Tailstrike Accident Boeing 737-8Q8 (WL) N734MA, Saturday 19 November 2005
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Date:Saturday 19 November 2005
Time:23:18 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B738 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-8Q8 (WL)
Owner/operator:Miami Air International
Registration: N734MA
MSN: 30039/701
Year of manufacture:2000
Total airframe hrs:17022 hours
Engine model:CFM International CFM56-7B26
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 127
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:State College, Pennsylvania -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Lansing-Capital Region International Airport, MI (LAN/KLAN)
Destination airport:State College-University Park Airport, PA (SCE/KUNV)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During the approach, the captain had disconnected the autopilot, but had left the autothrottles engaged in what is known as "mixed-mode" method of flight control in which control of the flight path is mixed between manual and automatic means. During this time, the autothrottle began to track an airspeed which had been previously selected in the mode control panel speed window. The captain disconnected the autothrottles, but did not retard the throttles to idle. Therefore, automatic speedbrake deployment did not take place during the first touchdown. During the resultant bounce, the captain then retarded the thrust levers to idle, the speedbrakes deployed, there was a loss of lift and nose up pitching moment, and a tailstrike resulted. The airplane manufacturer recommended autothrottle use only when the autopilot was engaged. They also advised if the airplane bounced while landing, the pilot should hold or re-establish a normal landing attitude and add thrust as necessary to control the rate of descent, and that thrust need not be added for a "shallow skip or bounce," however, if a "high, hard bounce" occurred, the pilot should initiate a go-around. Information concerning the dangers of mixed-mode operations and bounced landing recovery was available to the operator and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); however there were no prohibition on mixed-mode operations, nor were bounced landing recovery guidance required to be listed in any of the operator's FAA approved manuals. Two months prior to the accident, the Safety Board issued a recommendation to the FAA; to require air carriers to incorporate bounced landing recovery techniques in their flight manuals and to teach these techniques during training. As a result the FAA issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO), which "recommended" each airline, include bounced landing recovery techniques in their manuals and training; however since the SAFO was not mandatory, the Safety Board requested the FAA survey air carriers to establish how many had adopted the SAFO. The Safety Board advised the FAA that until the results of the SAFO were known, the Safety Board's recommendation would remain classified; Open Acceptable Response.

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper touchdown and recovery from a bounced landing. Factors to the accident were the operator's failure to provide sufficient information on the use of autothrottles and bounced landing recovery techniques, along with the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to require the inclusion of mixed-mode flight control guidance and bounced landing recovery techniques in operator pilot training programs and flight manuals.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: NYC06LA033
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 10 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

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Revision history:

09-Oct-2022 09:35 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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