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N173UP accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.033334°N, 106.600000°W
Nearest city Albuquerque, NM
35.084491°N, 106.651137°W
4.6 miles away
Tail number N173UP
Accident date 22 Mar 2011
Aircraft type Airbus F4-622R
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 22, 2011, about 2038 mountain daylight time, UPS flight 797, an Airbus A-300F, N173UP, experienced a tail strike during a go-around at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), Albuquerque, New Mexico. The airplane received substantial damage and the flight crew was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a domestic cargo flight from El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas.

According to the flight crew and recorder data, 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.

NTSB Probable Cause

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

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