly observed the flight to be slightly high at 1,000 feet; by 500 feet the crew felt that airplane was "in the slot" with the airspeed about 20 knots above the reference speed and decreasing. At about 200 feet the first officer recalled that he advised the captain that the airspeed was slightly low. In response, the captain added power. The approach appeared normal to the crew until the automatic aural altitude call out began at 50 feet. The captain sensed that the timing of the call outs from 30 feet down were slightly faster than normal. The captain recalled that he initially flared at about 30 feet and reduced power to idle. In an effort to cushion the descent, he "deepened" the landing flare "just prior to touchdown." The touchdown was reported to be "firm" and resulted in a bounced landing. A second touchdown occurred in a higher than normal pitch attitude. A flight attendant reported to the captain that she heard "a loud noise" upon landing and a post flight inspection revealed that a tail strike had occurred to the underside of the fuselage.

A brief description of the airplane damage provided by the Directorate of Civil Aviation for Eastern Caribbean States indicated 5 belly skin panels scraped through, buckled, and destroyed, all frames and stringers within the damage area buckled or sheared, 3 struts broken and a floor beam twisted. American Airlines specialized maintenance personnel performed a temporary repair in Antigua. An FAA ferry permit was issued and the airplane was flown, unpressurized, to the American Airlines maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma for complete repair and return to service.

Probable Cause:

The captain failed to establish and maintain a stabilized approach (or perform a go-around), and applied excessive pitch rotation during the subsequent recovery from a bounced landing, resulting in a tail strike. A factor contributing to the accident was the operator's inadequate procedures to address corrective actions if an approach becomes unstabilized.



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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Antigua-V.C. Bird International Airport as the crow flies is 466 km (291 miles).

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