On June 15, 2023, IndiGo flight 6E 6595 from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad experienced a tail strike while landing at Ahmedabad Airport.
The aircraft, an IndiGo Airbus A321neo registered VT-IMW was carrying 182 passengers and crew on a scheduled flight between Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR) and Ahmedabad Airport (AMD). There were no injuries reported.
The tail strike occurred at around 11:30 AM IST. The aircraft was landing on Runway 28 at Ahmedabad Airport when it touched down hard and the tail struck the runway. The aircraft was able to come to a safe stop.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched an investigation into the incident. The DGCA is looking into the cause of the tail strike and whether there were any safety lapses.
Fourth tail strike incident
This is the fourth tail strike incident involving an IndiGo A321neo in the last few months. In February, an IndiGo A321neo suffered a tail strike while landing at Kolkata Airport.
In March, another IndiGo A321neo suffered a tail strike while landing at Mumbai Airport. And in April, an IndiGo A321neo suffered a tail strike while landing at Chennai Airport.
The DGCA has cautioned IndiGo about the increasing number of tail strikes involving its A321neo aircraft. The Indian aviation regulator has also directed the carrier to conduct additional training for its pilots on landing procedures.
IndiGo has said that it is committed to safety and is cooperating with the DGCA investigation. The airline has also confirmed that it has taken steps to prevent future tail strikes, including conducting additional training for its pilots and updating its procedures for landing.
Tail strike phenomenon
In general, tail strikes occur relatively infrequently, with an average of about 1 in every 10,000 landings. The tail strike situation can also develop in the takeoff phase after rotation.
Typical rectification action by airlines and aircraft operators can include a range of initiatives:
Training: Airlines are providing more training for pilots on how to avoid tail strikes. This training includes ground school and simulator training.
Technology: Airlines are also using technology to help prevent tail strikes. This technology includes systems that automatically limit the angle of attack of the aircraft and systems that warn pilots if they are approaching the ground too fast.
Maintenance: Airlines are also conducting more thorough maintenance checks on their aircraft to identify any potential problems that could lead to a tail strike.
With respect to the recent Bengaluru – Ahmedabad incident, the DGCA investigation will hopefully shed more light on the cause of the tail strike. In the meantime, IndiGo has taken steps to prevent future tail strikes.