Monday, April 11, 2016

American Airlines Tail Strike At CDIA You Didn't Know Happened

Cedar Posts recently stumbled upon this little gem from the NBST data base:

On August 15, 2015, about 1837 eastern daylight time, American Airlines flight 1851, an Airbus A321, N564UW, reportedly encountered wind shear while on final approach to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), Charlotte, North Carolina. The airplane touched down short of the runway in the paved overrun area and performed a go-around before circling back and successfully landing. 

There were no injuries to the 6 crew members and 153 passengers onboard. The airplane was substantially damaged when it struck several runway end lights and experienced a tail strike during the go around. 

The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, as a scheduled domestic passenger flight and originated from Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Atlanta, Georgia.

Tail strikes in Airbus 321 models are common, so much so that Airbus and retrofitted skid plates on the tail of their 321 models. All of this is no big deal except there was very little media coverage about this accident.

But the tail strike due to wind shear is notable because of the fatal July 2,1994 USAir Flight 1016 wind shear related accident at CDIA that killed 37 of 52 passengers. The flight crew encountered wind shear just prior to crossing the airport fence and tried to aboard the landing.

The accident was the high water mark in a series of wind shear accidents during the 1990's that prompted measures to eliminate the risk via technology and pilot training. 

But apparently Charlotte and American aren't doing enough to avoid accidents attributed to wind shear. 

More about the 1994 USAir accident here

Cedar's Take:

Every pilot knows the best aviation weather is often early in the day. This has been a fact since the Wright Brothers flew at Kill Devil Hills more than 100 years ago. In the real world people who take that first flight out in the morning are considerably less likely to be delayed by bad weather even more so in the summer.

Its tough being the passenger sitting behind the closed door. I am not a nervous passenger but based on some recent data, chances are I've got far more flight time than the guy or girl sitting in the right seat. I always feel better when the left seat has a lot of gray on his head.


Anonymous said...

"But apparently Charlotte and American aren't doing enough to avoid accidents attributed to wind shear. " - dumb statement of the year. Maybe you should also blame Mother Nature or even God and since when did everything need to be in the news?

Anonymous said...

How about the fact the crew didn't report it as an aircraft accident ? And the pilot taxied the aircraft to the gate and the crew left. Maybe not news worthy but probably worth a mention.

Anonymous said...

The growth of Charlotte's airport has far outpaced the city. The majority of the passengers are just passing through American's hub system. Given that its only a matter of time before a major incident happens. Cedar is right, American and the FAA are not doing enough about wind shear. As a Delta and American Captain (retired) with better than 20,000 hours in 737's and 767's I can tell you Dallas (DFW) has much better equipment and protocol for dealing with wind shear. CLT is not functional most of the time and the delay in reports from pilots clearing the runway is seldom relayed to those still on approach in a timely manner is at all.

Anonymous said...

This article was boring. Its no wonder it wasn't in the news.

Anonymous said...

Sure boring unless you are seated in a "death row" then its very exciting right before the lights go out. Just FYI most the pilots out there landing your plane are in the right seat with the guy in the left (the captain) sort of watching. Oh, and they usually have about as much experience as your Uber driver does in the taxi business.