NTSB Identification: NYC02LA187.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. Northwest Airlines)
Accident occurred Monday, September 09, 2002 in Baltimore, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/2003
Aircraft: Boeing 757-251, registration: N534US
Injuries: 103 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 Boeing 757 was on a right downwind for runway 33L, with the captain as the flying pilot. The airplane was aligned with runway 33R, and the flight crew was informed by the control tower. The first officer suggested a go-around. However, the captain had runway 33L in sight and initiated a side-step maneuver when the airplane was about 500 feet AGL. The airplane was aligned with runway 33L about 4 seconds prior to touchdown, as the airplane passed through 50 feet AGL. The first officer thought the airplane was low and again suggested a go-around. However, the captain continued with the landing. When the pilot closed the throttles, the airplane struck the runway in a nose high pitch attitude, and damaged the rear pressure bulkhead. Both pilots reported that they were unaware that the speed brakes, which had been extended when the airplane left 5,000 feet on approach, were still extended at touchdown. Company procedures required the pilot's hand to remain on the speed brake lever while they were extended, and stabilized approach criteria required the airplane to be aligned with the intended runway of landing by 500 feet above the touchdown zone elevation. The captain reported that he planned on a reserve fuel of 7,200 pounds, but it was reduced to 5,800 pounds by delays, and altitude and airspeed restrictions. He estimated a go-around would take 2,000 pound, but upon further questioning admitted that number was consistent with a go-around in a Boeing 747, his previous assignment, and the Boeing 757 would burn less fuel. The captain had accumulated 142 hours in the Boeing 757.

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

The captain's failure to follow existing company procedures for stabilized approach, and use of speed brakes.

Full narrative available

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