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Last updated: 7 May 2021
Status:Preliminary - official
Date:Tuesday 15 September 2015
Time:20:32
Type:Silhouette image of generic B77W model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 777-3DZER
Operator:Qatar Airways
Registration: A7-BAC
MSN: 36010/731
First flight: 2008-07-09 (7 years 2 months)
Engines: 2 General Electric GE90-115B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 20
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 259
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 279
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America
Destination airport:Doha-Hamad International Airport (DOH/OTHH), Qatar
Flightnumber:QR778
Narrative:
The aircraft was operating a planned flight from Miami, USA to Doha, State of Qatar. The flight crew comprised four pilots who were all in the flight deck during the departure. The operating crew consisted of one commander PF and a first officer PNF. The relief crew consisted of a captain and a first officer.
The weather at Miami at the time of the departure was generally light northeasterly winds with good visibility, temperature was 29° C with scattered broken cloud at 2,900 ft., sunset occurred at 19:25 hrs local time.
The operating crew calculated the take-off performance figures for runway 09, using the On-board Performance Tool (OPT) contained within the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) using a take-off weight of 342,000 kg. The OPT offered the crew only one option for runway 09, which was ‘09#T1’ as displayed by the OPT. This was understood by the crews to mean runway 09 full length, although the performance data had been pre-modified by a temporary NOTAM. The OPT also displayed the information that intersection departures were not permissible for this runway. An optimum performance take-off thrust calculation was selected on the OPT which generated an assumed temperature take-off thrust of 36°C. The commander printed off this information, for his reference, and his first officer wrote ‘09/(T1)#’ on his personal notepad.
Pushback commenced at 20:12 hrs local time. During the taxi, the crew conducted a take-off review as per the company SOP’s, the SOP’s did not require any reference to where on the runway the take-off roll would commence. The aircraft then joined taxiway S. Taxiway S parallels runway 09 and is the taxiway from which the aircraft was expected to join the runway. At this point the commander was using his EFB, selected to the airport diagram plate. He had the screen ‘zoomed in’, so he could clearly see the names of the taxiways as he passed them, although the scale selected, the size of his screen and the position of the chart, meant he was unable to see where he was in relation to the runway threshold..
The relief captain had been following the aircraft’s progress along the cleared route, using his tablet computer. As the aircraft entered taxiway S, he put his tablet away as he believed it was just a straight route to the runway.
As they taxied along S the commander decided that the aircraft could depart from the runway intersection T1. He could not recall why he made that decision, but believed it may have been because the printed information displayed ‘Runway 09#T1’ in a compelling way. The printed information contained no reference to the fact intersection departures were not permissible from this runway, and contained the message ‘No NOTAM data found’.
The commander requested the operating first officer to advise ATC that they were able to depart from intersection T1. The first officer glanced at his notes and saw he had written ‘09/(T1)#’, which made him believe that this was an acceptable line-up point for take-off, he called ATC advising them that they were able to take T1 for departure from Runway 09.
As this was not what relief crew recalled had been briefed, they queried T1. The commander made a hand gesture and said something which he thought was seeking reassurance from the crew that everything was OK. The operating first officer confirmed that he was content with T1, but the relief crew interpreted the commander’s communication as him confirming he was content with a T1 departure so, thinking they had missed the operating pilots recalculating the take-off performance from T1 and did not voice any further concerns. At the time of this inter-crew exchange an aircraft landed on runway 09. This aircraft landed close to their position and reassured them that T1 was close to the start of the runway. The touchdown point on runway 09 was however displaced 411m from the threshold. From interviews with both crews, it was apparent that in the dark conditions, none of them had situational awareness of where T1 was in relation to the start of runway.
The aircraft was then cleared to line-up with another aircraft reported on final approach, requiring an expeditious departure. The crew reported that as they lined up they were not visual with the end of the runway nor were they aware they had approximately 1,000m of runway behind them. The available take-off distance from T1 is approximately 2,610m.
During the take-off roll, as the aircraft approached V1 the crew became aware that something was not right, and they recalled the aircraft entering the alternating red and white runway centreline lights which indicated they had approximately 900 m of runway remaining. The commander assessed the speed of the aircraft, the rate of acceleration and the runway remaining and concluded the safest course of action was to continue. He recalled as he rotated the aircraft entered the red runway centreline lights (indicating only 300 m of runway remaining.)
None of the crew, including the cabin crew were aware that the aircraft made contact with the runway 27 approach lights as it got airborne, and the aircraft continued uneventfully to Doha, a flight time of 13.5 hours. There were no abnormal cabin pressurisation indications during the flight.

The damage to the aircraft comprised of a 46 cm tear in the fuselage behind the rear cargo door which breached the pressure vessel. There were numerous dents and scratches in the external airframe with 18 square meters of damaged skin. There were 90 external individual areas of damage requiring assessment and rectification, there was also some damage to a metal guard on the left landing gear.

Classification:
Collision with approach or runway lights
Runway mishap

Sources:
» Preliminary report
» FAA
» Flightradar24
» Miami Airport Diagram
» Photo of damaged approach lights

METAR Weather report:
00:53 UTC / 20:53 local time:
KMIA 160053Z 04005KT 10SM SCT029 SCT045 SCT150 OVC200 27/24 A3009 RMK AO2 RAE23 SLP188 OCNL LTGIC DSNT NW CB DSNT NW MOV NW P0000 T02720239

23:53 UTC / 19:53 local time:
KMIA 152353Z 00000KT 7SM +RA SCT025CB BKN085 BKN180 OVC250 27/23 A3006 RMK AO2 RAB34 SLP178 CB NE-SE-SW-W MOV NW P0006 60006 T02670228 10317 20267 58001


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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 Miami International Airport, FL to Doha-Hamad International Airport as the crow flies is 12264 km (7665 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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