Accident description
Last updated: 31 July 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 23 March 2009
Time:06:49
Type:McDonnell Douglas MD-11F
Operator:FedEx Express
Registration: N526FE
C/n / msn: 48600/560
First flight: 1993
Total airframe hrs:40767
Cycles:7131
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney PW4462
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tokyo-Narita Airport (NRT) (   Japan) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN/ZGGG), China
Destination airport:Tokyo-Narita Airport (NRT/RJAA), Japan
Flightnumber: 80
Narrative:
FedEx flight 80 departed Guangzhou (CAN), China on a cargo flight to Tokyo-Narita (NRT). The MD-11 landed in high winds on runway 16R/34L. The airplane bounced on first touchdown, then dropped from 50-100 ft onto the nosewheel at which point the plane rapidly banked to the left. The port wing impacted the ground and a fire erupted. The MD-11 rolled further onto its back and slid off the runway.

Weather reported around the accident time (21:48 UTC):
2009/03/22 21:00 RJAA 222100Z 30013G28KT 260V330 9999 FEW020 13/M01 Q0998 NOSIG RMK 1CU020 A2948
2009/03/22 21:00 RJAA 222100Z 30013G28KT 260V330 9999 FEW020 13/M01 Q0998 NOSIG
2009/03/22 21:08 RJAA 222108Z 31025G35KT 9999 FEW020 12/M01 Q0998 RMK 1CU020 A2949
2009/03/22 21:30 RJAA 222130Z 32026G40KT 9999 FEW020 12/M02 Q0999 WS R34L NOSIG
2009/03/22 21:30 RJAA 222130Z 32026G40KT 9999 FEW020 12/M02 Q0999 WS R34L NOSIG RMK 1CU020 A2952 P/RR
2009/03/22 21:30 RJAA 222130Z 32026G40KT 9999 FEW020 12/M02 Q0999 WS R34L NOSIG


PROBABLE CAUSES:
In this accident, when the airplane landed on Runway 34L at Narita International Airport, it fell into porpoising. It is highly probable that the left wing fractured as the load transferred from the left MLG to the left wing structure on the third touchdown surpassed the design limit (ultimate load).
It is highly probable that a fire broke out as the fuel spillage from the left wing caught fire, and the airplane swerved left off the runway rolling to the left and came to rest inverted on the grass area.
The direct causes which the airplane fell into the porpoise phenomenon are as follows:
a. Large nose-down elevator input at the first touchdown resulted in a rapid nose–down motion during the first bounce, followed by the second touchdown on the NLG with negative pitch attitude. Then the pitch angle rapidly increased by the ground reaction force, causing the larger second bounce, and
b. The PF's large elevator input in an attempt to control the airplane without thrust during the second bounce.
In addition, the indirect causes are as follows:
a. Fluctuating airspeed, pitch attitude due to gusty wind resulted in an approach with a large sink rate,
b. Late flare with large nose-up elevator input resulted in the first bounce and
c. Large pitch attitude change during the bounce possibly made it difficult for the crewmembers to judge airplane pitch attitude and airplane height relative to the ground (MLG height above the runway).
d. The PM's advice, override and takeover were not conducted adequately.
It is somewhat likely that, if the fuse pin in the MLG support structure had failed and the MLG had been separated in the overload condition in which the vertical load is the primary component, the damage to the fuel tanks would have been reduced to prevent the fire from developing rapidly.
It is probable that the fuse pin did not fail because the failure mode was not assumed under an overload condition in which the vertical load is the primary component due to the interpretation of the requirement at the time of type certification for the MD-11 series airplanes.

Classification:

Sources:
» Kyodo, Asahi
» JTSB

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: JTSB
report status: Final
report number: AA2013-4
report released:26-APR-2013
duration of investigation:1495 days (4 years 1.2 months)
download report: Aircraft accident investigation report Federal Express Corporation N526FE (JTSB AA2013-4)
cover

Follow-up / safety actions

JTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations
NTSB issued 2 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
Nose landig gear
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
Left wing
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
Images of the Localizer Monitor Camera
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N526FE
photo of McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N813DE
N813DE was sold to FedEx in 2004 and re-registered N526FE
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Video/animation

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 Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to Tokyo-Narita Airport as the crow flies is 2927 km (1829 miles).

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MD-11

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