Investigation number
AE-2020-015
Occurrence date
Location
London Heathrow
State
International
Report release date
Report status
Final
Investigation type
External Investigation
Investigation phase
Final report: Dissemination
Investigation status
Completed
Occurrence category
Incident

The occurrence

On 9 February 2020, a Qantas Airways Boeing 787-900, registered VH-ZND, departed on a flight from London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom to Perth Airport, Australia. Shortly after initiation of aircraft rotation,[1] the flight crew received a caution message indicating that the tail strike prevention system had been triggered. After performing the relevant checks the flight crew returned the aircraft for an overweight landing at Heathrow Airport.

Investigation

The United Kingdom Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) was responsible for the investigation into this occurrence. As Australia is the State of Registration of the aircraft, the AAIB requested appointment of an Accredited Representative from the ATSB.

To facilitate this request, the ATSB initiated an external investigation under the provisions of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.

Conclusion

The AAIB investigation concluded that, during conditions of strong and gusty winds, a high pitch rate near lift-off caused the trail strike sensor to contact the runway surface. This resulted in activation of the aircraft’s tail strike prevention system and generation of an Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System TAIL STRIKE message. While the tip of the sensor was abraded due to contact with the runway, no further damage was found.

The final report of the investigation conducted by the AAIB can be found at AAIB investigation to Boeing 787-900, VH-ZND (www.gov.uk)

Any further information regarding this investigation should be directed to the AAIB via: enquiries@aaib.gov.uk

 

_____________

The information contained in this update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and is derived from the AAIB investigation of the occurrence.

  1. Rotation: the positive, nose-up, movement of an aircraft about the lateral (pitch) axis immediately before becoming airborne..
Aircraft Details
Departure point
London Heathrow, United Kingdom
Destination
Perth, Australia
Model
787-9
Sector
Jet
Registration
VH-ZND
Operation type
Air Transport High Capacity
Damage
Minor
Manufacturer
The Boeing Company
Aircraft Operator
Qantas