Accident Airbus A300F4-622R N173UP,
ASN logo

Date:Tuesday 22 March 2011
Type:Silhouette image of generic A306 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A300F4-622R
Owner/operator:United Parcel Service - UPS
Registration: N173UP
MSN: 868
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:6004 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney PW4158
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Albuquerque International Airport, NM (ABQ) -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:El Paso International Airport, TX (ELP/KELP)
Destination airport:Albuquerque International Airport, NM (ABQ/KABQ)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Airbus A-300-600F airplane, N173UP, registered to United Parcel Service, and operated as flight 797, a domestic cargo flight from El Paso, Texas, struck its tail during a go-around following an attempted landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The captain was the pilot flying and the takeoff, climb and cruise portion of the flight was uneventful. Prior to landing, the captain conducted the approach briefing, indicating that they would conduct a visual approach to runway 26, the gusty winds required a wind additive to the approach speed and would go-around if the approach was not stabilized.
On final approach, the local controller cleared the flight to land and reported the winds were 310 degrees at 16 knots. The flight crew stated that at 1000 feet AGL the landing checklist was complete, the airplane was fully configured for landing and the approach speed was set to 132 knots (Vref + 5).
Recorder data indicated that during the final approach, the autothrottle was disconnected about 800 feet above the ground and the airspeed decreased to as low as 129 knots but did not go below Vref (127 knots). The first officer (FO) stated that he called out the low airspeed and adjusted the target airspeed from 132 to 134 knots. The captain increased power during the approach but the airspeed remained slightly below Vapp until landing. Pitch attitude on final approach was stable at about 5 to 6 degrees nose up. The pitch attitude at touchdown was about 7 degrees and the airplane touched down first on the right main landing gear (MLG) and then on the left MLG. The flight crew stated that they felt that the airplane bounced and both called for a go around simultaneously. About one second after the initial touchdown, the ground spoilers began to deploy, followed by an increase in pitch in the next two seconds from 4.2 degrees to 12.7 degrees. Thrust levers advanced to near maximum thrust about one second after the left MLG touched down and as the ground spoilers were in transit. Pitch attitude continued to increase to more than 14 degrees while the airplane was still on the ground. Neither flight crewmember was aware of a tail strike until the captain discovered damage to the airplane during the post flight inspection.
The tail strike resulted in aft fuselage skin cracks and numerous sheared rivets, internal structural damage to the frames, a cracked support bracket, buckled floor beam, buckled main cargo deck floor panels, and buckled stringers.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's failure to control the airplane pitch-up induced by ground spoiler deployment during the go-around."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA11FA035
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 years and 11 months
Download report: Final report




photo (c) NTSB; Albuquerque International Airport, NM (ABQ); 22 March 2011

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314