NTSB Identification: LAX90LA055.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42174.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of AMERICAN AIRLINES
Accident occurred Thursday, December 21, 1989 in SANTA ANA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1992
Aircraft: BOEING 757-223, registration: N611AM
Injuries: 111 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 TAIL OF A BOEING 757 STRUCK THE RUNWAY DURING A VISUAL NIGHT LANDING AT THE ORANGE COUNTY AIRPORT. THE FLIGHT DATA RECORDER INDICATED A PITCH ATTITUDE OF 11.074 DEGREES FOR TWO SECONDS AT TOUCHDOWN. THE BOEING COMPANY STATED THE MAXIMUM PITCH AT TOUCHDOWN SHOULD NOT EXCEED 10.3 DEGREES. THIS WAS THE CAPTAIN'S FIRST NIGHT TIME FLIGHT INTO ORANGE COUNTY AIRPORT IN THIS TYPE OF AIRCRAFT. AIRCREWS CERTIFIED IN THE BOEING 767 AIRCRAFT ARE ALSO QUALIFIED IN THE BOEING 757 AIRCRAFT. AS OF FEBRUARY, 1990, THERE HAVE BEEN 27 KNOWN TAIL STRIKES IN THE 767 AND 51 TAIL STRIKES IN THE 757 AIRCRAFT DURING THE TAKEOFF AND LANDING PHASES OF FLIGHT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE COPILOT'S OVERROTATION OF THE AIRCRAFT DURING THE FLARE WHICH ALLOWED THE TAIL TO COLLIDE WITH THE RUNWAY. THE FAILURE OF THE CAPTAIN TO TAKE APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION WAS A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT.

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