On May 18, 2006, about 1427 Alaska daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 airplane, N949AS, sustained minor damage to the right wingtip while landing at the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska. The flight was being conducted under Title 14, CFR Part 121, as a scheduled domestic passenger flight, operated by Alaska Airlines, Inc., as Flight 99. There were no injuries to the two pilots, three flight attendants, or the 140 passengers aboard. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan had been filed for the flight from Anchorage, Alaska. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on May 22, the captain reported that the first officer was initially flying a VOR approach to runway 19R. During the initial part of the approach, intermittent instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, but as the approach continued, the airplane descended below the scattered cloud deck, and entered visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The captain said that the first officer asked if he could continue the VOR approach to runway 19R for proficiency proposes, and the captain agreed. He said that as the airplane continued towards the airport, he noticed that the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) lights for runway 19L appeared to be on full bright. The captain also noted that the VOR approach to runway 19R has a 30-degree offset from the runway centerline, which requires a left turn to align the airplane with the runway centerline before touchdown.
According to the captain's written statement included with the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) submitted by the operator, the captain wrote, in part: "The first officer initially saw runway 19L while still above the MDA [minimum descent altitude] and 3 miles from the field. I pointed out runway 19R. While maneuvering to line up on the runway, we overshot."
The captain said that as the airplane passed over the approach end of the runway, it was to the left of the runway centerline, and the first officer applied right aileron control to correct the misalignment. The captain then gave the order to go-around, and takeoff engine power was applied, but the airplane's descent continued, and the right wing struck the runway as the main landing gear wheels contacted the runway.
The flight crew was initially unaware that the wing had struck the runway until a flight attendant, seated in the rear of the airplane, informed them. After the go-around, the flight crew declared an emergency, and made an uneventful landing on runway 19R. There were no preincident mechanical anomalies reported by the operator or flightcrew.
The closest official weather observation station is located at the Fairbanks International Airport. On May 18, at 1353, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: Sky conditions and ceiling, 2,300 feet broken, 4,800 feet broken, 10,000 feet broken; visibility, 10 statute miles; wind, 250 degrees at 6 knots; temperature, 50 degrees F; dew point 43 degree F.