Air France Flight “Lands Twice,” Bounces And Scrapes Its Tail

Air France flight 356 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Toronto Pearson experienced a tail strike as it attempted to land, aborted the landing and executed a go around. It’s one of the worst tail strikes I’ve seen in some time. Fourteen minutes later it executed its second landing on runway 4L.

The damage to the Airbus A350 was extensive. Pilots reported that it was a “too long landing rate,” and caused the tail strike while lifting off for the go around since they were coming in too fast for the remaining amount of runway.

A passenger filming inside the cabin shared video in which you can hear the sound of the tail strike.

The return flight to Paris was cancelled, and the occurrence aircraft remains on the ground in Toronto as of this writing.

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  1. Any landing which gets everyone on the ground is a good landing . Any encounter with a fang dog which does not result in a mauling is a lucky encounter . Any upgrade is a pleasant surprise .

  2. I wonder if Air France will use the local Maaco auto body shop or Carstar Collision to buff out the scratches and dents on their Airbus A350-900 aircraft tail.

  3. What is the reason for the tail strike? Not enough speed for rotation? Does rotating without enough speed and causing a tail strike never the less get the aircraft in the air and above any obstacles after the runway? In other words, did the situation require this or was it a bad response.

  4. Sounds like they were off-speed initially and should have went around in the first place. Perhaps they thought flairing with nose higher to bleed off excess speed would slow them down at the last moment. I was always taught that if you’re not fully configured and on speed at 1000ft. Go around.

  5. Air France has a troubled history of messing up landings at Toronto’s airport.

    On the afternoon of 2 August 2005, while landing at Pearson airport, the Airbus A340-313E operating the route overran the runway and crashed into nearby Etobicoke Creek, approximately 300 m (980 ft) beyond the end of the runway. All 309 passengers and crew on board the Airbus survived, but twelve people sustained serious injuries. The plane subsequently burnt.

  6. it does appear that Air France needs some work in its flt. ops. dept.

    I noticed that there appears to no longer be a carbonized rubber pad on the underside of the tail section, for such purposes as a tail strike landing. Have all high speed manufacturers of jet aircraft stopped this practice?
    One of the replies to this thread said to let the A/P do the landings. Then you don’t have a pilot, you only have a computer operator. When the system is down or auto land feature is in operable, what then? All pilots must be familiar with manual landings.

  7. I have serious doubts to your comment that you somehow have from ‘a pilot’. Any time such a scenario like this plays out, we only speak to our union and company when we have to. Given this is AF, the process may be different, but no professional just goes into such details.

    Let me guess, this was heard from an FA who claims to have heard it from the Captain?

    Get some better sources.

  8. Poor pilot training. Lift the nose to high on take off or while aborting you’ll get a tail strike. They should have known the maximum pitch attitude to prevent this.

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