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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 157755
Last updated: 21 December 2020
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Time:07:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A343 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Airbus A340-311
Owner/operator:SriLankan Airlines
Registration: 4R-ADA
C/n / msn: 032
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 330
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Serious incident
Location:Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI) -   Sri Lanka
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport (RUH/OERK)
Destination airport:Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI)
SriLankan Airlines flight UL266, an Airbus A340-300, registration 4R-ADA departed Riyadh International Airport (RUH), Saudi Arabia for a flight to Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport, Sri Lanka.
On approach the flight crew decided to conduct a practice auto landing on runway 22 and conducted the required briefing for an auto land which included task sharing, call outs and goaround strategy. The visibility conditions were good. UL266 then experienced a high sink rate during the flare, followed by a hard landing and a tail strike.

Probable Causes:
1. Hard landing
It was evident that the crew did not anticipate a hard landing as they did not detect the speed variation, which occurred at 105ft RA height and reached its maximum value at the touch down point.
The subsequent correction from the system to regain the target speed was completely diminished (negated) as the design features are incapable of adjusting the speed when the RETARD mode is engaged at 35ft as it solely depend on the RA input. In addition the prevailing local weather conditions were such that the longitudinal wind inversion and the tail wind gradient was beyond the limitation of the design. This scenario resulted in a hard landing with high pitch angle and with high vertical acceleration.
2. Tail strike
The tail strike may have resulted due to the hard landing or due to the involuntary control inputs at the time of hard landing and the subsequent control inputs given by PIC, which took the aircraft in to a higher pitch attitude when the oleos of the main wheels were compressed.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report


Photo of 4R-ADA courtesy

London - Heathrow (EGLL / LHR)
11 October 2010; (c) F Seggie

Revision history:

23-Jul-2013 13:01 ryan Added
23-Jul-2013 17:03 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Location, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2020 16:48 harro Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report]

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