Tail Strike Highlights Stable Approach Message

The Transportation Safety Board is highlighting the importance of stabilized approaches with a press release on a relatively minor mishap in northern Quebec in January of 2020. The Air Inuit Dash-8-300 had a hard landing with a tail strike landing at Schefferville on a flight from Quebec City. The investigation found the aggressive attempt by the captain to arrest the descent resulted in the aircraft pitching up enough during the flare to smack the tail. There were no injuries but the aircraft suffered significant damage.

“The investigation found that the flight crew forgot to perform the descent checklist and realized this at an inopportune time, while the captain (pilot monitoring) was providing a position report,” the news release said. “Given ambiguities and contradictions in the company’s stabilized approach guidelines, the captain interpreted that he was allowed to continue the approach below 500 feet above aerodrome elevation, even though the aircraft had not been fully configured for the landing.” Air Inuit amended its standard operating procedures to improve direction on several issues, including stabilized approaches.