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29th of August 2021, Blog #521

With a crew of two, a Boeing 767-300ER Freighter was being prepared for its flight from Tokyo / Narita International Airport (Japan) to Vancouver International Airport (Canada) on this day in 2021. The crew programmed the aircraft flight management system for the flight, entering runway 16R and the SID (Standard Instrument Departure as cleared by ATC. The weather was good;

  • Wind - 070º at 11 knots (variable between 030º and 110º)

  • Visibility - Unlimited

  • Clouds - few at 2500' / scattered at 3000'

  • QNH - 1012 hPa

Smoke can be seen as the aircraft takes off (Source;

After the engines were started the aircraft taxied to runway 16, in accordance with ATC instructions. Once take-off clearance was received the throttles were moved forward and the aircraft accelerated down the runway.

As the aircraft rotated at 11.32 lt (local time) the ATC controller in the tower noticed the tail of the aircraft striking the runway, with some smoke visible. The crew was informed and the runway was closed for inspection, causing a huge cue of aircraft. The inspection revealed a 31-meter long, 15 centimetres wide and 2 centimetres deep scratch in the runway surface. Meanwhile, the aircraft continued on the SID. Shortly after take-off the EICAS (Engine-Indicating and Crew-Alerting System) an R TAIL HYD VAL caution was displayed. The crew requested to level off at 10.000' after the flaps were retracted, to complete the necessary checklists. (Initial they were cleared to 23.000'). When performing the necessary checklist they encountered the step that read; "R TAIL FLT CONTROL SHUTOFF SWITCH MUST BE ON FOR FLIGHT". this confused the crew as the indication on the relevant switch on the P61 panel was both ON and OFF the switch is guarded and marked "GND USE ONLY". The operators' maintenance department was contacted for advice, using the Sat Phone. As all other system indications were normal (Such as hydraulic pressures, hydraulic quantities and cabin pressurisation) and since there was no TAIL STRIKE EICAS message the crew concluded it was safe to continue to Vancouver.

The flight to Vancouver was uneventful, however during the approach, after the gear was locked down, the EICAS message TAILSKID appeared. The relevant QRH checklist was completed and the subsequent landing was uneventful. A Post-flight inspection by the airline's maintenance department revealed some paint damage to the tail skid, however, the tail skid strut showed no sign of compression as a result of a tail strike. The damage was deferred in accordance with the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) for repair at a later date. The aircraft was released to service and continued its flight schedule to its next destination Chicago (USA).

Video of the take-off, subsequent runway inspection and the resulting traffic jam with aircraft cueing (Source; © Love Flight Jack)

** Editorial note **

V2 Aviation - Training & Maintenance has not been able to obtain an investigation report on this accident. This blog is therefore based on several internet sources. Should there be an inconsistency in the blog don't hesitate to get in touch with us. There are two possibilities to do that, via the comments function at the bottom of this page or via the contact page of the website.

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