Air France A350 suffers tailstrike on landing in Toronto

An Air France Airbus A350 suffers a tailstrike at Toronto.
Photo via Twitter/X

An Air France Airbus A350 suffered a tail strike on landing at Toronto on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

The Air France Airbus A350-900 had been operating the long haul flight AF356 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) when the landing incident occurred.

Following an approach to RWY 24L, the wide-body aircraft bounced on touchdown, and the aircraft tail assembly subsequently made contact with the runway surface during the landing flare.

Following the tail strike, the flight crew initiated a go around procedure and repositioned for a further approach to RWY 24L. The flight subsequently landed from the second attempt without further incident.

No injuries were reported amongst the complement of passengers and crew during the first landing attempt, however the aircraft sustained fuselage damage as a result of the impact.

Photographs taken by an observer show the extent of the contact made by the aircraft’s tailplane assembly following the bounced landing.

An Air France Airbus A350 suffers a tailstrike at Toronto.
Photo via Twitter/X

The aircraft involved in the landing incident was an Airbus A350-900 registered F-HTYH; a 2-year old widebody aircraft belonging to the French national carrier Air France.

Photo via Twitter/X

What is a tailstrike?

A tailstrike refers to an incident where the tail or empennage of the aircraft touches the ground or another object. This can occur during either the takeoff or landing phase, and can be caused by a variety of factors.

Takeoff: If the pilot rotates the nose of the aircraft up too quickly before reaching sufficient speed, the tail can scrape the runway. This can happen due to pilot error, unexpected conditions like strong crosswinds, or overloading the aircraft.

Landing: An overly hard touchdown and/or a sudden attempt to raise the nose during touchdown can also lead to a tailstrike. This might be caused by a range of factors including pilot misjudgement, bad weather conditions, or issues with the landing gear.

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An Air France A350-900 has suffered damage resulting from a tail strike during landing and go around at Toronto (YYZ) on Sunday January 21.
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