Wed, Dec 16, 2009
Plane Scraped Wingtip, One Set Of Wheels Left Pavement
The FAA is looking into why an
American Airlines MD-80 landed erratically in Charlotte, North
Carolina Sunday night, scraping a wingtip and partially leaving the
pavement during the landing at night in poor visibility.
The agency would also like to know why it took American four
hours to notify them of the incident.
"The Wall Street Journal" reports the airliner was making an
approach to Charlotte on autopilot in drizzle and fog about 2245
EST Sunday night when the crew was alerted that they were
somewhat off course. The crew made a determination that the
autopilot was acting erratically, and decided to hand-fly the
approach. The disengaged the autopilot at about 300 feet AGL. On
touchdown, the left main gear left the runway getting into soft
ground. According to sources with knowledge of the event, as the
pilots corrected the swerve and got the airplane back on the
runway, the right wingtip hit the ground.
No one on board the airplane was injured.
Preliminary internal airline data indicate the crew had been on
duty for about 14 hours before the landing attempt. The FAA and
NTSB are looking into fatigue as a factor, as well as the pilot's
judgement, according to the paper.
American's procedures state that if a problem comes up below
1,000 feet on an instrument approach, pilots are trained to declare
a missed approach and go around to try again.
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