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Accident description
Last updated: 21 November 2017
Status:Final
Date:Saturday 5 March 2016
Time:06:31
Type:Silhouette image of generic B763 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 767-34AFER (WL)
Operator:United Parcel Service - UPS
Registration: N305UP
C/n / msn: 27243/600
First flight: 1995-12-02 (20 years 3 months)
Engines: 2 General Electric CF6-80C2B6F
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Substantial
Airplane fate: Repaired
Location:Albuquerque Sunport Airport, NM (ABQ) (   United States of America)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Louisville International Airport, KY (SDF/KSDF), United States of America
Destination airport:Albuquerque Sunport Airport, NM (ABQ/KABQ), United States of America
Flightnumber:UP916
Narrative:
A Boeing 767-300F, N305UP, operated by United Parcel Service (UPS) as flight 916 was substantially damaged following a tailstrike during landing on runway 03 at the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ), New Mexico. Neither of the 2 flight crew were injured. The flight originated from the Louisville International Airport (SDF), Kentucky.
The airplane sustained damage to a 23 foot long section of lower fuselage skin, 4 fuselage stringers, 5 fuselage frames, 3 floor stringers and the tail skid. The replacement of the frames and stringers was considered a major repair.
According to the operator, the captain was the pilot flying, and the first officer the pilot monitoring for the flight from SDF-ABQ. Ground operations were normal in SDF and no aircraft loading or Weight and Balance discrepancies were noted. The climb, cruise, and descent portion of the flight were uneventful. Weather conditions at ABQ prior to arrival were reported as visual conditions, with wind from 090 at 20 knots gusting to 29 knots. The target approach speed used was 146 knots. The crew was vectored to the ILS approach to runway 03 and joined the localizer and glideslope using the autopilot. The autopilot was then disengaged at 1103 feet Height Above Touchdown (HAT) and at 1000 feet HAT the approach met all UPS Stabilized Approach criteria with the aircraft fully configured at flaps 30, gear down, and speed 145 knots. At 500 feet HAT the approach continued to meet all stabilized approach criteria with speed 146 knots. Flight data indicated that the crosswind component at this point was 23 knots from the right.
At 158 feet above touchdown the approach met all stabilized approach criteria and the captain disconnected the autothrottles. UPS guidance recommends use of the autothrottle until 50 feet above touchdown. From this point on the approach until touchdown, the aircraft pitch attitude began to increase as the airspeed slowly decreased. Flight Data indicates that the thrust levers were at a reduced thrust setting when the autothrottles were disconnected and remained at that setting until touchdown. At 1.75 seconds from touchdown the airspeed had decayed to 129 knots and the aircraft pitch had increased to 7.2 degrees. The crosswind had also decreased and was now 13 knots from the right. At touchdown the airspeed was 128 knots and pitch attitude 8.4 degrees. The tailskid impacted the runway at touchdown followed immediately by the lower aft fuselage as the pitch attitude increased momentarily to 8.6 degrees. Initial tailskid impact occurred at approximately 800 feet from the runway threshold.
The crew reported that they encountered a 10 knot wind loss just prior to touchdown and landed firmer than normal, but didn't suspect that they had struck the tailskid.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot flying's failure to maintain airspeed and correct pitch attitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain appropriate thrust after disconnecting the autothrottles. Also contributing was the first officer's failure to monitor the decaying airspeed and increasing pitch."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Accident number: DCA16CA113
Download report: Summary report

Classification:
Tailstrike


Photos

photo of Boeing 767-34AFER (WL) N305UP
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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 Louisville International Airport, KY to Albuquerque Sunport Airport, NM as the crow flies is 1878 km (1174 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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