Accident Airbus A321-231 N560UW, Friday 5 April 2013
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Date:Friday 5 April 2013
Time:12:51
Type:Silhouette image of generic A321 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A321-231
Owner/operator:US Airways
Registration: N560UW
MSN: 5300
Year of manufacture:2012
Total airframe hrs:1677 hours
Engine model:IAE V2533-A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 192
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Category:Accident
Location:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS) -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, NC (CLT/KCLT)
Destination airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
US Airways flight 1733, an Airbus A321-231, experienced a tail strike while landing on runway 25L at McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The airplane incurred substantial damage and there were no injuries to the 192 occupants. The captain was the pilot flying and the first officer was the pilot monitoring. According to flight crew statements, the takeoff, climb, cruise and descent were uneventful. Prior to descent, the captain briefed a visual approach to runway 25L at LAS, which would be backed up by the instrument landing system (ILS). He also included a brief of the A321's 7.5 degree pitch limit.
The crew reported that visual meteorological conditions with light and variable winds were initially reported at LAS, however, the winds (VMC) became gusty around the time of the accident. The captain stated that, once he turned off the autopilot while on the approach to runway 25L, he thought "the winds seemed a little stronger..." than what was reported, and it felt "a little squirrelly".
According to the flight crew, the approach was stabilized, on speed, and on glide path. Flaps were selected FULL and autobrakes were selected LOW. The approach speed was 158 knots.
When the captain began to initiate the flare within about 20 feet above the ground and pitched up "just a tad" for the flare, but stated he did not feel any pitch response, so he brought the nose up a little more to arrest the descent. Upon initial touchdown, he estimated that they bounced about 5-10 feet back into the air and the airplane struck its tail on the second touchdown.
Postaccident investigation revealed substantial damage to the underbelly and aft bulkhead area. The skin was abraded over a large area through its thickness in several areas of the pressure vessel . One frame was fractured along with several fractured shear ties and frame clips.

Probable Cause: the captain's improper recovery from a bounced landing which resulted in a tailstrike.

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA13FA071
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 7 years
Download report: Final report

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