Tailstrike Accident Airbus A320-232 N1902U, Wednesday 22 March 2023
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Date:Wednesday 22 March 2023
Time:17:26 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-232
Owner/operator:United Airlines
Registration: N1902U
MSN: 2714
Year of manufacture:2006
Total airframe hrs:22194 hours
Engine model:IAE V2527-A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 156
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH) -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Mexico City-Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX/MMMX)
Destination airport:Houston, TX
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
United Airlines flight UA1091 sustained a tailstrike while landing at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH), Houston, TX. The flight was a regularly scheduled international passenger flight from Mexico City, Mexico to KIAH.
According to the flight crew, the captain was the pilot monitoring, and the first officer (FO) was the pilot flying when they were cleared for the visual approach to runway 27 at KIAH. The airplane was in the landing configuration and on a stabilized approach at 1,000 ft. above ground level (AGL). About 60 ft AGL the captain noticed the airspeed begin to decay and stated watch your speed. The FO subsequently pitched the nose of the airplane down and added a little thrust. About 30 ft AGL, due to a higher-than-normal rate of descent the captain commanded flare, flare, flare. The FO flared the airplane which resulted in a firm landing. As the airplane rebounded from the firm landing the spoilers deployed resulting in a nose high attitude. In an effort to correct for the nose high attitude, the captain and FO pushed forward on their respective sidesticks.
The FO stated that the ground spoiler deployment coinciding with the firm touchdown resulted in an airplane nose-up pitch attitude. As a result, the pitch attitude increased until the tail struck the runway. After the tailstrike, the remainder of the landing and landing rollout were normal with no risk of runway overrun or excursion.
The tailstrike resulted in abrasion damage over an area of about 19 feet long by 1 foot wide along the aft lower fuselage. An inspection revealed substantial damage to the aft pressure bulkhead and frames.

Probable Cause: The first officer's failure to maintain the correct airspeed and pitch attitude during landing which resulted in a tailstrike.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DCA23LA221
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

10 January 2020 N1902U United Airlines 0 New Orleans, Louisiana non


Revision history:

26-Apr-2023 12:55 Captain Adam Added
11-Jun-2023 19:38 harro Updated
25-Jun-2023 19:42 ASN Update Bot Updated
25-Jun-2023 19:43 harro Updated

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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