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Last updated: 4 July 2020
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 15 August 2015
Time:18:34
Type:Silhouette image of generic A321 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A321-231
Operator:American Airlines
Registration: N564UW
C/n / msn: 5374
First flight: 2012-11-01 (2 years 10 months)
Engines: 2 IAE V2533-A5
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 153
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 159
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA (ATL/KATL), United States of America
Destination airport:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT), United States of America
Flightnumber:AA1851
Narrative:
An Airbus A321 operated by American Airlines as flight 1851 suffered a landing accident at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT).
The flight was descending for landing on runway 36L at CLT with full flaps while passing through scattered rain cells. ATC had informed the flight of a windshear advisory about 12 minutes prior to the landing attempt and of a windshear alert, indicating a pilot report of a 20 knot loss of airspeed on approach, about 1.5 minutes prior to the landing attempt. The captain did not reference the available windshear guidance in the quick reference handbook, which recommended landing with Flaps 3 and increasing the approach speed by 15 knots, and approached with Full flaps and no speed increment. The flight encountered a small microburst on short final about 7 seconds prior to the landing attempt characterized by wind shift from a headwind to a tailwind and back to a headwind. The captain began a go-around after receiving an aural windshear alert/warning from the airplane systems, however, the airplane lost speed and lift and landed hard on the runway suffering a tail strike before they were able to climb.
The crew was vectored for a landing on runway 36C following the event and landed without further incident.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: "An encounter with a small microburst on short final at low altitude that resulted in a loss of lift and a tail strike during the go-around. Contributing to the accident was the captain's decision to continue the approach without applying appropriate windshear precautions in accordance with published guidance."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years and 10 months
Accident number: DCA15LA173
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Windshear/downdraft
Tailstrike
Runway mishap

Sources:
» CVR transcript
» NTSB
» Flightaware
» Flightradar24

METAR Weather report:
21:52 UTC / 17:52 local time:
METAR KCLT 152152Z 00000KT 10SM SCT060TCU SCT250 32/16 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP184 TCU NE AND NW T03220156

22:52 UTC / 18:52 local time:
METAR KCLT 152252Z 18007KT 10SM -RA SCT065TCU BKN100 BKN250 28/16 A3010 RMK AO2 RAB11 SLP184 TCU NE AND SW-NW P0015 T02830161
Wind 180 degrees at 7 knots; Visibility 10+miles; light rain; Scattered towering cumulus at 6500 ft; Broken clouds at 10000 feet; Broken clouds at 25000 feet; Temperature 28°C; Dew Point 16°C

23:04 UTC / 19:04 local time:
SPECI KCLT 152304Z 18005KT 10SM TS SCT065CB BKN110 BKN250 27/18 A3010 RMK AO2 TSB03RAE04 OCNL LTGICCG TS S STNRY P0000
Wind 180 degrees at 5 knots; Visibility 10+miles; thunderstorm; Scattered cumulonimbus clouds at 6500 ft; Broken clouds at 11000 feet; Broken clouds at 25000 feet; Temperature 27°C; Dew Point 18°C


Photos

photo of Airbus-A321-231-N564UW
accident date: 15-08-2015
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: N564UW
photo of Airbus-A321-231-N564UW
accident date: 15-08-2015
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: N564UW
photo of Airbus-A321-231-N564UW
accident date: 15-08-2015
type: Airbus A321-231
registration: N564UW
photo of Airbus-A321-231-N564UW
 

Video, social media

Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line is connecting ADS-B datapoints from FlightAware.
Distance from Atlanta-William B. Hartsfield International Airport, GA to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC as the crow flies is 362 km (226 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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