On February 28, 2013, at almost 02:13:59 UTC, Ural Air flight SVR3027 , Airbus A321 russian registration (Flight from to: Flight from “Bolshoye Savino” Russia (USPP), to Hurghada, Egypt (HEGN)), has suffered a tail strike during landing at Hurghada, runway 34.
The flight crew of Ural Air flight SVR3027 performed a Go Around procedure after the tail strike and landed the A/C later on the same runway (34), same airport (Hurghada Airport).
Inspection of the A/C after landing, revealed that the lower tail section of the A/C was badly affected by the tail strike and showed some damage (as indicated in this report) The Marshalling people examined the runway after the incidents. Marshalling people announced that the runway was serviceable, with some traces of the aircraft paint on the left side near the runway centerline.
Ural Air flight SVR3027 was carrying 3 Cockpit Crew (One Captain plus two First Officers), 4 Cabin crew and 225 Passenger (201 adult, 19 children, 5 infants)
- Regarding the cockpit crew, the cockpit crew of Ural Air flight SVR3027 was eligible for the flight.
- All documents and certifications were conforming with the relevant rules and standards
- Regarding airplane status, the airplane was airworthy; there was no evidence of mechanical failure throughout the whole event flight.
- Regarding weight and balance for the event flight, airplane was loaded properly and all relevant parameters were in the appropriate limits (weights, indices, cg MAC %). No exceedances or violations were observed for all phases of flight (T.O, Landing, Zero fuel weight)
- Regarding Meteorological Information, there is no evidences of any weather problem that might be contributing to the event
- Regarding Communication, the whole communication transcript between the cockpit crew and the tower showed normal communication flow, without any evidence of anomalies or abnormalities.
- Regarding Aerodrome Information, there is no evidences of any anomalies or problems that might be contributing to the event
- Deviation from normal technique. The F/O who was making the landing did not handle the airplane properly, while the PIC did not intervene at the proper time in an attempt to prevent exceeding pitch limit.
- The actual pitch while the airplane was on the ground was too high exceeding the geometric limit for the airplane on ground.
Contribution Factors : the following factors might have contributed to the event:
- The captain did not intervene at the proper time in order to prevent pitch from exceeding its limits (taking into consideration that the tail strike took place in few seconds, requiring captain direct interference with the flight control).
- The behavior of the F/O during landing might be affected by several contributing factors including the following:
- The actual total flying hours during the past 24 hours for both captain and F/O, besides the late landing time suggests fatigue condition.
- It was found that pilots were possibly affected by the fatigue influence of the long duty period and early time of the day but it was checked that the duty period of this flight was in strict compliance with Ural Airlines duty time regulations.
- The F/O was suffering from light intensity, though he did not announce or inform the captain.
- The factual information shows that the number of flying hours for the F/O is much higher than the flying hours of the captain. The feeling of the captain that the F/O is highly experienced with a large amount of flying hours might have some effect on his behavior towards his F/O. The captain might have felt high confidence in the F/O resulting in a feeling of relaxation assuming that the error probability from the F/O side is low.
- From pilot’s statements, it was concluded – after touching down the RWY both pilots become sure that the aircraft bounced of RWY and was floating close to the ground. The same time DFDR data showed both landing gears compressed. It was found that probable cause of the illusion might be combination of very little bounce followed by soft touch down and abnormal pitch attitude at the time of the landing. FO was holding the aircraft nose high to prevent hard landing. This pilot technique was against the Airbus recommendation (FCTM) and the operator SOP 9 for the case of bouncing at landing. The Captain failed to properly conduct his duties as a Pilot Non Flying for aircraft pitch monitoring at landing and timely announcing exceeding of this parameter.
- Communication between the captain and the F/O throughout the event was not sufficiently efficient.