Re: 767 Tail-Bang on lift-off

Date:         15 Jan 97 04:23:56 
From:         Reid Fairburn <>
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At 06:35 PM 1/13/97, you wrote:
>Last Sunday we took AA136 (supposedly) LAX-LHR; the 'plane was a 767-300.
>When the pilot rotated the tail of the plane hit the runway; result was 2
>hours going in circles dumping fuel and an (eventual) re-route via JFK as
>the crew had exceeded their hours - 19 hours in total....
>Some questions:
>1 Is such an event a common occurence? Who is likely to be to blame - I
>can only thnk of pilot error or shifting cargo.

====Usually, this is the result of excessive rotation rate for liftoff.
There are many factors which can contribute to the problem including
improper trim setting, rotating at the wrong speed, or using excessive back
pressure during rotation...not to forget CG variance from the data given to
the pilot.

>2 If it was pilot error, what will happen?

=====This is not too uncommon, unfortunately.  During a normal takeoff the
tail frequently comes within 2 to 3 feet of the runway when all is done
correctly.  Pilot training concentrates on avoiding this but it still
happens for a variety of reasons.  I am not sure of what actions are taken
against the pilot but I would not suspect anything is similar
to bumping into someone when driving your car.

>3 Why do US airports not have transit lounges? We were marched off one
>plane to the replacement in groups of 10 (almost under armed guard) and
>forced to sit in it for almost 3 hours while fuel was unloaded and food
>and drink loaded.

=====You can thank all the terrorists for this!

I wouldn't lose any sleep over this happening but it does cost the airline
some bucks for repair.

Reid Fairburn
Creative Kingdom, Inc.