NTSB Identification: DCA97LA027.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC.
Accident occurred Thursday, February 06, 1997 in ST JOHN ANTIGUA, Antigua And Barbuda
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/2000
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A-300-600R, registration: N41063
Injuries: 170 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The scheduled flight from San Juan to the Antigua (ANU) area was uneventful. During the VOR 07 approach, at about 2,500 feet AGL, the flight maneuvered to avoid TCAS traffic. The runway was in sight. The captain was flying the transport category airplane on final approach with 40 degrees of flaps. At 1,000 feet, on the final approach to landing, the first officer made the company procedural 1,000 foot verbal callout and the captain brought the power above idle. The crew stated that the airplane was slightly high at 1,000 feet and by 500 feet they were 'in the slot' with airspeed about 20 knots above the reference speed of 128 knots and decreasing. Flight recorder data indicated that during the final approach segment from about an altitude of 500 feet to the ground, the airspeed decreased from 143 knots to 135, the pitch attitude increased from 1/2-degree nose up to 9 degrees nose up, the descent rate decreased from 1,700 feet per minute (fpm) to 1,000 fpm, and the flight path angle decreased from 5.8 degrees to 2.7 degrees. The airplane contacted the runway on the main landing gear and bounced, at which time the airplane pitched nose up to about 11 degrees. The tail of the airplane subsequently struck the runway and was substantially damaged. No anomalies with the airplane systems or engines were reported during the investigation. The airline's aircraft operating manual described a 'stabilized approach concept,' but the airline did not provide specific procedures regarding crew actions, or require a go-around, if an approach becomes unstabilized.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The captain failed to establish and maintain a stabilized approach (or perform a go-around), and applied excessive pitch rotation during the subsequent recovery from a bounced landing, resulting in a tail strike. A factor contributing to the accident was the operator's inadequate procedures to address corrective actions if an approach becomes unstabilized. Full narrative available
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